Rae Stevenson, PhD

Director, Violence Prevention Institute

Visiting Professor, Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tidewater Building, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 1510
Headshot for Rae Stevenson

Education & Affiliations

  • PhD in Social Work, Tulane University City, Culture, & Community Program
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Minor in Child, Youth and Family Studies, Portland State University


Rae Stevenson is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Taylor Center, specializing in social science research that combines participatory action research, arts-based methods, and counter-storytelling. She is also the Director of Streetlight, an initiative of the Center for Youth Equity and Violence Prevention Institute that aims to empower New Orleans youth to create social change through arts-based inquiry and action. Focused on youth empowerment and social justice, her work scrutinizes the dual role of educational systems in perpetuating social inequalities and creating spaces for joy and liberation. Informed by critical race theory, Black feminisms, and Afro-pessimist thought, Stevenson's work prioritizes community engagement and social transformation. Her dissertation, a project co-created with New Orleans students, disrupts traditional academic norms by employing storytelling techniques used in graphic novels to explore racial experiences in schools.

With nearly a decade of experience in crafting socio-political education programs for young people, Stevenson advises the Center for Youth Equity’s initiatives aimed at reducing youth exposure to gun violence. An accomplished author, Stevenson’s portfolio includes peer-reviewed articles, creative projects, and a children’s book on grief titled "The Light through the Woods." She's also been recognized with the Mellon Fellowship in Community Engaged Research and is an alumna of National Education for Women’s Leadership of Oregon.


Youth Participatory Action Research