Richard Smith leads the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims work around boys and men of color. In this role, he is responsible for facilitating an expert working group of 13 individuals and delivering technical assistance and training nationally aimed at helping mainstream and community-based organizations better identify, reach, and serve boys men of color who have survived violence.
As the National Director of United for Healing Equity, Richard oversees Common Justice’s effort to build a movement that ensures that people of color who experience violence identify and act on their legitimate authority as survivors; that people of color are positioned and equipped to leverage collective power for healing equity; that system actors establish an explicit commitment to healing equity in their institutions and are held accountable; and, in partnership with the leaders on the ground, that policy solutions are identified and secured.
With over two decades of experience in leading and developing community-based programs, Richard’s work has supported the healing process of historically oppressed groups, specifically currently and formerly incarcerated youth and adults and youth of color. He also provides training and technical assistance to agencies across the country, using an approach grounded in empowerment theory and critical race theory.
Currently an assistant professor at LIU Brooklyn’s Social Work Department, Richard has guest lectured at numerous colleges and universities on issues such as systemic racism, mass incarceration, and trauma and healing.
Richard has received numerous awards and fellowships: Citizens Against Recidivism Award, New Leaders Council Fellowship, and Just Leadership USA LeadingWithConviction Fellowship. He was recently awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Forward Promise Fellowship for Leadership.
Richard holds an M.A. from the University at Albany in Africana Studies and is a doctoral candidate at SUNY Albany’s School of Social Welfare where his research focus is male survivors of child sexual abuse. Richard lives in New Jersey and is the proud father of two sons, Kaden (5) and Kaleb (7).