Riana Elyse Anderson is working to make it easier for Black families to have honest discussions about race and how it continues to affect our lives on an everyday basis.
On her website, Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson proudly declares that she was "born in, raised for and returned to Detroit." While her hometown remains a central part in her identity and her work in the psychological field—she works as an assistant professor for the University of Michigan's School of Public Health—her desire to help heal Black families bears an impact that stretches far beyond the Wolverine State. Anderson's research spans various topics, including how to speak to children about race and a breakdown of ways that improved access to mental health care resources can help equip Black communities confront racism and discrimination. She also developed the EMBRace program, which helps families improve their racial socialization skills, in addition to fostering more opportunities for parents and children to bond with each other. Anderson believes it's important for families to have these conversations, and she's right. "It is mandatory that we have conversations with our families about our past, present, and future in the US," she wrote. "I zone out during flight attendant safety instructions, but if something is impacting my psychological and physiological well-being on a daily basis, best believe I am attentive."