2022 Paul G. Hearne Awardee: KiAnna Dorsey

KiAnna Dorsey (she/her) is a junior at the University of Miami, majoring in Motion Pictures Production with a minor in Creative Advertising. She has a strong passion for diversity and accurate representation on screen, and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities in film/television. KiAnna was diagnosed with a severe nut allergy at 18 months old and by age 2 learned how to recognize her allergens on a label. She believes in the power of film, television, and storytelling broadly as a means of food allergy awareness and education.

KiAnna aims to share underrepresented stories, hopefully as a producer or showrunner in the scripted television space. Through her experiences producing her award-winning first short film, and through several very meaningful internships, KiAnna has learned the intersectionality of disabilities and how to be an ally to those with a different disability than hers. She has had the opportunity to apply a lens of cross-disability intersectionality in a range of professional settings, from working in production settings to bringing disability perspectives to workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. 

With the 2022 Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award, KiAnna will create an animated film, Food Friendly, based on her experience living with nut allergies in elementary school. The main character learns to embrace her allergy after meeting a friend at the nut-free table. She eventually plans to collaborate with others, including the disability community and school nurses, to release a self-advocacy curriculum in conjunction with the film. KiAnna works to share her own moving story and continues to uplift underrepresented stories and perspectives in media.

Headshot of KiAnna Dorsey, a medium-dark skinned Black Woman. She is wearing a tan blouse, smiling directly at the camera, and has colorful hoop earrings in. Her dark curly hair is up on her head, and the background behind her is green.

KiAnna Dorsey, a winner of the 2022 Paul G Hearne Emerging Leader Award

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