Acclaimed Author Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad to Keynote the 2024 PBL World Conference

PBLWorks’ signature professional development conference for Project Based Learning takes place June 24-27, 2024 in Napa Valley, California

The Buck Institute for Education (dba PBLWorks), a national provider of professional development for high quality Project Based Learning (PBL), today announced acclaimed author, distinguished professor, and consultant Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad will be the keynote speaker for the 2024 PBL World conference, which takes place June 24-27, 2024 at American Canyon High School, Napa Valley, California.

PBL World is a multi-day Project Based Learning conference bringing together K-12 teachers, instructional coaches, and school and district leaders who want to begin and advance their Project Based Learning practice and connect with a community of their peers. It features PBLWorks’ signature three-day workshops on Gold Standard Project Based Learning, as well as engaging speakers, networking opportunities and awards announcements. This year’s theme is “Igniting Joy through PBL.”

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Muhammad as our keynote speaker,” said PBLWorks’ CEO Bob Lenz. “She is an inspiring educator and a champion of equity who advocates for teaching in a way that cultivates joy and helps students find their purpose. Her work around culturally responsive teaching has helped to transform the education of many historically marginalized students, especially Black and Brown students. We look forward to her inspirational message and believe it will help participants as they advance in their PBL journey.”

Muhammad is an associate professor of literacy, language, and culture at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Muhammad has served as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, school district administrator, curriculum director, and school board president. She studies Black historical excellence in education, intending to reframe curriculum and instruction today. She is the author of the best-selling book, “Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy” and its sequel, “Unearthing Joy, which provides a practical guide for putting culturally and historically responsive education into curricular practice” She also co-authored “Black Girls’ Literacies: An Edited Volume.” Muhammad’s work has appeared in leading academic journals and books. She has also received numerous national awards and her Culturally and Historically Responsive Education Model has been adopted across thousands of U.S. schools, as well as districts across Canada. In 2022, 2023 and 2024 she was named among the top 1% RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influencers due to her impact on policy and practice.

Additional highlights of PBL World 2024 include:

  • A student panel discussion. Students from Envision Schools, a Bay-area network of charter schools, will share their personal experiences with Project Based Learning.
  • Award announcements. PBLWorks will announce its 2024 PBL Champions and the recipients of the 2024 John Larmer “JL” Lifelong Learning Awards during an event at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in Napa.
  • Project Based Learning workshops. PBLWorks’ signature three-day workshops are led by PBLWorks National Faculty members and help participants learn how to adapt, implement and support Gold Standard PBL in their school or district. This year at PBL World, new PBL Curriculum workshops will be offered. Participants can register to receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs), provided in partnership with Sonoma State University, a campus of the California State University System. For details about the workshops, visit

For more information and to register for PBLWorld 2024, visit

Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad is an Associate Professor of Language and Literacy at Georgia State University and author of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. She also co-authored the book, Black girls’ literacies: An Edited Volume, published by Routledge. She works with teachers, leaders, parents, and youth across the United States and South Africa in best practices in culturally and historically responsive and equitable instruction. Her Historically Responsive Literacy/Culturally & Historically Responsive Education Model has been adopted across U.S. school districts. In 2022 and 2023 she was named with the top 1% Edu-Scholar Public Influencers which recognizes the 200 university-based scholars who had the biggest influence on educational practice and policy.

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