Stand Against Racism

Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA, designed to build community among those who work for racial justice and raise awareness about the impact of institutional and structural racism.  YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. Take a stand against racism with YWCA Berkeley/Oakland and hundreds of thousands of people across the country and join us this week during YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism – and every day.

Stand Against Racism is a national opportunity for communities across the United States to unite their voices to educate, advocate, and promote racial justice. This year, our Stand Against Racism Campaign centers around a new theme: From declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis. Public health is, and always has been, central to racial justice work. This year our theme is especially pertinent as our nation continues to face the intersecting public health crises of COVID-19 and racism. Economic investment in public health looks like safe and affordable housing, access to quality education, economic advancement opportunities, reliable transportation, availability of healthy foods, and environments free of contamination among other essential resources.

Get Access to the Spring 2021 7th Annual Stand Against Racism Recordings

If you were an attendee or a YWCA Berkeley/Oakland Member: email the Program Director at for the password.

If you’d like to become a YWCA Berkeley/Oakland Member visit our Membership Page to get access to the recordings.

Workshops At a Glance 

Bonus Event: Monday, April 19, 2021

4:00 pm PST: Restorative Yoga: Social Justice Reading Hour Register for the 4:00 class!   


Day 1: Thursday, April 22, 2021

11:00 am PST: Community Mental Health Resources Panel Register Here!

12:00 pm PST: YWCA USA Stand Against Racism Virtual Town Hall Register Here!

2:30 pm PST: Racism in Public Health: Structural inequalities from the founding of public health practice to today Register Here!


Day 2: Friday, April 23, 2021

11:00 am PST: Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (Limited RegistrationRegister Here!

1:00 pm PST Food Accessibility Panel Register Here!


Bonus Event: Saturday, April 24, 2021

12:00 pm PST Love Saves the Day – Yoga & Social Equity Register for the 12:00 class!   

Bonus Event: Friday, May 7, 2021

11:00 am PST Reimagining Through Rematriation Register Here!


**Be sure to login 15 min prior to the start of an event to ensure you are fully set up and have time to solve technical issues hope to see you during Stand Against Racism!**

Want to see more content like this? Donate Today! 

In the notes section please leave the following information:

+ Note saying “SAR Campaign 2021”

+ Email address for us to thank you 🙂

Want to take a Stand Against Racism? Sign the pledge today! 


Take the pledge here!

Workshop Descriptions for Spring 2021


Community Mental Health Resources Panel @ 11:00 AM

Register Here!

Cat Brooks [She/her], Evanne Torrecillas [She/Her], Akemi Chan-Imai [She/Her]

A discussion with Cat Brooks from Anti Police Terror Project, Evanne Torrecillas from National Alliance on Mental Illness around community access mental health resources and the role it plays in public health. Moderated by Akemi Chan-Imai from Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

MH First, a project of Anti Police-Terror Project, is a cutting-edge new model for non-police response to mental health crisis. The goal of MH First is to respond to mental health crises including, but not limited to, psychiatric emergencies, substance use support, and domestic violence situations that require victim extraction.

Our purpose is to interrupt and eliminate the need for law enforcement in mental health crisis first response by providing mobile peer support, de-escalation assistance, and non-punitive and life-affirming interventions, therefore decriminalizing emotional and psychological crises and decreasing the stigma around mental health, substance use, and domestic violence, while also addressing their root causes: white supremacy, capitalism, and colonialism.


Click Here to learn more about APTP and MH First    

Cat Brooks [She/her] is an artivist, mother, community leader and passionate public speaker.  She is the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, whose mission is to rapidly respond to and eradicate state violence in communities of color, and Executive Director of the Justice Teams Network, a statewide project that supports organizations working to radically transform the way communities of color are policed through organizing, communications and policy. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Sacramento is a grassroots organization that provides a community of support, education, resources and outreach activities to families, friends and persons with mental illness so as to improve their general welfare, and to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

Click Here to learn more about NAMI Sacramento      Click Here to find your local NAMI Affiliate     

Evanne Torrecillas  [She/Her] is the Youth Programs Manager at NAMI Sacramento. She is passionate about supporting youth development. Evanne enjoys forging meaningful connections with youth, young adults, and colleagues to build synergy among diverse stakeholders in youth mental health. Evanne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from CSU Sacramento. When she’s not working in mental health, you may find her watching scary movies with friends or shopping at thrift stores. @evanne_namisac


OACC builds vibrant communities through Asian and Pacific Islander arts and cultural programs that foster inter-generational and cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, collaboration, and social justice.


OACC envisions vibrant, healthy, and just communities where diverse Asian and Pacific Islander identities and heritage are affirmed and celebrated through cross-cultural exchange, intergenerational dialogue, and educational programming.

Click Here to learn more about OACC     

Akemi [She/Her] is the Program Manager of Oakland Asian Cultural Center and is a Certified
Nonprofit Professional accredited by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Previously, Akemi served as the founding Board President and inaugural Executive Director for Makoto Taiko, a nonprofit taiko drumming group in Pasadena, CA where she was also a performing artist and instructor for 17 years. She currently serves as Co-Vice Chair of the Taiko Community Alliance’s Board of Directors and Chair of their Governance Committee. Akemi obtained a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2018. She resides with her husband in Oakland, CA.


YWCA USA Stand Against Racism Virtual Town Hall @ 12:00 PM

YWCA USA will host a panel of trailblazers who have been central to declaring and addressing racism as a public health crisis.

We will be kicking off our #StandAgainstRacism campaign by sparking discussions around the connections between racism and public health outcomes, how to implement public health practices to effectively identify and address racial injustice in our communities, and community engagement and public policy strategies to advance racial equity through a public health lens.


Racism in Public Health: Structural inequalities from the founding of public health practice to today @2:30 PM

Click here to register  

Sage Templeton (She/Her) 

Racism in Public Health will explore the social inequities based on the perception of race which have resulted in health inequities and disparities which are coming to the forefront of media attention with the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop will begin with a deep dive into the definition of public health, identifying key terms and highlighting its similarities and differences from the fields of medicine and biology. We will explore racial inequities within the U.S. healthcare system throughout history to the present day COVID-19 pandemic and identify how racism is a public health crisis.

Sage Templeton (she/her) is a senior at UC Berkeley studying Public Health and Molecular and Cell Biology: Biochemistry. She has been working with the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland for three years and is interested in studying how social inequities translate to disparities in health care utilization and access. Her interests also include understanding the structural institutions resulting in disparate access to clean air, water, land, and environments which can lead to long-term negative health impacts. -Facebook: Sage Templeton



Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits @ 11:00 am 

Register Here!

Sam Campbell [They/Them] 

Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) exists to restore and recover the role of Two-Spirit people within the American Indian/First Nations community by creating a forum for the spiritual, cultural and artistic expression of Two-Spirit people.

BAAITS is a community-based volunteer organization offering culturally relevant activities for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Native Americans, their families and friends. Two-Spirit refers to the commonly shared notion among many Native American tribes that some individuals naturally possessed and manifested both a masculine and feminine spiritual qualities.  American society commonly identifies Two-Spirit People as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender.

Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits comes together to socialize, share and network in an alcohol and drug-free environment. BAAITS sees itself as an organization for Two-Spirit people to explore their rich heritage in a safe environment.  To that end, BAAITS is committed to offering culturally relevant activities for LGBT individuals of Native American ancestry and their families and friends.

Click Here to learn more about BAAITS   

Sam Campbell [They/Them] is a Two Spirit activist from the Bay Area. They recently graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Communication and a minor in Queer Ethnic Studies. Sam is a board member and Drumkeeper for the Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits (BAAITS). They are Diné and Indeh and spend their time educating communities about Two Spirit erasure and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Epidemic. 





Food Accessibility Panel @ 1:00 PM 

Click here to Register!    

Nikia Durgin [They/Them & She/Her], Yolanda Romo [She/Her] & Aliyah Bey [She/Her] 

A discussion with Nikia from the Mandela Grocery Co-op, Aliyah from Mandela Partners and Yolanda from the Deep grocery co-op around food inaccessibility and the role it plays in public health. This discussion will examine the impact of structural racism on food insecurity, focusing in East Oakland. It will then look at grocery co-operatives and how they are a more inclusive economic structure that puts community before profit.

Mandela Grocery: We prioritize sourcing from local farmers and food purveyors. Why? Because it keep

s money circulating within our local economy longer, providing more jobs to people who live in our area. We intentionally support businesses run by people of color because we are deeply committed to creating opportunity for interdependence in the food space, where POC entrepreneurs generate livable incomes that support their families. Our standards for high-quality food means we are always looking for fresh, nutrient dense and packaged foods made with clean ingredients.

Click Here to learn more about Mandela Grocery

Nikia Durgin (she/her/they/them), is an artist (Qing Qi of The Pu Tang Clan), mother, and community advocate. Having survived a family ravaged by poverty, violence, substance abuse, incarceration, and food insecurity, she is striving to be the human being that she needed in her life growing up. With almost a decade of experience working in youth employment programs and recently being made co-owner of Mandela Grocery Cooperative in West Oakland, she is using her resources and skills to further empower her community, provide food knowledge & education to her peers, and speak for a generation of young people systemically impacted by anti-blackness, racism and the violent white male patriarchy.





Aliyah Bey [She/Her] is Mandela Partners’ Wellness Educator. Mandela Partner’s is a non-profit organization  that’s building  long-term health and economic opportunity in partnership with under-resourced communities. As a Wellness Educator she uplifts communities and people by educating them on food, nutrition, and wellness practices.




The Deep Grocery: The DEEP (Deep East Oakland Empowering the People) was birthed from a group of young people who saw a need and stepped up to make a lasting change.

Our vision and commitment is to open a grocery store that is conveniently located to Deep East Oakland residents. Our store will source organic produce and pantry items made from ingredients you can actually pronounce. We will partner with local Black and Brown farmers and creators as much as possible to keep our dollars circulating with people of color.

It’s gonna take a whole lotta work to bring this project into fruition. And we’re fully committed to doing the work.

Click Here to learn more about The Deep Grocery Coop


Yolanda Romo [She/Her] In my family food and cooking is a form of sacred. Everything from the experience of shopping for inspiring flavors, cleaning and clearing out our cooking space, dicing, sorting and marinating colorful ingredients, gliding our attention across the kitchen floor from countertops and cutting boards to the ten pots and pans dancing over the blue stove-top flames, to serving each dish specific per each person’s liking and taking a seat beside one another to taste every bite of intention; everything works together as one giant sharing ritual of culture and love. Unfortunately, we always leave our neighborhood and drive a distance to a grocery store that provides us shopping options on a scale of health, freshness, variety, and affordability. These grocery stores are in neighborhoods far from our home and far from being representative of us. But we deserve to have abundant and quality food options in our very own backyard, tended by us. In an area where processed food chains are our poison, we’re choosing to feed East Oakland residents because food is also medicine, and feeding people is it’s own form of sacred.



Bonus Events!


Restorative Yoga: Social Justice Reading Hour @ 4:00 PM

Dia Penning (She/Her) 
Settle in for a deeply restful and rejuvenating Restorative Yoga practice as you listen to “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X Kendi read aloud by Dia. This is an opportunity to be held by the earth and supportive props and allowing yourself to feel any discomfort, emotions, or sense of ease that may arise. With this work Dia supports healing from the impact of colonialist legacies through cooperation, intentional liberation practices, and mindfulness.
48 hour replay sent to all who sign up – Sliding scale pricing & memberships, please consider the emotional labor you require of people of color

Dia Penning (She/Her) practices yoga as social change. She supports clients and students in the examination of limiting patterns, slowing down, and exploring creativity. As a Laughing Lotus and Love Light Yoga trained teacher, she focuses on energy, breath work, and body awareness to reflect on physical and psychological tension in reaction to habits. Dia invokes the metaphor of Yin (passive, yielding and soft) to support focused and grounded attention. By contextualizing yoga philosophy in the container of yin, she invites a deep exploration of structural inequity, demonstrating internal sensation as a parallel to our collective experience of discomfort and transformation. She has developed three volumes of curriculum on social inequity and is a trauma sensitive teacher, supporting the needs of each student and inviting all bodies, genders, races, and ages to her classes. 

Love Saves the Day – Yoga & Social Equity @ 12:00 PM 
Jasmine Tarkeshi (She/Her) 

All Bodies, Embodied Flow, donation-based yoga benefitting organizations working to bring health and safety to our communities.

A portion of the proceeds for this Yoga session will go to the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland! If you enjoyed our line up for Stand Against Racism consider joining us and inviting your friends and family too 🙂 


48 hour replay sent to all who sign up – Pay by donation or membership 3 pricing tiers: community rate $0-$10, basic rate $15-$20, and pay it forward rate $25

Click Here to Register for the 12:00 class!      Learn more about Body & Soul Yoga Collective

Jasmine Tarkeshi (She/her) is an Iranian-American raised across countries, cities and traditions, Jasmine has spent her life steeped in dualism: from sacred Eastern spiritual traditions to the exhilarating dance, music and art scenes of the eighties and nineties in New York and San Francisco. At a young age this dichotomy served as both a fertilizer for creativity- and a source of uncertainty in finding her place in the world. Being introduced to yoga and meditation by her mother was the link that bridged this duality and culminated in her co-creating Laughing Lotus Yoga Centers in NYC in 1999 and bringing it to SF in 2007, along with its celebrated style of vinyasa, Lotus Flow.

Reimagining through Rematriation
Nazshonnii [She/Her]
Talk on the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust’s practices of rematriation through land return and care. Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is an urban Indigenous women-led land trust based in the Oakland Bay Area that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people. Through the practices of rematriation, cultural revitalization, and land restoration, Sogorea Te’ calls on native and non-native peoples to heal and transform the legacies of colonization, genocide, and patriarchy and to do the work our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do.  This conversation will be on Rematriation and what it looks like. Join to learn more about the Indigenous women-led land trust that is reimagining wellness for our communities and returning land to Indigenous leadership.

Learn more about Sogorea Te’ Land Trust

Nazshonnii [She/Her] is a STEM educator and mechanical engineer working on both land and office projects. She co-leads food distribution, engineering design, and community outreach. She is passionate about STEAM education and advocates for exposure and opportunities for underrepresented groups, especially Black and Native young women.









Sign the pledge HERE! 

Mindful of the continuing affliction of institutional and structural racism as well as the daily realities of all forms of bias, prejudice and bigotry in my own life, my family, my circle of friends, my co-workers and the society in which I live, with conviction and hope

I take this pledge, fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end with a mere pledge but calls for an ongoing transformation within myself and the institutions and structures of our society

I pledge to look deeply and continuously in my heart and in my mind to identify all signs and vestiges of racism; to rebuke the use of racist language and behavior towards others; to root out such racism in my daily life and in my encounters with persons I know and with strangers I do not know; and to expand my consciousness to be more aware and sensitive to my use of overt and subtle expressions of racism and racial stereotypes;

I pledge to educate myself on racial justice issues and share what I learn in my own communities even if it means challenging my family, my partner, my children, my friends, my co-workers and those I encounter on a daily basis

I pledge, within my means, to actively work to support public policy solutions that prominently, openly and enthusiastically promote racial equity in all aspects of human affairs; and to actively support and devote my time to YWCA, as well as other organizations working to eradicate racism from our society

YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. I join YWCA in taking a stand against racism today and every day.

*This pledge has been adapted by YWCA USA from the Pledge to Eliminate Racism in My Life, YWCA Bergen County which is an adaptation of the Pledge to Heal Racism in My Life, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, April 10, 2006.