Kia Turner

Kia Turner

Class of 2016, American Studies
Lead Middle School English Teacher and Instructional Coach, Harlem Academy
Kia Turner

Thesis Title: Revolt! Rally! Revise! Reclaiming the Power of the Black Narrative in Activist Achievements Against Harvard

What Now: Lead Middle School English Teacher and Instructional Coach, Harlem Academy

Hist & Lit was one of the best decisions I made at Harvard. I fell in love with both the content and skills that are essential to the concentration. While I was unsure of what I wanted to do during my time in college, I always knew that I was passionate about what I was doing in my tutorials and seminars. I can confidently say that I walked out of every class I took in Hist & Lit having grown—both as a human being and an academic. Two of my favorite classes—Stories of Slavery and Freedom and my sophomore tutorial—made me realize that I loved working with other people to uncover atypical meaning from texts.

After graduation, I was a Founding Fellow of the Harvard Teacher Fellows and earned my Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2017. Recently, I spent the summer in Uruguay as a Fulbright-Hays scholar, where I worked on a project to help demystify the monolith that has become Latin America in our education system through a unit in my classroom called Stories of Place and Resistance: A Close Look at Uruguay. I was also awarded the Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award by the National Council of English Teachers, and am presenting my advisory curriculum called "Tools for Liberation" at NCTE's national conference in Fall 2019. 

My background in the concentration enables me to bring the radical readings of history and literature that I learned to my absolutely phenomenal students in Harlem. I hope that one day, in the near future, my students hope to pursue an education like the one I received in Hist & Lit.