AnaYelsi Velasco Sanchez
AnaYelsi is an Indo-Latinx interlocking mujerista living in the Latin diaspora. She is a cis-straight ally working for The Reformation Project (TRP) as their Organizing and Programs Director. TRP is working to Change the way churches think and act when it comes to the LGBT community by training Christians to support and affirm gender and sexual minorities. AnaYelsi also runs the organization’s Academy for Racial Justice- a program that combines biblical teaching, interactive skills training, and cross-cultural dialogue around the intersection of racial identity and LGBT issues. A graduate of The DART Organizer’s Institute, AnaYelsi is an inter-faith community organizer specifically trained to bring people together across racial, religious, and socioeconomic lines to pursue justice in their communities. Prior to joining TRP, she was the Director of Communications and Development for Florida Abolitionist; the Advocacy Director for Word Made Flesh; and worked as an inter-faith organizer with the Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (H.O.P.E). An artist and writer, she is the voice behind www.browneyedamazon.com, a website focused on the intersection of art, faith and social justice and the creator of Secret Lives of Feministas, an online community addressing the marginalization of Latinx feminists in mainstream feminism. She has been featured as a speaker and panelist for organizations such as The Gay Christian Network, Human Rights Campaign, Transform Network, Wild Goose Festival and more. You can follow her on twitter at @brwneyedamzn.
Patches and Wineskins: Name Reclamation As An Act of Spiritual Resistance
Decolonization is as much an act of spiritual healing as it is a political process. But where does one begin this intimate act of rediscovery and recovery? AnaYelsi, a woman of color living in the Latinx diaspora, began with her name. In this workshop she will share her experience of name reclamation as an act of decolonization and spiritual resistance. Participants will delve into the Old Testament tradition of bestowing a new name on an individual to represent a deeper change in their identity as well as discussing how the erasure of those names (i.e. erasure of that identity) represents a failure to see and celebrate the Imago Dei in those who have been deemed the “other”.
Adoption Panel: Truth, Story, Healing, Commonwealth
In this panel, Teresa P. Pasquale, Craig A. Steffen, Mike Morrell, and AnaYelsi Velasco Sanchez share a candid look at what it’s like to deal with parental and sibling loss while being raised by parents who were not biologically related to them. Being separated from our biological tribe — either physically or emotionally — can have a profound affect on our view of our world, authority, ourselves and even how we think of God. Sharing reflections from childhood to adulthood, the panel discusses loss, grief, joy, birth family, adoptive family, chosen family, and a pursuit of healing and wholeness. Together, they explore how all that happens in our lives provides the material for finding meaning as we live into our unique authentic stories.