“Healing work without healing justice—without an analysis of systems of power, without an invitation to evolve our imaginations—is not healing. It’s conformity and a reductive colonial caricature of liberation.

Yolo Akili Robinson is a nonbinary writer, healing justice worker, yogi, and the founder and executive director of Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM). BEAM builds ecosystems of care for Black communities through Black-led training, grantmaking, and education using a healing justice framework. Under his leadership, BEAM has become a leading organization dedicated to mental health in Black communities.

Yolo leads the development of community-based systems of care that provide Black mental health and wellness practitioners, families, and racial justice movements with healing tools, crisis support skills, and funding to cultivate wellness. BEAM has received support from the MacArthur Foundation, Blue Shield, and the Satterberg Foundation. In 2018, Yolo received the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Equity Award and, in 2023, he was recognized by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy for Minority Mental Health Month. He was also featured in an “Empowerful Spotlight” at the 2020 BET Awards.

Yolo has channeled his dedication to healing justice into radically reimagining care systems and building alternatives that support the wellness and liberation of Black communities.