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Rakhshanda Saleem

Associate Professor, Counseling and Psychology

Headshot of Rakhshanda Saleem

Dr. Saleem is a licensed psychologist and a neuropsychologist with expertise in evaluating neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and associated behavioral difficulties. Her teaching and scholarship is guided by her belief in education’s critical role in transforming and promoting individual and societal change towards creating a just and equitable world. She is a Harvard Medical School clinical instructor where her clinical interests include culture-sensitive assessment and care for patients with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. She is involved with numerous social justice grassroots efforts and was one of the founding members of the South Asian Committee for Human Rights (SACH). Rakhshanda has also been involved in post-9/11 civil and immigrant rights issues and Action for a Progressive Pakistan (APP) and has focused on anti-discrimination work and the rights of the least powerful and dispossessed people.

Rakhshanda's research interests include an intersectional and cross-struggles analysis of systemic inequalities/injustices and structural violence and their impact on disenfranchised and marginalized populations.  Her current project (at UMass Boston) involves understanding and exploring these issues through interviewing members from three communities, “undocumented” Latinos (as) immigrants, Muslims (immigrants and non-immigrants), and LGBTQ+ persons who have experienced incarceration. Past project involved interviewing South Asian immigrant women to identify pre and post migration factors impacting their wellbeing. Another areas of interest and a developing project is exploring the trajectory of individuals involved in cross-struggles solidarity and community organizing and social movements as a response to systemic and structural violence


Book Chapter (Invited co-author)

Ballou, M.,  Saleem, R. & Roffman, E. (2016) History of Feminist Psychology. Handbook of Counseling Women. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.


Saleem, R. et. al., (2016).  The effects of Structural Violence on the Well-being of Marginalized Communities in the United States.  The Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice. Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.

Motulsky, S.L., Gere, S. H., Saleem, R., Trantham, S.M. (2014). Teaching Social Justice in   Counseling Psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 42 (8), 1058-1083. doi:10.1177/0011000014553855

Saleem, R. et al., (2011).  Report on the Trafficking of Women and Girls.  Society for the Psychology of Womenhttp://www.apadivisions.org/division-35/news-events/news/2011/trafficking-report.aspx

Submitted Book Chapter & Articles

Saleem, R., & Morrill, Z. (2018).  South and West Asian Girls. Girls Like Us. American
Psychological Association.

Saleem, R. (2018). Colonialism by any other Names: “Saving” Brown and Black Women as “Humanitarianism.” Sex Roles. Springer


Incorporating the voices of Muslim women and their experiences of structural violence in America; Implications toward decolonizing feminist movements (2018). 35th Annual Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education. Teacher’s College, Columbia University, NY.

Resistance in the face of structural violence: A community-engaged inquiry into the impact of structural oppression (2018). Still I Rise. Resistance, Resilience and Resolve in Feminism, Association for Women in Psychology, Philadelphia, PA.

Violence of Class: A Feminist-Activist Analysis of Access to Resources and Well Being in Marginalized Groups (2017). Association for Women in Psychology Conference.Milwaukee, WI.

Feminism and its Discontents: Has feminism become the “handmaiden of U.S. Imperialism?” (2017). Association for Women in Psychology Conference. Milwaukee, WI.

APA & The Hoffman Report: Moral Accountability, Gender, and Race (2016).Association of  Moral Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Impact of Structural Violence on the Wellbeing of Undocumented Latina Women (2016).   American Psychological Association Annual Convention. Denver, Colorado.

Addressing Impact of Imperialism and Global Realities on Struggles for Equality: Incorporating  Transnational  Feminism (2016). Association of Women in Psychology Conference. Pittsburgh, PA

Transnational Feminist solidarity: Incorporating indigenous feminist activism to combat cultural racism & oppression (2015). From International to Transnational: Transforming the Psychology of Women. Society for the Psychology of Women International Summit, Toronto, Canada.

Indigenous and Feminist Responses to Cultural Racism (2014). Society for the Psychology of Women, American Psychological Association Annual Convention. Washington, DC

Feminist Responses to Islamophobia and Gendered Politics (2013). Society for the Psychology of  Women, American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Corruption and Capitalism in Bangladesh and Pakistan (2012). Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.


Representative Member: Committee on Ethnic Minorities, American Psychological Association.                                                                                                                          

Chair: Global Perspectives Committee, Society for the Psychology of Women, American Psychological Association


Postdoctoral: Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance
Ph.D., Colorado State University
B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder

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