University: Princeton University
Major: Political Philosophy
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Biography: My name is Kiara Gilbert, and I’m a rising sophomore at Princeton University. I hail from over half-a-dozen states, being exposed to a variety of educational environments and the overall pervasiveness of generational poverty. Since high school, I’ve dedicated myself to the cause of educational equity, keenly aware of the ways in which Black and Brown students are systemically denied opportunities to advance themselves through higher education.
I’ve demonstrated my commitment to this cause by speaking to hundreds of individuals within my high school’s school district – visiting different schools and administrators to elucidate on the harms of a ‘colorblind’ classroom in the midst of racial bias. I’ve also worked with hundreds of students of color so as to encourage them to take higher-level courses, and created and directed a program that incorporated high-achieving ESL students into IB and AP classrooms. For these and other efforts, I’ve been recognized as a Ron Brown, KPMG, Horatio Alger, and LEDA Scholar. I’ve also received a nod from the Princeton Prize on Race Relations Committee. This past summer, I was announced as a member of the trustee board for America’s Promise Alliance — the largest cross-sector non-profit in the country — and I serve as youth representative on issues impacting education accessibility.
Academically, I’m interested in the intersection between African-American Studies and Philosophy. I advocate often and loudly on much needed diversity within the discipline of Philosophy, and was recently awarded Princeton’s Adler Prize on an essay that intertwines Black and classical traditions. Bringing critical theory to low-income Black communities is a central passion of mine; I don’t believe that one needs to have read Plato in order to envision and question the justness of a society. As I move forward in my academic career, I hope to briefly teach Philosophy in a Title I high school before moving on to secure my JD/PhD. Ultimately, I’d like to become a Philosophy professor with a focus in a race and societal equity.