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Help underserved gifted students claim their right to education that addresses their unique needs.

Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students

Perspectives from the Field


In the field of gifted education, the systemic underrepresentation of historically marginalized high-potential students has yet to be sufficiently addressed. This includes gifted students who have been discriminated against because of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other realities. Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students gives a voice to those students and brings their stories into focus.

With chapters written by student and expert scholars who specialize in addressing the structural inequity and educational inequality in gifted and advanced learner programs, Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students recommends practices and strategies for helping underserved high-potential students claim their right to an education that addresses their unique needs. Each chapter has key takeaways and discussion questions, providing a built-in book study guide to prepare educators to engage students in conversation and to help develop their self-advocacy skills.

Coeditors Dr. Joy Lawson Davis and Deb Douglas have brought together the voices of experts and students to help educators move closer to ensuring equity, access, and excellence in gifted education. By arming historically marginalized gifted students with self-advocacy strategies, these remarkable students will be better enabled to fulfill their dreams.
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ISBN: 978-1-63198-488-4
Audience: Grades K–12, gifted coordinators, general education teachers, administrators, parents, counselors, school psychologists
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Page Count: 188
Illustrated: 1-color 
Praise for Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students
“An ideal selection as a textbook for school district teacher in-service training programs and a ‘must’ for all classroom teachers of gifted students.”—Midwest Book Review

“As a child, I was told and understood that there was something different about me. I was a little Black girl growing up in a military town in North Carolina with a vocal presence who asked tons of questions about almost everything. Once I was identified as gifted at a young age with a number of my Black friends, I gained more confidence in expressing my academic talents. Little did I know that I was much more fortunate than most Black and Brown children who demonstrate their advanced academic abilities, but never receive the support they need to flourish. Now, as the parent to a beautiful, Black, gifted daughter, thirty years since my time participating in gifted programs, we are still fighting the same social justice battles in gifted education. Not much has changed and we have to do better! Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students was written to change the tide and help educators support children who are historically underidentified for gifted programs reach their full academic potential.”—Shawna L. Young, former executive director of Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) and executive director of Scratch Foundation 
“The diversity of our gifted population cannot and must not continue to be ignored. Our gifted students come from a variety of backgrounds and social identities that make who they are, and as such they have unique needs. Advocating for these students and helping them grow into their own powers of self-advocacy is the goal of Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students. This book is a must-have for families, educators, and counselors who fight daily to ensure that these students are recognized for who they are and for the value of the stories that they bring to our classrooms. We can no longer sit on the sidelines as these students go unrecognized for their academic and social-emotional needs. We must do better; we can do better. This book is an important step on that journey.”—C. Matthew Fugate, Ph. D., assistant chair, urban education, and assistant professor, educational psychology at University of Houston Downtown, and coeditor of Culturally Responsive Teaching in Gifted Education
“Editors Dr. Joy Lawson Davis and Deb Douglas have brought together some of the greatest minds in the field of gifted education to help us empower underrepresented gifted students to advocate for educational justice. Each chapter is rich with the voices of students in their quest toward self-advocacy for equity, access, and excellence. The authors present the most current research and share strategies and techniques educators can use to make their gifted programs more inclusive and diverse. This text is a must-read for every educator!”—Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., educator, author, and consultant, nRich Educational Consulting, Inc.
“In Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students, Davis and Douglas have assembled an impressive array of diverse voices to discuss the urgent issue of representation and equity in gifted education. These expert contributors explore the change still needed, consider the challenges and opportunities ahead, and share their own stories of bright students whose talents went unrecognized for too long—and ultimately offer educators the tools and inspiration for empowering historically marginalized students to speak up for themselves and attain the visibility, respect, and education they deserve. I love their emphasis on the importance of self-advocacy. This is a truly timely and important book.”—Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., cognitive scientist, author, podcaster, editor of Twice Exceptional 
“This book highlights the importance of empowering minoritized students to use the skills of self-advocacy while also pointing out the systemic and structuralized racism that oppresses students into needing these skills in the first place, just to obtain their very basic rights to an education. The layout of the chapters is ideal for professional learning, whether self-directed or in group settings. Of note, the vignettes help the reader to learn from multiple perspectives, and each chapter has questions that can serve as personal reflection questions or guided group discussion. Teachers, counselors, and administrators seeking to be change agents will find this text illuminating.”—Angela M. Novak, Ph.D., Diversity and Equity Committee co-chair and Rural SIG founding coordinator, NAGC; Board of Directors, membership coordinator, CEC-TAG; and co-editor, Best Practices in Professional Learning Series
“Every so often, a book comes along that presents fresh perspectives and understandings, reveals hard truths and facts, and offers clear and direct guidance for a wide audience seeking to enact change. Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students is that book, taking the reader on a journey of the lived experiences of underrepresented and underserved gifted and talented students while simultaneously recommending tools, strategies, and ideas for educators. An absolute must for any personal or professional library!”—Jeff Danielian, teacher resource specialist, NAGC, and editor-in-chief, Teaching for High Potential
  • ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success

    M 1, M 2, M 3, M 4, M 5, B-LS 1, B-LS 2, B-LS 3, B-LS 4, B-LS 7, B-SMS 1, B-SMS 2, B-SMS 6, B-SMS 7, B-SMS 8, B-SMS 9, B-SMS 10, B-SS 1, B-SS 2, B-SS 3, B-SS 4, B-SS 5, B-SS 6, B-SS 7, B-SS 8, B-SS 9, B-SS 10

Related Resources

A guide to identifying gifted students and creating equity and inclusion within gifted programs.
Bright Complex Kids PLC / Book Study Guide
10 tools for developing talents in multiple areas, from academics to arts to athletics, in all kids
A field guide for understanding the social and emotional needs of gifted kids.
Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners
Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students
Inspiring Student Empowerment: Moving Beyond Student Engagement, Refining Differentiation
Get Gifted Students Talking
Teaching Gifted Kids 2018
Recognize and support twice-exceptional / 2e students to help them succeed in school—and beyond.

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