For the second year, Dr. Kira Knight has been awarded the AUCD Diversity Fellowship at the University of Miami – Mailman Center for Child Development. She continues her work on Cultural Competence, Intersectionality and Leadership Development. She has a commitment and appreciation for diversity, volunteering and mentoring. She was born and raised in the small Caribbean island of Grenada and moved to the United States at the age of seventeen. In 2006, Dr. Knight graduated from the University of Miami where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. While an undergraduate, she served as a volunteer for the Hands on Miami organization helping plan and chaperone recreational activities for developmentally disabled adults. Eager to advance, she continued on the educational route completing a MS in Biomedical Sciences at Barry University in 2009. As a graduate student, she worked at the Center for Advanced Learning where she tutored college-age students with learning disabilities.
Throughout her academic career, she continues to nurture her passion for helping others and giving back by volunteering her time and services to underserved communities not only in the US but internationally as well. She has a specific interest in aiding children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities and in pediatric clinical research. Dr. Knight returned to her home country and completed her medical degree in 2014. Whilst a medical student in Grenada, she mentored high school and college students who desired to pursue a career in medicine. She completed numerous clinical rotations internationally and throughout the states of New York, New Jersey and Florida affording her the opportunity to work with a diverse patient population.
In 2016, she completed The University of Miami’s Emerging Transformational Leadership Program (ETLP) – A program designed to help selected individuals reach their potential as leaders who transform systems of care for people with developmental disabilities. She spearheaded an innovative capstone team project called “mobe” a concept developed to improve accessible and reliable transportation for individuals with disabilities.
During her first year as a fellow, she created an innovative Cultural Competence Curriculum and has trained LEND trainees, medical students and residents on the importance and the practice of Cultural Competence. In addition to her work and volunteer experience, she brings a unique perspective being an immigrant woman who is a sibling of a person with a disability. She continues her role as a healthcare advocate and lifelong learner as she prepares for residency in the field of pediatrics.