Kiara "KiKi" Gilbert is a student from Charlotte, NC. She pursued a certificate in Humanistic Studies alongside her concentration in African American Studies. KiKi’s research focuses on the relationship between Black-American political realities and canonical, Western philosophy. She enjoys engaging contemporary discourse on power inequities, morality, and Black-American empowerment with tools like Frederick Nietzsche’s master and slave morality, Søren Kierkegaard’s teleological suspension of the ethical, and Aristotle’s notion of “beastly” ethics. KiKi problematizes, nuances, and ultimately enriches canonical theory by imagining it from the perspective of the most disempowered. In her junior paper, she tackled this theme by exploring Frederick Douglass as a simultaneously subaltern and non-subaltern figure. Her senior thesis evaluated moral frameworks existing in Black-American ghettos.
For KiKi’s work, she has been awarded the University-wide Adler Prize, the competitive Dale Summer Fellowship, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, and the 2020 Marshall Fellowship. With the latter award, KiKi will be attending both Cambridge University and London’s School of Oriental and African Studies on full-ride scholarships.
Beyond her studies, KiKi is also committed to engaging the philosophies of disempowered communities. During her time at Princeton, she has served as the co-president of SPEAR (Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform), FLiC (the First-Generation Low-Income Council), and co-chaired the national 1vyG conference. For two years, she served on the trustee board of America’s Promise Alliance — the largest cross-sector non-profit in the country. She has taught philosophy and political theory in homeless shelters, prisons, and youth group homes over the course of her time at Princeton. She is also a committed student activist, having organized alongside Title IX and Double Sights protesters