Karen Lee receives Inspiring Educator Award from Mikva Challenge DC
At the 2019 Mikva Challenge DC annual spring benefit, Thurgood Marshall Academy’s social studies teacher Karen Lee will receive the organization’s Inspiring Educator Award or her “incredible work to empower her students to be advocates for themselves and their community.”
Mikva Challenge DC is a nonprofit that develops the city’s youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens. Since 2015 Thurgood Marshall Academy has been a partner school, with students participating in several citywide Mikva-sponsored events, including Project Soapbox — a public speaking competition — and the Issues to Action project.
“On a daily basis, I am in awe of the commitment, talent, love and dedication all our Mikva DC teachers bring to their work as educators, said Robyn Lingo, Executive Director. “In this crowd of impressive veteran educators, Karen stands out.”
“Every time I am in her classroom, I am impressed by her ability to engage students in meaningful, complex and thoughtful conversations about our nation’s history, teaching them how that affects their personal lives, and then leading those students to take meaningful action in their communities to address those issues.”
Ms. Lee has taught at Thurgood Marshall Academy for nine years, and her passion extends outside the classroom. In 2018 she personally guided and supported TMA students to start their own youth-led coalition for social change, called Pathways 2 Power. Students in Pathways 2 Power students created their own PSA, held forums with key district leaders to discuss safety in their community, and have begun to plan a citywide youth summit on neighborhood violence and safety issues.
Ms. Lee will receive the Inspiring Educator Award on April 30th during Mikva Challenge DC’s Spring Benefit at the Laborers’ International Union Building. Other award recipients include DC Attorney General Karl Racine, author Sanford Horwitt, and Edward Smith, President and CEO of Ullico.