For more than two decades, Kaia has been committed to teaching in diverse, multicultural environments. She has taught extensively from Harvard University to Sing Sing prison on topics such as ethics, the efficacy of making eye contact, and public safety. Whether leading workshops on a college campus or in a middle school, Kaia receives outstanding student evaluations and awards for teaching excellence. Integrity in relationship is her essential pedagogy, both theoretical and practical. At the most fundamental level, Kaia teaches people to value each other, share resources, and work together.

As an educator, Kaia is also a bridge builder. In 2008, she cofounded with Bruce Western The Prison Studies Project, which has engaged hundreds of students in transformative education. This work was made possible through a collaboration Kaia facilitated between the Massachusetts Department of Correction, Harvard University, and Boston University. In directing the Prison Studies Project, Kaia also compiled the first nationwide directory of higher education programs in US prisons. Her groundbreaking work has been cited in a number of high-profile reports, and she regularly serves as an expert and advisor to educational communities across the nation.



Kaia's contributions to the following schools and organizations have helped build and sustain exceptional educational communities across the country.

Sing Sing Prison

Norfolk Prison

Framingham Prison

Emory University

New York Theological Seminary

University of California


Harvard Divinity School

Harvard University

Greenhaven Prison Program at Vassar College

Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem

Vera Institute of Justice

Kings County District Attorney's Office

Interfaith Justice Project at The Riverside Church

Open Society Institute's After Prison Initiative

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School

Boston University's Prison Education Program

Department of Justice's Norval Morris Project