On October 20th, PSR Alumnx, Bishop Yvette A. Flunder (MA ’97) was given a key to the City of Oakland, CA as part of the city’s first Love Life Day which honors, “those who are uplifting love and helping prevent violence in our communities.”
Bishop Flunder was recognized for her work as founder of Ark of Refuge, Inc. which has provided housing, direct services, education, and training for persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area, throughout the USA, and in three countries in Africa – starting in the early 90s when HIV/AIDS was still heavily stigmatized.
As part of her commitment to a radically inclusive faith, Bishop Flunder also founded the City of Refuge, United Church of Christ, and is the Presiding Bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. Bishop Flunder also served as Trustee and Adjunct Professor at PSR.
Oakland Mayor, Libby Schaaf, wrote to the recipients that by receiving a Key to the City, “you are formally acclaimed as a longtime Oakland resident whose achievements are known beyond Oakland and have helped put Oakland “on the map;” whose work has fostered a greater sense of belonging in Oakland; who gives back to Oakland through community service; and whose work exemplifies Oakland values and our unique ethos or “secret sauce.”
PSR president Rev. David Vásquez-Levy wrote to Bishop Flunder to convey, “Congratulations and joy on my own behalf and on behalf of the PSR board, faculty, staff, students and community on your well-deserved recognition tomorrow as your receive A Key to the City of Oakland. Your impact, voice, and leadership are an inspiration nationally and globally, but as this recognition signals, grounded also in the very context of your work, mission, and love for the city of Oakland. Thank you for your leadership. You honor God’s many gifts to you and make your PSR community very proud!”
In addition to Bishop Flunder, musician and activist Mistah F.A.B., Marilyn Washington Harris, founder of The Khadafy Washington Foundation for Non-violence, and Russell Jeung, cofounder of Stop AAPI Hate also received Keys to the City.