Sonyia Richardson, PhD, MSW, LCSW is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She possesses a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Urban Education specialization at UNC Charlotte, a Master degree in Social Work (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill), a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (University of North Carolina Charlotte).
Dr. Richardson is Founder and Director of the Mental Health Research and Practice Lab which is housed in the Urban Education Collaborative in the College of Education. This research lab partners with community leaders, thought leaders, and researchers across the country to develop cutting edge innovative solutions for addressing mental health disparities and mental health needs for diverse populations. Additionally, Dr. Richardson was appointed as Interim Director of the Race and Social Equity Academy (RASE). This academy fosters the scholarship of practice and research focused on advancing racial and social parities within the community. Along with 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.
Recently, Dr. Richardson was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to serve on the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force. In this role serves on the Education Subcommittee and offers recommendations to the Governor’s Office for addressing needs of diverse residents and communities in the state. She previously served a three-year term with the National Institutes of Mental Health, Adult Mental Health Interventions Subcommittee as a Public Reviewer. In addition to teaching, Dr. Richardson is the Owner of Another Level Counseling and Consultation located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dr. Richardson currently serves as a Delegate for the National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter and was appointed by the National President to the Private Practice Specialty Subcommittee to provide expertise and guidance to private practitioners nationally. She is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte Class #33 and volunteers with state and county-based initiatives.
- 2020 Ph.D., University of North Carolina Charlotte, Curriculum & Instruction, Urban Education
Dissertation Title: Factors Influencing Suicide Attempts among Racially Diverse High School Students in a Southeastern Urban School District
- 2020 Certificate, Quantitative Analysis, University of North Carolina Charlotte
- 2001 M.S.W., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Social Work,
- 1995 B.A., University of North Carolina Charlotte, Psychology
Research Interests/Areas of Expertise
- To identify and remove barriers (practical, systemic, organizational, cultural) to mental health treatment for Black populations.
- To improve facilitators of mental health treatment for Black populations with the goal of suicide reduction.
- To center schools and the educational system in mental health intervention efforts.
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker, North Carolina
- Certification – Licensed Clinical Social Worker Supervisor
- Quality Matters Higher Education Publisher Reviewer Certification
- Quality Matters Peer Reviewer Certification
- 2021 North Carolina Social Worker of the Year (National Association of Social Workers – North Carolina)
- Lucille P. and Edward C. Giles Dissertation Fellowship
- Honorable Mention, Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
- Recipient, UNC Charlotte, Research Funding Award Recipient
- Recipient, College of Health & Human Services, UNC Charlotte, Diversity Award
- Recipient, Graduate Teaching Award, Graduate Social Work Association
- Recipient, Cardinal Innovation Healthcare Solutions, Cultural Diversity