Kiara Lee, Instructor

Photo of Kiara LeeHarris Hall, Room 5133
1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284
Box 842015

Kiara Lee is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She holds a B.A. in sociology with a minor in Latin American and Iberian Studies from the University of Richmond, a Master’s degree in education from University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, and Ph.D. in Curriculum, Culture, and Change from the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kiara has been with Focused Inquiry since 2015, teaching courses in UNIV 111 and 112 as a graduate teaching assistant. Kiara is a passionate writer, with two children’s books exploring colorism and parental incarceration (Light-Skinned, Dark-Skinned or In-Between? and Be a Man Tyrone: What Happens when Daddy Goes to Prison), a long-running blog ( and numerous pieces published in newspapers and other media, including Teaching Tolerance of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Kiara has a deep research interest in colorism education, teaching children and adults in Richmond and beyond about colorism and empowering others to embrace their complexion, no matter how light or how dark it may be. Her work on colorism has been featured on CNN’s Black in America 5 among other outlets. Beyond colorism, Kiara has been engaged in the Richmond community for many years, from providing resources for homeless individuals, to putting together events and programming to bring awareness to local social issues like youth violence and parental incarceration, to speaking at various schools, churches and organizations on issues related to self-esteem, to her television show on local programming that tackled controversial issues affecting the community and more. Kiara owns a t-shirt line called #SCHOOLGIRLHUSTLE. Its mission is to promote girls and women staying in school and proceeds go toward school supplies for local women and girls in need. In 2016, she was selected as one of Style Weekly’s 2016 Top 40 Under 40. Kiara thanks Focused Inquiry for helping her officially discover yet another passion: teaching. She utilizes a non-traditional teaching style that sometimes includes hop-hop, social media, theatre and more.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Department of Focused Inquiry

Harris Hall, 5th Floor
1015 Floyd Avenue
Box 842015
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2015

Phone: 804-827-0838

Updated: 6/10/2019

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