Each week KindaKind will feature a badass who is putting their passion to a purpose and doing something great for the world.
This week’s Kind Badass of the Week is Yayne Abeba: Comedian, writer, activist.
Yayne is a San Francisco native who is using her voice to fight for San Francisco and the rights of people of color. She's been very involved in the justice for Mario Woods coalition and is a total kind badass.
What is your passion?
I have a few passions. I'm a stand up comedian and writer. My other passion is making sure my hometown, San Francisco, is the city it used to be. I want to restore SF to a diverse city rich in culture, art, love and unity. I want to make sure that people of color are not being killed by SFPD in order to make room for greedy developers and big tech companies. I want this city to be the city of opportunity for every one not just the 1%.
How are you putting your passion to a purpose?
I have been doing stand up for over ten years and I'm so blessed to be able to do what I love. I'm writing a book that is a series of essays on my feelings about gentrification in SF. I'm sure the tech industry will put a hit out on me once it is published. Every day I work on how to make this city better for the natives and long term residents. That's why Equipto, the Last 3%, Sellassie, Max Leyoung, Edwin Lindo and I did 415Day aka Frisco Day. On 4/15 we reclaimed Dolores Park from the tech bros and made the day a celebration of unity for native San Franciscans. I am working hard to make sure that black and brown citizens of SF will no longer be victims of police terror. I'm fighting for the end of income inequality and affordable housing for my community. I'm fighting to make sure that corruption and cronyism is eradicated from city hall. Im fighting for my city.
How did you get started?
I started doing open mics in SF. I hung out at every comedy spot and talked to everyone. I was lucky in that soon after I started, people began booking me. I became active in social and racial justice for SF after I saw the video of Mario Woods being assassinated by SFPD. I thought to myself , "why isn't anyone doing anything about this? Wait why aren't I doing anything?". I went to the police commission meeting and went off on the chief of police. After that meeting I was invited to a coalition meeting. I soon realized that it is all connected. The lack of affordable housing, gentrification, high unemployment for people of color, high incarceration rates for people of color and the profiling and murder of people of color by police is all connected. I had to expand my fight. This is all new to me some days I stumble but I always get up and keep going.
Why do you do it?
My love for my city is what keeps me going. The people, the art, the culture and the legacy that is being strangled by big developers and a greedy city hall.
Favorite thing about what you do?
I make people laugh. I make people think. I share my love with people I've just met and not in an STD way. More in a we all need to come together for love, for justice, equality and art kind of way .
How can others help?
Stand up for what is right. Don't be an armchair activist. Spreading a hashtag is not enough. Make your voice heard. Get to know and love your community; the whole Community, not just the people at work or at happy hour but the homeless guy who tells you to have a blessed day even though you don't give him change. What is his story?
Who are your heroes?
If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower?
I apparently have a power where I call people out on their shit and they are still down with me and my struggle. So I guess I already have it.
What is your favorite non-profit organization or cause?
Black Lives Matter