Nikysha Gilliam hails from Pontiac, Michigan, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and later a Master of Arts degree from Cal State University, in Northridge, California. Each year, Nikki enjoys helping her students find and recognize the power of their own voices. As an English teacher, she has always been fascinated about the role of authors as not only storytellers, but keepers of history. As a result of recent travels and an assignment to teach U.S. history to middle school students, Nikki has discovered a fascination for the American Civil Rights Movement and the stories that somehow we have stopped telling. She has recently been accepted as a Fulbright Fellow and makes her home in Los Angeles, California. Nikki’s research interests include urban middle school literacy; how Cuba’s high literacy rate translates to reading engagement in middle schools; the untold stories of the Civil Rights Movement; sabbaticals: teacher professional development, self-efficacy; and principal effectiveness on the verge of retirement.