Joy Lawson Davis and Deb Douglas || Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students

December 23, 2021

In this episode, I talk to Joy Lawson Davis and Deb Douglas about gifted education. Specifically, we identify the underrepresented population of gifted students and the unique cultural barriers they face. Joy and Deb share their definition of what self-advocacy is and why it’s a skill everyone should have. They give helpful tips and resources for educators, parents, and advocates on how to find and nurture gifted potential. We also touch on the topics of equity, test preparation, IQ, special education, and intersectionality.


Dr. Joy Lawson Davis is a career educator with over 40 years of experience as a practitioner, scholar, and consultant in gifted education.She holds both master’s and doctorate degrees in gifted education. Dr. Davis has conducted workshops, been a long-term program consultant, and served as a keynote speaker and distinguished guest lecturer in several countries. In 2019 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted organization (SENG). She is also the author of numerous articles, technical reports, book chapters, and the award-winning book: Bright, Talented & Black.

Deb Douglas has spent her professional career as an educator, first as a high school English teacher, then K-12 gifted resource teacher, director of gifted programming, and International Baccalaureate coordinator. She holds master’s degrees in professional development and curriculum and instruction for gifted learners. She served as president of the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted and member of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Parent Advisory Board. Deb is a contributor to the quarterly magazine Parenting for High Potential, and is a frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences.

Together, Joy and Deb co-authored Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students: Perspectives from the Field.

Website: drjoylawsondavis.com  & www.gtcarpediem.com

Twitter: @davis_joy


  • The underrepresented gifted population
  • Equity and excellence can co-exist
  • How Deb and Joy met
  • Test preparation and IQ
  • Expanding the definition of giftedness
  • Is it possible to become gifted?
  • Identifying potential in underrepresented communities
  • Education often prioritizes limitations over ability
  • What is self-advocacy?
  • Normalize giftedness in all communities
  • Cultural barriers to self-advocacy
  • How to be advocates for gifted students
  • Scott’s experience of self-advocacy
  • Everyone needs to be a part of the process




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