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Detroit Psychologist Celebrates Getting Hired At Stanford, Columbia And Harvard

Detroit Psychologist Celebrates Getting Hired At Stanford, Columbia And Harvard

It’s a new kind of Big 3!

A Detroit psychologist is celebrating getting hired at Stanford, Columbia, and Harvard universities.

Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson is a Detroit-based clinical and community psychologist specializing in working with Black youth and families to tackle mental health issues associated with racism and discrimination. Her work helps clients engage in what Anderson refers to as “resistance for a healthy mind, body, and spirit.” For more than a decade, she’s been developing programs, products and places to create these spaces for radical psychological work, garnering millions of views across media platforms and being featured as a TedX Detroit speaker and The Root 100 honoree. 

Anderson has been working as an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, focusing on addressing “coping strategies to reduce race-related stress in families” and developing culturally affirming therapeutic programs. Recently Anderson took to social media to share a thread announcing her expansion to other universities, landing a job at not one, not two, but three other prestigious colleges. Starting this fall and extending 2024 and beyond, Anderson will be working at Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia University.

“Starting in September, I’ll be a residential fellow at [the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford],” Anderson wrote. 

At CASBS she shared that she’ll be working on an app that educates youth of color on race while addressing any mental health issues they might be dealing with after experiencing racial discrimination. 

“In 2023-2024, I’ll be a residential fellow at Harvard’s Hutchins Center under the guidance of Henry Louis Gates,” she continued. 


When Anderson transitions to Harvard, she’ll be working in Gates' center to author a book about the “psychological repair from racism.” 

“And in 2024, I’ll join Columbia as an Associate Professor with joint appointments in Clinical Psychology and Social Work,” Anderson added. 

The latter hire, Anderson shared, was as a result of Columbia’s anti-racism recruitment hiring program. At Columbia, she will be working on “Black family mental health research and practice.” 





Anderson shared a picture of herself in each University’s regalia, thanking the University of Michigan for all of its support in her journey and the city of Detroit that allowed her to serve them. She received a ton of support and congratulatory messages on social media, because when you truly think about it.... she did that! 

“This is amazing!!!! Congratulations and so well earned. Your work and more importantly, how you do your work, continues to inspire me and many others. Excited to see what your future holds,” one user wrote. 

We echo those sentiments. You are such an inspiration Dr. Anderson, and we are much better because of your work. Because of you, we can!

Photos Courtesy of Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson
Photo Credit George Bibbs