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Pacific Center Newsletter 3/20/24: Announcing Yield Giving Gift!

In This Newsletter: Announcing Yield Giving Gift, Announcing the Berkeley Pride Resource Fair, Sponsor Us!, Clinical Application, HIV program update, Community Program Updates, Pacific Center Events, Outside Events, Donate, Support!    


Announcing Yield Giving Gift

Yesterday, MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving announced Pacific Center For Human Growth as one of the Yield Giving Open Call’s awardees working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States. In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources. 

Bay Area Reporter, Executive Director Lasara Firefox Allen shared, “This grant will increase the impact capacity of Pacific Center for Human Growth in a powerful way. It will help us to finalize our move into our new location in downtown Berkeley, and to continue our expansion of services for trans and queer community members, from our youth programs to our programming for elders in Alameda County and beyond. The reality is that the need for the mental health and community building services we provide continues to expand, and transformative grants that allow us to build our service capacity remain critical. We look forward to working with all our powerful stakeholders in leveraging this grant for the change we seek to continue to create for our program participants and community members.”


The Open Call received 6,353 applications and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. In the Fall of 2023, organizations top-rated by their peers advanced to a second round of review by an external Evaluation Panel recruited for experience relevant to this cause, and underwent a final round of due diligence. In light of the incredible work of these organizations, as judged by their peers and external panelists, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount. 


"We are excited that our partnership with Yield Giving has resonated with so many organizations," said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. "In a world teeming with potential and talent, the Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift, and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen.” 


Commenting on behalf of the Pacific Center’s Board of Directors, Board Chair Christopher Stemborowski said, “The success of our grant application reaffirms how tangible the impact of the Pacific Center for Human Growth is. This milestone represents more than 50 years of effort from staff members, contractors, volunteers, donors, board members and community member participants all who contribute to the Pacific Center in innumerable ways. It is a tremendous honor to reflect on our application being rated in the highest segment among 6,353 incredible applicant organizations and this is a testament to everyone who has worked to make the Pacific Center a unique and powerful organization.”




Established by MacKenzie Scott to share a financial fortune created through the effort of countless people, Yield Giving is named after a belief in adding value by giving up control. To date, Yield’s network of staff and advisors has yielded over $16,500,000,000 to 1,900+ non-profit teams to use as they see fit for the benefit of others. 


To learn more, visit



Lever for Change connects donors with bold solutions to the world’s biggest problems—including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change. Using an inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges and other tailored funding opportunities. Top-ranked teams and challenge finalists become members of the Bold Solutions Network—a growing global network that helps secure additional funding, amplify members’ impact, and accelerate social change. Founded in 2019 as a nonprofit affiliate of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has influenced over $1.7 billion in grants to date and provided support to more than 145 organizations. 


More information on the Yield Giving Open Call and other initiatives can be found at


Berkeley Pride Resource Fair

Save the date for the Pacific Center’s Berkeley Pride Resource Fair on Saturday August 17th, 2024.


Follow our newsletter and social media to stay updated!


Sponsor Us!

Do you want to support the Berkeley Pride Resource Fair? Sponsor us! 

Email: for more information.


Community Program Updates

Hey youth!


Join us for our Youth Drop in hours from 2-4PM on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of the month starting March 6th. Come hang out in the youth space and check out our computer, free closet, and mini queer library. Youth and Adult mentors are available during this time to share resources and converse. Snacks are provided.


Email for questions:


Oakland Older and Out Support Group


Clinical Program Updates

Applications for the 24-25 clinical training cohort are live HERE.

Questions? Contact


Graduate level psychology trainees, master's level trainees and associates as well as newly licensed clinicians receive valuable training working with our diverse LGBTQIA+ and QTBIPOC clients.  Our year long program meets all Board of Behavioral Sciences & Board of Psychology licensing laws.  Clinicians in the training program are supervised by licensed clinicians.


HIV Program Updates

Join the Pacific Center for Mental Health for a 9 week processing group for people with HIV/AIDS. It’s a place to build community and process themes related to HIV. We explore topics around embodying intersectional identities, sexuality, internalized HIV stigma, grief and loss, trauma and abuse, addiction, and isolation. Living Fully begins on Tuesday, April 16th and goes through June 11th, 2024 (5:30 - 7:00 pm PST). This group will meet over Zoom video every Tuesday for the following 9 weeks, excluding holidays.


Instructor bio: Melanie is a massive psychology and science nerd, and always stands in an anti-oppression framework. She is queer artist, white, first generation American, and a psychotherapist. She is highly relational as a therapist, and her style is anchored in cognitive science, attachment theory, mindfulness, social justice, parts work, and somatic psychology. Melanie values science equally with the domain of intuition and art. Melanie Ferrari is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #125787, Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor #9630. Supervised by Pablo Navarrete-Martinez, LMFT # 113991)


If interested, please use this link!


Pacific Center Events

Pacific Center has partnered with the West Berkeley Family Wellness Center for a series of workshops on mindfulness, wellness, and healing through art that will run throughout the spring. Our current series Mindfulness and the Science of the Mind runs through March 8th. Click the link to join (space is limited). And look out for the next session, Designing a Medicine Bag, starting March 25th!

Design a Medicine Bag: Join us at the West Berkeley Family Wellness Center for a free, fun, and creative workshop! Discover the art of making your very own medicine bag - a unique accessory for holistic self-care and support.


Artist bio: Keena Azania Romano exercises her creative mind through the exploration of diverse artistic mediums as a way to engage and understand individual and collective purpose. Romano received her BFA from Pomona College then returned to her native Bay Area to pursue a career in the Arts. Her Murals can be spotted from Sacramento, California, to Richmond, Virginia to Oaxaca, Mexico. Inspired by cultural practices, Romano combines spirituality with urban experience to produce work that draws upon the quest for a greater understanding of intersectional beauty in this world. She fuses traditional native arts with contemporary inner-city techniques to reflect a new language that encourages the healing and empowerment process between community members and their environments. Her style is described as “vibrant and insightful”. She aspires to travel and create a colorful trail of art by exploring the modern Diaspora based on her multi-ethnic experience. To learn more and sign up please visit:


Meditative Arts Workshop: Join us at the West Berkeley Family Wellness Center for two part immersive workshop blending art and mindfulness. Unleash your creativity and find inner peace through beadwork.


Instructor bio: Malika Rubin-Davis is a mixed race black woman who grew up in Sonoma County, Ca. She has always had an affinity for arts and crafts. This was supported by artistic parents, Waldorf education and a BA in Visual Art. She worked as an educator in East Bay Public Schools for seven years and is now finding her way as an artist and educator. She teaches Yoga, has shown her paintings in individual and group shows in the East Bay and finds joy in teaching the things that she loves. For Malika, the artistic process is incredibly grounding and helpful, especially with mediums that require repetition. As a child, she could spend hours making friendship bracelets or playing with a bead-loom. As an adult she is self-taught in some beading techniques. She finds the process of making beadwork a beautiful mixture of creative expressions, and meditative repetition. To learn more and sign up please visit:


EARTH~WATER~AIR~FIRE: A 4-week medicine making series connecting humans with each of the healing elements of nature.


**For QTBIPOC and BIPOC with Batul True Heart of Maaso Medicina

In this 4-week series we will make time to presence and connect with one element of nature per week. We will be curious about our emotional well-being as it relates to our relationship with nature. Made of the elements ourselves, we are each an integral part of nature. We will remember our humanness, and our own unique essence, as we transmit it through our medicines.


Instructor bio: Batul True Heart (they/them/theirs), is a 2Spirit, Yaqui~Chicanx~Panamanian traditional healer, community & clinical herbalist, and death companion living on Lisjan Ohlone Land in Huchiun, also known as Oakland, CA.


To learn more and sign up please visit:


Mental Health at the Intersections (MHTI) is a FREE day-long conference for mental health providers and community workers that centers care & support for those who sit at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. This year we are focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ BIPOC youth. There will be workshops for youth ages 11+ and workshops for adults who work with youth. 


Registration has opened, click here!  


Please reach out to our Training Program Manager, Glo Rodriguez at with any questions. We hope you are able to join us.


Outside Events

Attention all gay men seeking to become fathers!


Men Having Babies conference is coming to San Francisco to provide you with unbiased and objective information about becoming fathers and your surrogacy options:


This non-profit organization is dedicated to serving the gay community and helping you to understand this complex journey and navigate through the medical, legal, and financial aspects of surrogacy.

At the conference we discuss surrogacy costs, budgeting, insurance considerations, and MHB's member resources, discounts, and financial assistance.


Don't miss out on this comprehensive guidance relevant to West Coast intended parents pursuing surrogacy and connecting with the community of dads and prospective dads.



The Spring Jewel Box - Hosted by Trans Thrive and Gender Health SF


If interested, use this link



Your donations help community members gain access to peer support groups and low-cost counseling and mental health support. 


Please click below to give what you can.


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1 commento

Hoffman Thomas
Hoffman Thomas
3 days ago

Can't wait to join and learn from such a talented artist like Keena Azania Romano. Do we need to bring any materials? snake game

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