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National Expert on Race and Academic Achievement Joins Simmons Faculty

Theresa Perry, Ed.D., a longtime leader in education debate

BOSTON (September 6, 2005) — One of the nation's leading experts on promoting high achievement among African-American students has been appointed professor of Africana studies and education at Simmons College in Boston.

Theresa Perry, Ed.D., co-author of the acclaimed book "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African American Students,"  which is in its fifth printing, will teach courses on race, culture, identity and achievement, and African-American education with a focus on historical and contemporary perspectives.

She also will serve as director of the Simmons College/Beacon Press "Race, Democracy and Education" lecture and publishing series, which will bring a nationally recognized education scholar to the college each year to deliver a series of public lectures on race, democracy and education. These lectures will ultimately become a Beacon Press book.

A longtime leader in national and local discussions on a variety of educational issues, including black vernacular English, teacher preparation, and multicultural teaching, Perry aims to bring important ideas about these and other topics into the public domain.

She will continue to oversee her popular  "Race, Culture, Identity and Achievement" series in Boston, which will bring seven nationally known scholars who specialize in increasing academic achievement for students of color, to community forums for public lectures this academic year. Perry also maintains a working relationship with the offices of the Boston mayor and the superintendent of schools to cultivate several initiatives, including education policy and an assessment of recent school reform.

Prior to her Simmons appointment, Perry worked at Wheelock College for 19 years in a variety of positions, mostly recently as vice president of community relations. She is currently working on two books, "Educating Black Children: What Teachers, Teacher Educators, and Community Activists Should Know," and "Black Vernacular Culture and Adolescent Literacy."

Perry has a doctorate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She performed graduate work at Yale University and received a master's degree from Marquette University. Her undergraduate degree is from Loyola University in New Orleans.

For more information on the "Race, Culture, Identity and Achievement" series, visit

Simmons College ( is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston. It includes an undergraduate college for women, and graduate programs for women and men in social work, health studies, library and information science, management, and liberal arts.