Author Biographies

Katie Glupker teaches English and Civics at Washtenaw Technical Middle College, a dualenrollment program for high school students on the campus of Washtenaw Community College. She has been an Eastern Michigan Writing Project teacher-consultant since 2012. She can be reached at kaglupker@wccnet.edu.

Pam Gower has taught English in both middle and high school classrooms since 1997. She continues to explore the topics of mindfulness, anti-racist teaching, and student engagement through PLCs connected to RCWP and MCTE. She currently teaches 7th grade English at MacDonald Middle School in East Lansing, Michigan. She has been a Red Cedar Writing Project teacherconsultant since 2000. She can be reached at pamela.gower@ elps.us.

Angela Knight is an elementary-certified teacher who taught K-12 for 27 years. She currently teaches pre-service teacher education classes at Eastern Michigan University, co-directs the Eastern Michigan Writing Project, teaches first-year writing at Schoolcraft College and Henry Ford College, and works at the HFC Writing Center. She has been a National Writing Project teacher-consultant since 1993. She can be reached at aknight2@emich.edu.


Because literacy is a civil right, educators are responsible for designing and implementing literacy education that is designed with the excellence of all students in mind. In order to learn about ways to ensure that literary practices are equitable for all students, the authors joined an educators’ book club to read Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy by Gholdy Muhammad. Muhammad describes the Black literary societies of the past and challenges educators of today to enhance classrooms by upholding equity and excellence through a five-layered framework: Identity, Skills, Intellect, Criticality, and Joy.

We studied Muhammad’s theories and practices and then examined our own K-16 curricula. The results were a combination of celebrating the way we were already implementing culturally and historically responsive literacy practices and creating more opportunities for their students to have equitable access to their literacy. At the elementary level, Literacy Kits invite children to pursue the layers of Muhammad’s framework. In middle school, independent reading and mindfulness practices build literary societies. At the high school level, literacy and civic education are blended by inviting students to access Muhammad’s framework by exploring the problem of pollution in Lake Erie. Finally, the HRL framework was used to scaffold research projects for first-year college students in which students used the pursuits as lenses through which they described their discoveries and made connections.

Three experienced teachers show how Muhammad's HRL framework applies to each educational level from kindergarten to college and across subject areas. Readers who aren't familiar with Cultivating Genius will get a basic overview of the concepts along with recent examples of their implementation in Michigan classrooms.

Publication Date