Testimonials

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“AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez is a funny, personable, and intelligent communicator who brings a unique voice to conversations around justice and inclusion that is at once well-informed and approachable. Her presence is both commanding and disarming, and she has influenced my own thinking (and action!) in more ways than I can count. I recommend her as a speaker, advisor, panelist, or contributor for your next event.”

 Rachel Held Evans, author & speaker

“AnaYelsi is an experienced facilitator who took us on a supportive journey of self-awareness. She kept us engaged through a variety of activities like a historical timeline that helped us see our own experiences in the context of the larger community. I would highly recommend her as a trainer and speaker for an educational institution.”

Rashmi Bali Chilka, PhD, Northern Virginia Community College

“I’ve interviewed AnaYelsi for a podcast and a feature story, and both times she offered insightful stories and analyses that got straight to the heart of my questions. I’ve also attended her seminars and speeches and so appreciate her style. She’s a personable and deeply knowledgeable teacher who can, in a single talk, open up a new world to you. If you ask AnaYelsi to speak at your event, she will teach you about the interlocking nature of race, sexuality, gender identity, privilege, migration and class in a way that is both accessible and inspiring. I’m so grateful for her voice.”

 Deborah Jian Lee, journalist, author, podcast host 

“AnaYelsi’s approach to discussing race, gender, LGBTQ liberation, theology, and how it all intersects is masterful. I didn’t feel foolish or like I didn’t have a place to ask questions. I felt like I was getting a comprehensive education on the interlocking nature of justice work, with practical applications to take back to my community and apply to my daily life. She is patient, strong, and an incredibly gifted communicator with a hunger to see the Church be a more welcoming and safe place for all people.” 

Kevin Garcia,Writer. Speaker. Creative. #faithfullyLGBT Advocate

“Friend. Ally. Accomplice. These are all words I don’t use lightly and are all words that I am compelled to use when speaking of AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez. While we met as colleagues, her fervent dedication to justice made me want to be her friend. Her active, intentional, and consensual advocacy for me as a queer, Black woman let me know that she was someone I could trust to name as my ally and accomplice. Anyone who has the privilege of working with her knows that AnaYelsi’s beautiful heart consistently meets her drive and brilliance creating meaningful, powerful work that the world so desperately needs.”

Alicia Crosby, Educator, Activist, Minister, and co-host of Hope and Hard Pills Podcast

“I am so grateful for AnaYelsi’s wisdom. She’s a powerful speaker and facilitator, and she’s one of the first people I think of when needing coaching to see beyond myself. I appreciate that she enables me to do my own work, with guidance, instead of simply giving answers or doing it for me. I cannot recommend her highly enough. “

Matthias Roberts, Therapist, Author of Beyond Shame, host of Queerology Podcast

“I attended a Racial Justice Academy training day facilitated by AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez. The training was well thought out and very well delivered. AnaYelsi’s openness in sharing her own story and journey inspired participants to open up in group activities. The training began by providing a clear Biblical case for why racial justice work is an essential part of the gospel. AnaYelsi handled the difficult questions that inevitably come up when working through issues of race and privilege, with grace and wisdom, ensuring that it was a safe environment for all participants. AnaYelsi is an excellent trainer and facilitator, and I have personally benefitted greatly by learning from her.”

Hannah Johnston, Community Coordinator, St. Lydia’s Dinner Church, Brooklyn

“My first experience with AnaYelsi was in 2015. I will admit now that I spent much of that day failing to wrap my head around things like white feminism and intersectionality. I was frustrated and uncomfortable. WHAT was she talking about and what did it have to do with me?! I remember at one point I asked to speak to her one on one (I don’t remember why exactly), and she graciously agreed. Even though I can’t remember what we talked about, I remember that she was gracious and patient with my excitable, overly-eager white self. My experience with her as a trainer/educator motivated me to seek out books and articles on racial justice long after the training was over. Fast forward to June 2020, in which I hopefully have a better understanding of how to do racial justice work, I found myself in a situation in which I felt called to stand up and “do something!” In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, my workplace was pushing back against employees that were demanding racial justice within our own walls, resulting in microaggressions, racial gaslighting, and demoralization. As a white woman, I felt like I *had* to do something, but was not sure how to handle the situation without making it worse for the women of color I worked with. I consulted with AnaYelsi about what steps I should take. She was very solutions-focused and helped me outline a plan and potential outcomes. And, she was also realistic, reminding me to rest and allow others to do the same during this process. After our meeting, I felt empowered and ready to empower others. If your organization needs help (and what organization doesn’t?) regarding racial justice, I would absolutely recommend her service.”

Amanda, Freelance writer and independent contractor

“AnaYelsi’s leadership of our group was informative and inspiring. Our students gained both skills and fuel for the long journey towards justice. If you are looking for a facilitator or speaker who is gifted at communicating and “practices what she preaches”, I 100% recommend AnaYelsi!”

Rich Havard, Campus Pastor at The Inclusive Collective

“AnaYelsi provided on point data, practical steps to be taken in our lives, and breakout sessions and dialogue that were emotionally heavy, cleansing, and convicting. Tears and laughter worked in tandem and I know we all came away better people because of it. I’ms o thankful for the work she does. It’s authentic and life-giving, affecting real change in the space of intersectionality, awareness, and justice/renewal.”

anonymous racial justice workshop attendee

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