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Yolo Akili Robinson Helps Keep the Conversation Going About Mental Health With BEAM


As mental health month ends, the conversation surrounding mental health needs to continue, and Yolo Akili Robinson is doing just that through his BEAM organization. The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) recently hosted its second Black Healing Remixed Summit. The event featured an intimate Sunday brunch and panel discussions with Debbie Allen (actress, producer and philanthropist), Emil Wilbekin (journalist, media executive, and founder of Native Son), and James Bland (producer & director) among others. For Akili, mental health isn't just a talking point, but a lifestyle.



Robinson is an award-winning writer, healing justice worker, yogi, and the founder and executive director of BEAM. In 2018, Robinson was awarded the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation "Health Equity Award." He was also featured at the 2020 BET Awards as an "Empowerful Spotlight," highlighting his work facilitating the vision of BEAM. Robinson has learned the importance of his work throughout his career, especially now.


Yolo Akili Robinson

"It was a really powerful and critical time to have these conversations around wellness," Robinson says about his latest summit. When it comes to the political and social climate the country is in today, Robinson says organizations such as BEAM are "more necessary."


Robinson's goal when it comes to mental health and healing takes a different approach than some may be used to. "It is important when we talk about mental health and healing we are not doing so in this hyper-academic style that doesn't take into consideration our body and emotional needs," Robinson explains.


Robinson wants those who experience BEAM to take away tools and strategies that they could use to support themselves during the times they need to. "Some of those tools can be learning how to talk about their feelings, learning about different framing and words to avoid," Robinson explains. The correlation the organization makes to some of our everyday practices sets BEAM apart.


As a healing justice worker, Robinson helps move the needle when it comes to our community and mental health. "Healing justice is this framework that says our mental health and wellness are connected to everything and it is not separate from anything," he shares. BEAM asks the question of what is contributing to your mental health. From the food you eat, to access to clean drinking water, to proper healthcare Robinson points out systems that are in place and how it is all connected.


Learn more about BEAM and its founder in our interview below.



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