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Rashni Stanford


Ras is a social worker and certified peer specialist who comes from a Black, Caribbean, working class background. She has lived experience of mental health challenges, gun violence, institutionalization and system-involvement. Ras believes we all hold the power to create our own stories about our pasts and futures, and heavily draws on afrofuturism, narrative and liberation theories, and peer-led strategies. Ras believes that people with lived experience of mental health challenges and disability hold powerful knowledge of strategies to stay well and create community. Ras also seeks to make space for the impact of class, poverty, and exploitative work in a therapeutic setting, alongside intersecting experiences of marginalization. Ras’s style is direct and honest, with an emphasis on establishing trust through authentic and organic communication.


Ras has worked alongside Philadelphians in foster care, residential treatment, and shelter since she was 19 years-old, and believes this work, along with her certified peer specialist training, has been the most impactful education she has received thus far.

In another life Ras loves video games, martial arts, horror movies, and writes science fiction.

Education and Training


MSW • Bryn Mawr College

BA • Psychology  • Chestnut Hill College

AA  • Social/Behavioral Sciences  • Community College of Philadelphia

Areas of Specialization

Depression; abuse; racial stress; racial identity; stress management; trauma; PTSD; suicidality; childhood experiences of violence; material or systemic neglect; hunger; survivors of sexual, gun, or community violence; collective and historical trauma; immigration; institutionalization; economic and workplace stress and trauma; issues of adolescence and coming-of-age; Black spirituality and spiritual trauma

Theoretical Orientation

  • Trauma-informed

  • Social justice oriented

  • Disability justice

  • Narrative therapy

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