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Staff Full Name

Samantha Francois, PhD - Executive Director

Specialty Areas:

systemic oppression, African American youth, resilience

VPI Core Areas

VPI Core Areas: #Community Violence

Angles of Approach

#Mental Health Psychological


Dr. Samantha Francois is an Assistant Professor at Tulane University’s School of Social Work with a specialization in adolescent development and vulnerability and resilience in African American populations. Her research interests include microsystem influences (specifically, neighborhoods and schools) on life-stage outcomes in African American youth, macrosystem influences (specifically, forms of structural, institutional, and systemic oppression) on community violence, and African American cultural assets that promote resilience. More specifically, her work examines the relationships between multi-system risk contributors and protective factors and mental health, educational, and quality of life outcomes for African Americans in urban geographies.


Publications: ResearchGate

Selected Publications:

Current Project

Investing in Trauma-Informed Care for Opportunity Youth

This pilot project is an academic-community partnership between Tulane University School of Social Work and Reconcile New Orleans. The project uses community-based participatory research to evaluate the effectiveness of a trauma-informed care (TIC) curriculum to produce trauma-informed services to opportunity youth. Reconcile staff will be trained in trauma-informed principles and practices in order to strengthen internal capacity to provide effective mental health and socio-emotional interventions and strengthen staff’s response to the mental health needs of opportunity youth in the program. The project’s long-term goal is to develop an evidence-based TIC curriculum for community-based programs that serve African American opportunity youth with trauma, in order to produce more sustained reconnection in this population.


Courses with violence related topics

Dr. Francois' School of Social Work profile page