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.

April 2020 Campaign:


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, we invite communities to take a stand against immigrant injustice.

Workshop Descriptions:

“Get it Out”-Spoken Word Workshop

Porsche Kelly 


This workshop focused on encouraging women to speak on matters that heavily weigh on them at the intersection of racism and sexism. Through community, activities, and writing prompts, participants will find and develop their voice, write poetry, and find confidence in sharing out a piece based on a topic they feel they must “get out” to the world, whether for personal growth and healing or for communal growth and change. Created and led by spoken word artist Porsche Kelly, this workshop is designed to help women use their voice for positivity, speak out in confidence about issues that affect them as women, step out of their comfort zones, and influence their communities through the art of spoken word.Mission:To empower women to develop their voice, discover their passion, and find their rhythm using poetry to express themselves freely, influence the world and create positive change within themselves and their communities.For more information on the workshop or facilitator, please contact Porsche Kelly at 510-485-2126,, or visit

(Pronouns: she, her, hers) Kelly, aka The Poetic Activist, is an author, motivational speaker, and artist of many talents from Oakland, CA. Her poetry is full of raw conviction, unapologetically spreading messages filled with truth. Whether social justice, God and the church, or her personal life, authenticity, and vulnerability are ever present with every word she writes as she encourages the importance of erasing shame, sharing your story, and remaining genuine to oneself, values evident in her debut poetry book 2 Kinds of Fire.Porsche has been invited to speak at as well as facilitate workshops at numerous events such as TED Talk, Adobe, The National Equity Project, The Black Joy Parade, The Women’s & Black Women’s Marches, & Mayor Ron Dellums’ Celebration of Life. She has also been invited to speak at several college campuses, churches, festivals, corporations, conferences, and spoken word events across the country.With a passion for God, black and women empowerment, and mental health, especially among people of color, Porsche aims to bridge the gap between faith & social justice, create atmospheres for conversation on faith, racism, sexism, mental health, and trauma, and inspire others to join in these conversations to find freedom in telling their own stories through poetry, music, motivational speaking, workshops, and dance. Her mantra to live by is a powerful statement of activation: “Erase shame. Tell your story.”

On Ohlone Land

Corrina Gould


As our world copes with unprecedented social, viral, and environmental change,  the original people of the Bay Area and Indigenous women continue working to survive, to bring back culture and ceremony, and rebuild relationships with the earth and natural world. Join Corrina Gould,  Lisjan Ohlone activist, organizer,  and co-founder of Sogorea Te Land Trust,  to learn more about the story of the land we are on and the founding of the first Indigenous women’s land trust in the nation. 

(Pronouns: she, her, hers) Gould is the spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone.  She was born and raised in Oakland, CA, the territory of Huichuin. She is an activist that has worked on preserving and protecting the ancient burial sites of her ancestors in the Bay Area for decades.  She is the Co-founder and a Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native run grassroots organization and co-founder of the Sogorea Te Land Trust, an urban Indigenous women’s community organization working to return  land to Indigenous stewardship in San Francisco’s East Bay.

Yoga and Affecting Change

Dia Penning 

6:30-8:00 PM

Yoga is often seen as a purely internal and individual pursuit, but it is not!

In this workshop we explore how yoga philosophy intersects with justice frameworks. Understanding systems of oppression and where we experience them, in the body, gives us a greater ability to meet our own places of discomfort while we work for transformation in the world.

(Pronouns: she, hers) Dia Penning is a connector. Seeing yoga practices as tools for social change, Dia supports clients and students in the examination of limiting patterns, slowing down, and exploring creativity. As a Lotus trained teacher, she focused 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 attention to those cues. By combining the two, she invites a deep exploration of structural inequity by demonstrating the internal experience as a parallel to the external or collective experience. Dia has a Masters from Columbia College and has developed three volumes of curriculum on social inequity, covering topics such as health, education, immigration, power, race and parenting.

Revolution on My Tongue-Writing Workshop

Gabriel Cortez 


This workshop is for the writers and the folks that don’t necessarily see themselves as writers but think they got something to say. Come put pen to page with Youth Speaks poet mentor, Gabriel Cortez, in this interactive session, where we will explore our voice, our stories, and our relationship to the important movements for justice that came before us. Participants will walk away with a fresh new poem that they can share with their community.

(Pronouns: he, him, his) Cortez is a biracial poet, educator, and organizer of Panamanian descent. His work has appeared in The New York Times, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and is forthcoming in The Breakbeat Poets Anthology Volume 4. He is a VONA fellow, #BARS workshop alum, NALAC grant recipient, and winner of the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize. Gabriel is a member of the artist collective, Ghostlines, and co-founder of The Root Slam, an award-winning poetry venue dedicated to inclusivity, justice, and artistic growth, as well as Write Home, a project working to challenge public perceptions of houselessness and shift critical resources to houseless Bay Area youth through spoken word poetry.

Meditative Yoga Session

Grace Reinhalter 


Grace offers a mindful, moving meditative yoga practice focusing on unity and connection. Coming from the Sanskrit root of “to yoke” or “to unite,” yoga is the union of breath and body. What’s happening in our world right now reminds us we’re all connected.  The class theme is inspired by the South African ubuntu philosophy which translates to humanity or “I am because we are.” Ubuntu recognizes the interconnectedness of all life. We need each other to survive and thrive, especially in moments of grief or trauma.  Connective tissue in your body is essential for your survival too, serving as a support system similar to human connections and social networks. Connective tissue connects, protects, and provides nutrients to cells, tissues, and organs. Using our breath and bodies as tools to care for ourselves and therefore, better care for our community, we’ll move through shapes, slow down the nervous system, and finish with stillness in corpse pose.  “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”-Audre Lorde(Pronouns: she, her, hers) 

Reinhalter discovered yoga at a young age, first enrolling in a teen yoga class in her hometown, Silver Spring, MD. She found yoga to be the perfect complement to her many athletic endeavors and a great way to combat stress.  Grace has continued her yoga practice in order to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to satisfy her need for mindful movement.With nearly fifteen years of yoga practice under her belt, Grace decided it was time to delve deeper into learning about more than just the physical aspects of yoga and to share her love of yoga through teaching. In March 2015, Grace completed her 200-hour certification through Lighting the Path teacher training with Pete Guinosso. Grace brings an active but playful, young energy to her classes, drawing on her professional background working in youth development. Classes are challenging yet accessible to all levels and all ages.

White Privilege 101: Tools for Self Reflection and Taking Action

Liz Atkins Pattenson (pronouns: they, she) & Corri Frohlich, MPH 

(pronouns: she, her, hers)


Join the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland for a 3-hour introductory workshop on white privilege & accountability titled, “White Privilege 101: Tools for Self Reflection and Taking Action.” During this 3-hour foundational workshop, we will introduce concepts and frameworks around intersectionality, white identity formation, and will break down different models that explore allyship and accountability.This interactive workshop will provide opportunities for self reflection, building and strengthening a racial analysis lens, and discussion on how to move forward using an accomplice framework.  Facilitators will also share tips and resources to utilize post workshop, for continued education and growth. This virtual workshop is intended for folks who are white and/or identify as having white privilege. This introductory training is open to all who are interested in learning more about how to work on themselves in order to support and join antiracist efforts and movements. We especially welcome folks who are new to racial justice movement work! Please bring a journal and a writing tool.ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION:This is a free, online, 3-hour training. Participants are not required to, but are encouraged to share their webcam. No software needs to be downloaded in order to join. When you register, you will receive the webinar link and details. No previous experience required. We will be making a fundraising ask at the end of the workshop for a Black-led community organization, Community Ready Corps.

Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Liz Atkins-Pattenson is a passionate community organizer and prison abolitionist who is committed to collectively reimagining a world free of policing and cages, and working towards collective liberation. Liz is the Community Program Director with the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland where they get to do what they love the most everyday; working alongside youth leaders and community members engaging in voting rights initiatives as well as local, regional, and statewide campaigns and legislative action for racial and gender justice. Liz is also a 4-year long member of the Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Bay Area Chapter and organizes on the Policy Committee, doing anti-racism organizing for criminal justice reform, supporting the legislative priorities and work of SURJ’s people of color-led partner organizations. Liz’s relationships with their loved ones impacted by incarceration have brought them into this work, and are what fuel Liz’s love community and the struggle for all to be free.

Corri has worked at Seneca Family of Agencies for four years and currently works in Seneca’s Institute for Advanced Practice (SIAP). In addition to her role in SIAP, she is  an active member of Seneca’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives’ Advisory Board and has helped with several DEI agency related efforts. She is currently a member of the East Bay Chapter of Showing UP for Racial Justice (SURJ) and a Leadership Team member for SURJ National. Corri strives to bring a collective liberation framework and an attention to power dynamics to all of her trainings and all areas of her life. As a cisgender white queer woman, who does not come from a systems-impacted community, she believes her role is to amplify and listen to people of color and folks from systems-impacted communities leading this work. In her free time, she enjoys campy fantasy tv shows and cuddling her PitBull, Akiva Primrose.


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.