A headshot photo of Gholnecsar (Gholdy) E. Muhammad, Ph.D. wearing a golden yellow/orange blouse, smiling, against a black background.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Northeastern Illinois University’s Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education will host professor Gholnecsar (Gholdy) E. Muhammad, Ph.D. for the 10th annual Jean Burke Carlson and Diane Berger Ehrlich Memorial Lecture.


The lecture, titled “Cultivating Genius and Joy in Education Through Culturally and Historically Responsive Pedagogies,” will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13 in the Auditorium on Northeastern’s Main Campus, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., in Chicago. A question and answer session and informal reception will follow. This event is free and open to the public. 


RSVP is suggested, but not required. Complimentary parking for the event will be available in Lot D. The first 25 Northeastern students and the first 25 Northeastern alumni, community members or educators to RSVP will receive a free copy of Muhammad’s latest book, “Unearthing Joy: A Guide to Culturally and Historically Responsive Curriculum and Instruction” (Scholastic).


Muhammad is an Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Illinois Chicago. She studies Black historical excellence within educational communities with goals of reframing curriculum and instruction today. Muhammad’s scholarship has appeared in numerous leading academic journals and books. She was the 2014 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English, Promising New Researcher Award; the 2016 NCTE Janet Emig Award; the 2017 GSU Urban Education Research Award; the 2018 UIC College of Education Researcher of the Year; the 2020 American Educational Research Association (AERA), Division K Early Career Award; and the 2021 NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator in the English Language Arts. She has led a federal grant with the U.S. Department of Education to study culturally and historically responsive literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics classrooms.


In addition to “Unearthing Joy,” Muhammad is the author of “Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy” (Scholastic) and co-author of  “Black Girls’ Literacies: Transforming Lives and Literacy” (Routledge). She works with teachers, leaders, parents and youth across the United States and South Africa in best practices in culturally and historically responsive and equitable instruction. She has served as a middle school teacher, literacy specialist, school district administrator and school board president. Her Historically Responsive Literacy/Culturally & Historically Responsive Education Model has been adopted across U.S. school districts. 


In this lecture, Muhammad will present her equity framework, called HILL Pedagogies, to help educators develop students’ histories, identities, literacies and liberation. Attendees will learn and understand history and policy, as well as personal and instructional factors that justify the need and purpose for culturally and historically responsive education. Educator attendees will be encouraged and motivated to be more inclusive in their teaching pursuits while learning the importance of integrating cultural, racial, linguistic and historical responsiveness into their learning goals, lesson plans, and the texts they use to teach. Additionally, attendees will see sample lesson/unit plans across grade levels, moving theory into action.


The Jean Burke Carlson and Diane Berger Ehrlich Memorial Lectureship was established in 2010 in honor of Carlson (1922-2010), and was renamed in April 2019 to also celebrate Berger Ehrlich (1943-2019). Both were former Northeastern professors and department chairs in the College of Education, which became the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education in 2015. 


Past Jean Burke Carlson and Diane Berger Ehrlich Memorial Lectureship speakers include:

  • Planetary Protection Specialist Moogega Cooper (2022)
  • Original “Freedom Writer” Manny Scott (2020)
  • Professor of Educational Policy and Planning at the University of Texas at Austin Angela Valenzuela (2014)
  • Filmmaker Oliver Stone (2013)

An image of the cover of the book "Unearthing Joy." The cover is yellow with a graphic of different colored flowers and the title in the center.