Saida Agostini is a poet, advocate and movement builder. She is currently the Director of Capacity Building of YWCA USA. Before joining the YWCA, Saida was the Chief Operating Officer for FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, a survivor artist collective dedicated to resisting rape culture. Saida brings with her over a decade of experience in program management, clinical work, and policy advocacy with communities of color, LGBTQ folks, and survivors of violence. She has developed and directed community, statewide and national programs, including an emergency shelter for youth in crisis.
The founder of the Rooted Collective, a liberatory gathering of Black LGBTQ people to define, dream, and expand on the ways we heal from oppression, she is committed to building peer driven healing spaces for people of color. Most recently, Saida directed a broad based statewide LGBTQ youth policy coalition that won notable advancements in education, juvenile justice and foster care. A published poet and writer, Saida’s work has been featured in the Black Ladies Brunch Collective’s anthology, Not Without Our Laughter, the Baltimore Sun, pluck!, The Delaware Poetry Review and other publications. Saida has received fellowships in support of her leadership and poetry from Core Align, Leeway Foundation, Cave Canem and other foundations.
YWCA USA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. It is one of the “oldest and largest multicultural organizations promoting solutions to enhance the lives of women, girls and families.