Tonya Perry, Ph.D. is professor and director of Curriculum Instruction in the School of Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also directs the Red Mountain Writing Project, and facilitates GEAR UP Alabama. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education that increases the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing states and local community-education partnerships six-to-seven year grants to offer support services to high-poverty, middle and high schools. In 2020 Perry was selected by NCTE as its fourth director of Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from both the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.