Yolo Akili Robinson is a writer, yoga teacher and the Executive Director and founder of BEAM.
For over ten years, Yolo has been on the forefront of progressive wellness work.
Yolo began his career in public health supporting Black communities as an HIV/AIDS counselor. He then branched into violence prevention, working as a family intervention counselor with Black men and boys for Men Stopping Violence. In this role, Robinson began to work with the Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women, serving on numerous roundtables and as one of their youngest federal peer reviewers. Feeling strongly about the need for more feminist work with men, Yolo co-founded Sweet Tea: Southern Queer Men's Collective, a collective of gay and queer men who came to come together to address sexism and misogyny in LGBT communities. In 2015, he was recruited by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to lead a 10 million dollar National Institutes of Health research initiative focusing on improving health outcomes for young Black and Latino men, the Healthy Young Men's study (HYM).
Alongside Robinson’s counseling and training work, he has written for numerous publications on wellness including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ebony, The Huffington Post and Everyday Feminism. He is also the author of the social justice themed affirmation book "Dear Universe: Letters of Affirmation & Empowerment For All Of Us, a book which led him to be named a "Health Hero" By BET.Com. In 2009, he was awarded a ZAMI scholarship to complete his 200 level certification as a Hatha yoga teacher.
Robinson's commitment to increasing the accessibility and visibility of health and wellness issues also has opened the door for many speaking engagements. He has delivered keynotes at numerous universities, colleges and conferences such as Vanderbilt, Claremont Mckenna, Ramapo College and Columbia University.
At the core of Yolo's work is a commitment to wellness informed by social justice. His interests are the practical embodiment of theory into systems and practices that help heal, transform and support Black communities. He makes his home in Los Angeles, California.
Selected Articles & Interviews
The Immediate Need for Emotional Justice (Crunk Feminist Collective)