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Molly Richard

Doctoral Student, Department of Human and Organizational Development

Molly Richard is a current doctoral student in the Community Research and Action (CRA) Program at Vanderbilt University. Molly explores the impacts of power, oppression, and privilege on individual and community wellbeing. In what ways do historic and ongoing exclusion and discrimination impact wellbeing across the lifespan, and how do social welfare systems, programs, and helping professionals incorporate such knowledge into their work? In particular, Molly focuses on addressing homelessness in the United States through a racial equity lens. Professor Beth Shinn is Molly’s primary advisor, and she works within Dr. Shinn’s lab on multiple projects focused on preventing and ending homelessness. Molly also partners with local service settings and the national SPARC (Supporting Partnerships for Antiracist Communities) project to support ongoing research and action on racial equity and homelessness.


Molly is a multidisciplinary scholar who primarily draws from community psychology, critical studies, and public health research. Prior to CRA, she was a member of the research team at C4 Innovations in Needham, MA and received her B.A. in Psychology from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. In addition to research, Molly is a teaching assistant in the Human and Organizational Development Department and facilitates programming for Vanderbilt undergraduates at the Office for LGBTQI Life.