Yolo Akili Robinson known as (Yolo Akili) is the Founder of BEAM, a social justice organization whose vision is “A world where there are no barriers to black healing.” BEAM works to remove the barriers Black people experience while attempting to access or engage in emotional and mental health care through training, art education and advocacy. In addition Yolo is a writer, organizer and yoga teacher who has written extensively on emotional health and issues of gender, sexuality and race. Yolo has worked with black men and boys for over 10 years on issues such as violence, homophobia and emotional health.
He is the author of the social justice themed affirmation book Dear Universe: Letters of Affirmation & Empowerment For All Of Us and has written for the Huffington Post, Ebony, The Good Men Project, TheBody.com, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Everyday Feminisms– and his work has been featured on BET.com, Huffington Post Live, The Daily Princetonian and The Feminist Wire. His most well known work is on Gay Men & Sexism, African Americans & Emotional Health, Masculinity and Emotional Justice.
Yolo organized Sweet:Tea: Southern Queer Men’s Collective, a collective of Gay and Queer men working to address sexism in gay male communities. In addition, he has worked with the Office of Violence Against Women, Men Stopping Violence, and V-day in addressing violence with men and boys.
He has been awarded the Creative Leadership Award by the Feminist Women’s Health Center Atlanta, A ZAMI award and the Unity In Community Award from Unity in Christ Fellowship Church.
Yolo has been an invited keynote speaker at:
- Vanderbilt University
- University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana
- Northern Illinois University
- Ramapo College
Yolo has been an invited panelist and featured presenter at
- Columbia University
- The National HIV prevention Conference
- Fordham University
- The Texas Council on Family Violence
- Baruch College
- Agnes Scott College
- Morehouse College
Yolo currently makes his home in Los Angeles, California.