Race and Social Equity Academy

Race and Social Equity Academy (RASE)

Our Vision:

RASE seeks to eliminate the disproportionate effects of racial and social disparities (access to health and social services, education, housing, income, social justice) on individuals, families, and communities. 

Our Mission:

RASE fosters the scholarship of practice and research focused on advancing racial and social parities within the community. We support projects that promote culturally responsive approaches that optimize human and community well-being.

Our Purpose:

Along with the empirical scholarship, race dialogue will be supported through intellectual discourse, bringing together thought leaders in our community representing a variety of perspectives on race and social equity matters. 

RASE Academy Director
Sonyia Richardson, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Dr. Sonyia Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, Director of the Race and Social Equity Research Academy, and the Founder and Director of the Mental Health Research and Practice Lab at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a clinical behavioral researcher, her agenda focuses on developing and testing novel interventions aimed at reducing suicide among Black youth. In her lab, she aims to identify and remove barriers to mental health treatment for racially minoritized populations and eliminate resulting disparities through mixed-methods community-engaged research. As a respected scholar in the field of social work, she has published two co-edited books, produced numerous publications, and received over one million dollars in grant funding.


RASE Academy Project Coordinator
Arielle Conley, CPC

Arielle Conley graduated with her Bachelor’s in Sociology in 2016 from UNC Greensboro and is currently in the final year of the MSW program at UNC Charlotte. She is interested in research, policy, advocacy, and political social work. Specifically, she focuses on justice-involved individuals, the school-to-prison pipeline, and criminal justice reform. She has worked in different social work settings, including the school system, child welfare, and housing. She is currently employed as a social worker for INLIVIAN in Charlotte. Arielle is a Certified Life Coach and plans to pursue clinical licensure upon graduating in May 2023.


Past Event Guides 

RASE partners with J. Murray Atkins Library for hosting our annual forum events. Atkins Library representatives Beth Auten, Bridgette Sanders, and Denelle Eads are involved in helping to coordinate and plan these events. Our event guides from previous events created by Beth Auten are listed below.

Race and Social Equity Spring Forum 2022 

  • Strategies for Holistic Healing: Mental Health and Diverse Communities during COVID-19
  • Featured Speaker: Isis Bey, LCSW, TFCBT, CCTP II         

Race and Social Equity Fall Forum 2021 

  • Houseless Close to Home: Stories from our Own Backyard
  • Featured Speaker: Tony Peek, BSW

For partnership inquiries, contact:

RASE Academy Director: 
Sonyia Richardson, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW