Abril Harris joined the School of Social Work as an assistant professor in 2021. Her research focuses on the manifestations of structural violence endemic within American institutions and the role of socialization in normalizing structural violence in marginalized communities. She has a particular interest in exploring the processes used by Black, Indigenous and people of color as they navigate and respond to a systematically oppressive society. Her research addresses racial inequalities, especially those experienced by Black communities. Harris' research currently explores the role of internalized oppression and conscientization on post-assault processing and decision-making among survivors of sexual assault.
Harris is a principal investigator on a project at Boston College examining the experiences of BIPOC students in MSW programs. She also partners with the Gender Justice Initiative (GJI) under the leadership of Dr. Jessica Shaw. At GJI, Harris was a part of the research team investigating the impact of mandated reporting on adolescents' sexual assault case progression through the criminal justice system, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. While pursuing her masters degree in social work at California State University Long Beach, she was part of a research team exploring food and housing insecurity on California State University campuses.
In 2018, Harris was the recipient of the Elaine Pinderhughes Diversity Fellowship from Boston College School of Social Work, an award given to an outstanding African American doctoral student each year.
Harris received her Ph.D. in social work from Boston College, a master's degree in social work from California State University Long Beach, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California Riverside.