An Interview with Saida Agostini, Vice President of Member Services, YWCA USA


01:25 We come from a resilient and strong lineage. How would you describe the type of ancestor you want to be and why?

“I create a model of someone who is really about not just fighting for pleasure or a different kind of world for the future, but claiming that is something that is needed right now and that’s something that is a birthright.”

“We are fighting for our future, but we are also fighting for ourselves.”


03:44 If there was a soundtrack of greatest hits related to your career, what songs would make the list?

“The moments in which I feel most powerful and strong in myself is when I don’t hesitate to claim my beauty, strength, and intelligence.”


06:11 Within the chaos and challenge this year, has there been a moment of reckoning for you that you would lift up?

“Black folks have always been going through multiple pandemics.”

“We accept so much trauma as normal because we have never been asked to envision it in a different way…what have I refused to acknowledge as a possibility because I was taught it as opposed to experienced it?”


13:00 You mentioned a couple things about your freedom and liberation practice. I’m curious how that relates to your approach to self-care and if there are certain rituals and practices that you employ to stay whole.

“Having a way to write and document what I’m seeing and thinking about our world and how I want to communicate has been a lifesaver for me.”

“Naming for myself that my voice is valuable.”


17:17 What advice would you offer other Black women trying to develop or amplify their voice and become better self-advocates?

“Knowing what your boundaries are and knowing the gifts that you bring and not questioning that.”

“My role models are always the women who are unapologetic in their brilliance.”


19:40 If you could change the social sector in a way that would benefit or affirm Black women, what would that change be?

“Asking why. Asking where the resonance and urgency for black and brown folks is, and how we are practicing that.”

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