Associate Professor of Social Work

Riana Elyse Anderson

For over a decade, Dr. Anderson has been working with Black youth and their families to “dropkick” racism and engage in resistance for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Her mission is to develop programs, products, and places which eradicate the impact of discrimination on Black youth’s mental health.

Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson is currently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and will be on leave next year to pursue a prestigious fellowship with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She earned her PhD in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Virginia and completed a Clinical and Community Psychology Residency at Yale University’s School of Medicine and a Fellowship in Applied Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. On the whole, Dr. Anderson aims to facilitate healing in Black families with practical applications of her research and clinical services, as well as through public engagement, teaching, mentorship, and policy recommendations. Dr. Anderson uses mixed methods to study discrimination and racial socialization in Black families and apply her findings to help families reduce their racial stress. She is particularly interested in how family-based interventions help to improve Black youth’s psychosocial well-being and health-related behaviors. Dr. Anderson is the developer and director of the EMBRace (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race) intervention and loves to translate her work for a variety of audiences, particularly those whom she serves in the community, via blogs, video, and literary articles. Finally, Dr. Anderson was born in, raised for, and returned to Detroit and is becoming increasingly addicted to cake pops.