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Dania cabello


  • BA in Development Studies with emphasis in political and social development of Latin America, 2003-2006

  • Masters in Education focusing on Sport as a Liberatory Practice

  • Professional soccer player at Santos in Brasil and Bay Area Breeze

  • Futbolistas 4 Life program winning 100k Grant

  • Mentored Street Children in Brazil

  • Literacy Intervention Teacher for ELL Students

  • Freestyle Soccer Player and Instructor

  • Freelance Writer and Artist – Exploring play as joy and resistance

  • Curriculum Consultant – Sport as a platform for violence prevention

  • Adjunct Faculty for Physical Education at St. Mary’s College

  • Entrepreneur - Ojo De La Sol, Medicinal herbal product line

Written By: Kim Yokers '04

Dania Cabello.

Futbolista. Professional Athlete. Freestyler. Intellectual. Activist. Educator. Writer. Artist. Healer. Entrepreneur. Change maker. Connector.

Critical Thinker. Truth Seeker. Eloquent Speaker.


And not to mention, Loyal Friend and Selfless Nurse when I tore my ACL.


To describe Dania Cabello is to cross so many categories, and touch on so many powerful qualities, as to end up in a place where it seems impossible to be describing only one person. An extraordinary soccer player with magic flare and ball handling skills unmatched, Dania has had a passion for soccer from a young age. Her accolades in the game are many, from academic all-star and team captain at Cal, to playing soccer professionally in Brazil and in the states — but what is most remarkable about Dania is how she has melded her love of futbol with her convictions outside the game to create a platform for social justice. Coming from a family of Chilean political refugees, Dania has a past that informs her passions and commitment to her work. In her process of learning to heal and understand her complicated history, she has developed the skills and tools to help liberate and heal others, with a commitment to her local Oakland-based community. She has done what is so challenging for many of us to do — seek truth and effect change outside existing boundaries and categories; creating a path for oneself and others that was obscured or didn’t exist before.  Inspired by the work of civil rights activist Harry Edwards, and preceding that of Kaepernick, Dania has been working in the realm of social justice and sports for over a decade, weaving her work through many disciplines.


Dania’s creation of the program Futbolistas 4 Life perfectly exemplifies her ability to initiate, inspire, and ultimately effect change through the power of sport. Dania started Futbolistas as a free after school program at Oakland Life Academy to support immigrant students through connection and play— what emerged was a sacred space for these students to not only cope with the stresses of immigration policy, poverty and violence in their communities, but ultimately to achieve positive changes they wanted to see in their lives. With Dania’s guidance, the group of students won a large 100K grant from US Soccer to build a field for their school and community, a place for them to gather and play — no small feat in the underserved community. A documentary, “Futbolistas 4 Life”, was created to highlight this impactful story and continues to be screened to increase awareness of the ubiquitous stresses on immigrant youth and their families. Dania’s commitment to teach the liberating power of play has forever affected these individuals, and continues to impact many as her work evolves.


Another great example of Dania’s creativity and ability to cross boundaries with her holistic work, is an exhibition she created alongside Harry Edwards for SF SOMAArts — Game Recognize Game. Here she enters the artist’s space to perform an interactive piece which reflected on the current sport landscape with athletes like Kaepernick using their platform to effect social change, and involved interactive art for participants to explore the power of play and how it can transform public spaces and break down barriers that keep people separated.

Aside from what Dania has accomplished in her extraordinary list to the left, what is most remarkable is how she continues to forge her own unique path, combining areas of expertise based on her truths and passions. There isn’t a stark separation between work and real life for Dania like there are for many of us. She brings her whole self into everything she does - whether it’s being a badass freestyler who brings the joy of play into oppressive public spaces, to her healing practice as an entrepreneurial medicine maker, her work as an educator in the public school and university environment, or her speaking and writing engagements across numerous topics from gender equity to violence prevention. They all reflect her commitment to social justice. As an extremely powerful communicator, she can craft her words and thoughts in such a unique and artistic way that cuts to the heart of the matter, truth unmasked, leaving the listener who has dared to open their heart to her words, changed.

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Courtney (Carroll) LEvINSOHN