SOE alum Kiara Lee-Heart (Ph.D. ’19) wins Green Eyeshade Award

Headshot of VCU School of Education alumna Kiara Lee-Heart (Ph.D. '19).
Kiara Lee-Heart (Ph.D. '19) (Courtesy Photo)

VCU School of Education alumna Kiara Lee-Heart (Ph.D. ’19) has won a prestigious journalism award for a commentary article featured in Teaching Tolerance magazine.

The award – known as a Green Eyeshade Award – gets its name from the green visor worn by old-time newspaper editors. The awards are presented each year by the Society of Professional Journalists, the largest journalism organization in the U.S.

Lee-Heart, who is a professor in VCU’s Department of Focused Inquiry, was recognized in the Online – Serious Commentary category, described as an “outstanding bylined analysis or interpretation of current events or issues.”

In the article, titled A Crooked Seat at the Table: Black and Alone in an Honors Class, Lee-Heart says that she was often the only Black student in her high school honors classes. She shares what she wishes her teachers – and all educators – knew about that experience.

Lee-Heart said that Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, submitted her article for the award and contacted her once they learned she had placed. She’s very grateful for their support.

“Thanks to my village for supporting my love for writing and speaking my mind, answering my late night texts and calls when I’m in a writing spell, and cheering me on to share my work with the world, even when I second-guess myself,” she said.

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators who work with children from kindergarten through high school, and encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives.