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 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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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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Featured Posts

Posted Aug. 3, 2020

What If We Radically Reimagined the New School Year?

Monday night I sat on my back patio staring up into a rare, starry Chicago night. I squinted and made out each point of The…

By Ashley McCall

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Posted Aug. 3, 2020

Today Should Have Been Our First Day of School

For 14 years I have taught math at the same high school. The entirety of my career—three thousand students, eighty classes, 13 preps, five rooms,…

By Jay Wamsted

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Posted Aug. 3, 2020

No Justice for Kindergartners, Or Any Kids, This Year

Cheltenham School District just released a letter to the community confirming that after months of internal and external discussions, surveys of stakeholders, and feedback from the board,…

By Dan Schultz

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