Araya Baker

Guest Blogger

Mental Health Therapist and School Counselor

Los Angeles, California

Araya Baker is a therapist, educator, and writer and activist. From his work with national organizations such as Mental Health America, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and The Trevor Project, he has been deeply involved in transformative mental health advocacy initiatives. As an educator, he has worked with the School District of Philadelphia, has been involved with education justice initiatives as an Equity & Inclusion Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has written for Education Post. His writing has also been published in numerous publications, including Huffington Post and Teen Vogue.

In 2016, Araya earned an M.Phil.Ed. in professional counseling from the University of Pennsylvania, and the following year, an Ed.M. in human development and psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Dec. 5, 2018

5 Tips to Promote Equity for Trans, Gender Variant and Non-Binary Students

A consistent finding in research on LGBTQ+ youth is the disproportionate bullying and victimization faced by trans students (i.e. transgender,…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Oct. 11, 2018

‘Sesame Street’ Just Missed a Big Opportunity to Support the LGBT+ Community

Recently, a whirlwind of controversy swirled around speculation that childhood favorites Bert and Ernie, of “Sesame Street,” might be partners—yes,…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Sep. 14, 2018

We Need to Keep Talking About Serena Williams and the Dignity of Black Children

By now we’ve all seen the headlines after the most recent U.S. Open in which Serena Williams lost to Naomi…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Aug. 3, 2018

What James Baldwin’s Activism Can Teach Schools About Social Justice

Every August 2, I spend nearly the entire day observing the birthday of the late James Baldwin, one of the…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Mar. 27, 2018

Rapper Vic Mensa Says We Need More Therapists in Schools Not Guns

In a recent video with ATTN, rapper Vic Mensa makes the case for combating gun violence in schools with more…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Mar. 20, 2018

How We Can Transform Schools Into Sites of Racial Healing

Students across the nation have joined in solidarity to ignite a long overdue national conversation on gun reform and school…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Jan. 31, 2018

JAY-Z Says We Need More Therapists in Our Schools and He’s Absolutely Right

JAY-Z was the inaugural guest on CNN’s new weekly “The Van Jones Show.” During the 40-minute interview, JAY-Z appeared deeply…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Oct. 11, 2017

Affirming Our LGBTQ+ Educators Is Essential to Fighting Prejudice

I have long since forgiven the eighth-grader who, during my first year as a school counselor, called me a “f-ggot.”…

By Araya Baker

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Posted Nov. 22, 2016

What ‘Moonlight’ Tells Us About LGBTQ Black Boys and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

While the new film “Moonlight” tells the riveting coming-of-age story of a young queer Black man, it also serves as…

By Araya Baker

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Posted May 21, 2019

Here’s One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Defend the Rights of Black Families in California

I don’t know about you, but I can’t just sit by and watch. It’s time for action. The latest battleground in the national war on…

By Tanesha Peeples

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Posted May 20, 2019

In 2016 I Gave Money to the Bernie Campaign. Now I’ll Be Damned If I Give a Single Penny.

In 2016, I gave money to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. It was and remains the first and only time I have ever given a…

By Zachary Wright 

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Posted May 21, 2019

They’re Trying to Ban Charter Schools in California. Here’s Why That Matters.

About two years ago this time I had to write an explainer piece when the NAACP pushed for a moratorium on public charter schools. The…

By Ikhlas Saleem

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