Araya Baker

Guest Blogger

Mental Health Therapist and School Counselor

Los Angeles, California

Araya Baker is a therapist, educator, writer and activist. From working with national organizations such as Mental Health America, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and The Trevor Project, Araya has been deeply involved in transformative mental health advocacy initiatives. As an educator, Araya 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. Araya’s 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 July 9, 2021

Tennessee’s Toxic Politics Are Dangerous for LGBTQ Youth

In rural and small-town America, the pervasive dependency on the church to cope with limited outlets and opportunities can deter…

By Araya Baker

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Posted July 29, 2020

This Out and Proud Teacher Could Make History if Elected to the Texas State Board of Education

Michelle Palmer, a longtime Houston community activist and education leader, might soon make history as the first openly LGBTQ+ teacher…

By Araya Baker

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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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Featured Posts

Posted July 19, 2021

Are Teachers Leaving Because of Pandemic Stress? It’s Complicated.

Plenty of news stories have raised concerns about mass teacher shortages due to pandemic stress. And it’s true that teachers, principals and district leaders have…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted July 20, 2021

This Is Our Window of Opportunity to Create a Diverse Teacher Workforce

Racial segregation remains a major issue for American students more than 65 years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Brown v. Board of…

By Thomas Gold

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Posted July 21, 2021

Counterstorytelling Is at the Heart of Anti-Racist Teaching

Counterstorytellling is so much more than just a tenant of critical race theory. It is at the heart of what we do as antiracist teachers.…

By Kwame Sarfo-Mensah

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