Roxy Manning PhD is supported by a committed team motivated by a grounded optimism in the human capacity for transformations that benefit themselves and the world. The team’s work is guided by three main questions, which we answer emergently in conversation with the individuals, communities, and organizations with which we work.
Three questions guide our work
Humans are communal beings who are part of systems, whether we are impacted by the systems with no sense of control, or have some say in how they run. Our capacity to thrive is significantly informed by the contexts and systems in which we find ourselves. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves navigating environments that advantage some people over others and some groups over others. Some of these systems are recent, others have been providing systematic advantage to people from some groups for generations. What paths exist for creating effective and productive systems that are also more equitable?
While institutions and organizational structures can seem overwhelmingly large and powerful, they all function through individual people making choices in every moment. This means that each of us has an opportunity to create change within the systems in which we find ourselves. Whether you feel like a cog in a wheel or someone with the power to turn the gears, you have the ability to examine the systems around you and identify places where leverage can be applied to create beneficial change. Whether it’s speaking up to draw attention to a differential impact you notice, or engaging in needs assessment and strategic planning to create new, empathic, compassionate, and efficient systems, we can help you each step of the way.
Perhaps, like us, you remember laughing at shows like The Office or cartoons like Dilbert, knowing they pointed out so clearly what doesn’t work in navigating our complex web of relationships, even as you struggled to figure out what did. What both highlight is that as relational beings our capacity to thrive is impacted not only by our inner resources but also through our interactions with those around us. And, relationships are hard work! Given these two truths, it’s always shocking how little of our education focuses on helping us gain skills to manage the countless relationships we have. Instead, we see numerous examples of what not to do in relationships on television, in the movies, and sometimes, sadly, in our homes.
We know it’s possible to (re)learn how to be authentic and compassionate human beings with relationships that thrive. Using the consciousness of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and informed by extensive education in human psychology, we help you identify the relationship patterns that are not working for you and create new possibilities.
Do you hold back from giving feedback because doing so has often resulted in more resentment and disconnection? Maybe you need to learn how to speak up about what matters to you? Maybe you want to bring more gentleness to your interactions with colleagues but you’re afraid you’ll be judged as a doormat? Decades of working with people, in both their intimate and professional relationships, has honed our capacity to support you in creating vital and nourishing relationships in all aspects of your life.
Lasting behavior change rarely comes through shame and punishment. Much more often that strategy leads to depression, avoidance, and hopelessness. What produces effective change is when people gain clarity about what’s important to them. We support our clients in creating sustained positive changes empowered by empathic connection to what matters most. When you have clarity about your deepest values, decisions become easy, work becomes more enjoyable, and you gain a better understanding of the obstacles to your goals and strategies to successfully navigate them.
Change comes most efficiently, and effectively, when we dare to acknowledge our true desires and work towards them with supportive, honest feedback, and encouragement. We help our clients move through grief and shame from the impacts of ineffective strategies from the past and find new inspiration by connecting to their innermost dreams. We will work with you to figure out what you’re truly yearning for and why some of your behaviors and actions haven’t been producing the outcomes you want.
“I fundamentally believe that we each have the capacity for lives filled with meaning, hope, joy, connection, and purpose”.
Committed to compassion and fierce authenticity, as team leader Roxy Manning brings decades of service experience to her work interrupting explicitly and implicitly oppressive attitudes and cultural norms within individuals, communities, and organizations. Rooted in her experience as an Afro-Caribbean immigrant, Roxy’s passion for cultivating resilience and equity comes from seeing how differently different communities were resourced throughout her development and education. She brings a diversity of perspectives and experience to her work that generates profound insights for transformative change. Roxy has worked and consulted across the U.S. with businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations wanting to move towards equitable and diverse hiring practices and workplace cultures, as well as with individuals and groups committed to social justice in Sri Lanka, Japan, The Netherlands, and Thailand.
As a facilitator, she’s thrilled by the process of holding opposing voices and ushering groups from discord towards values-driven solutions that work for everyone. Her own inner work coupled with her professional experience has grown her capacity to meet people with varying levels of education, disparate life experiences, and the most intense feelings in ways that help them feel heard, respected, supported, and loved. As a psychologist, she maintains a private therapy practice, and works with the City and County of San Francisco’s Disability Evaluation and Consultation Unit, serving the homeless and disenfranchised mentally ill population.
Roxy integrated Nonviolent Communication into her psychotherapy practice in 2003, and has been offering classes and workshops in NVC since 2005. She served as the Executive Director of BayNVC from 2014-2017, was a trainer for BayNVC’s NVC Leadership Program from 2008-2017, and has been a trainer for the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice Retreat since she co-founded it in 2007. As an Assessor with the Trainer Candidate Community Path team of the Center for Nonviolent Communication’s (CVNC) Educational Services group, she collaborates with other experienced assessors as she works to support people from the Global Majority who wish to develop the experience and integration of NVC consciousness that will enable them to bring the power of NVC to the communities which they serve.
Meet the Team
While each team member brings a distinct expertise to our offerings, we all share the same commitment to nonviolence and social justice. For each project, team members are determined based on how their unique skills and gifts are able to meet our clients’ needs.
Alejandra Delgado, a gifted educator, offers conceptual clarity and gentle scaffolding to support our clients with the attainment of new skills. She strives to create compassionate communities where learners grow their capacity to be critical examiners of language, race, gender, class, and community cultural wealth. Alejandra uses her talents to support the creation of healing spaces that strive to be anti-racist and trauma informed. She is committed to deepening her critical awareness while using her knowledge of relational neurobiology and Nonviolent Communication to support her own healing and that of her communities. Alejandra has been a member of the training team at organizational workshops and online courses promoting social justice – facilitating small group discussions and offering individual support to participants engaged in examining systemic structures and unconscious bias. Alejandra is highly valued assistant and contributor at the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice Intensive, helping those who seek to integrate critical awareness and NVC consciousness into their professional and personal lives.
Ale is the program manager for Roxy’s offerings.
Ranjana (Ranji) Ariaratnam
Ranjana (Ranji) Ariaratnam worked for years overseas in humanitarian aid with people displaced by conflict in over ten countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia, dealing with people on often opposing sides of wars. She brings this extensive experience, along with graduate degrees in planning and human rights protection as well as training in Nonviolent Communication, to her work supporting people to find ways to communicate that hold everyone’s needs with care. For over a decade she has shared NVC with individuals, families, schools, activists, and organizations through workshops, retreats, and mediation. Ranji is passionate about holding space for people who want to heal – themselves, intergenerationally, and the world.
P. Leonie Smith
P. Leonie Smith is a first-generation Canadian of Jamaican heritage and is founder of The Thoughtful Workplace, a consultancy that uses a relational and skill-building approach to coaching, training, and mediation. Informed by modalities such nonviolent communication and Sociocracy, she is dedicated to supporting organizations and individuals find ways of working that create more space for humanity and generate less harm She has more than 20 years’ experience in senior management positions championing an approach to leadership that supports care and efficiency towards a shared purpose.
Mika Maniwa is a certified NVC trainer of Japanese descent based in Vancouver, Canada. She has been teaching NVC and leading practice groups for over 15 years. She enjoys working with multicultural groups and is keenly interested in what is needed to build trust across power differences. She has been exploring what NVC can bring to issues of social location and racialized trauma to strengthen relationships within organizations.
Jihan McDonald [They/Them] is a facilitator, healer, coach, and writer from the Chochenyo Ohlone land occupied as Oakland, CA. Though their work takes a myriad of expressions, all of it is guided by their dedication to aiding the evolution of human beings into humane beings. They were introduced to NVC in 2012 as part of their life coach training and immediately felt how it resonated with relational norms in African-American culture, inspiring them to learn more. They attended their first Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice Retreat in 2013, returned as an assistant in 2016 and 2018, and were invited to join the leadership team as a Transitional Trainer in 2019. Jihan loves creating trauma-informed and healing-centered spaces for people, communities, and organizations to develop the understandings for and engage in the personal and interpersonal transformations needed to sustain structural and cultural transformations for justice and equity. While Jihan maintains a personal facilitation, coaching/consulting, and freelance writing practice, they also feel deeply nourished by supporting the work of other people and programs with aligned vision and enjoy the opportunity to learn with and from valued mentors and teachers.
Kristin Masters has long worked to create a world that works for all, applying the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication, the Work that Reconnects, Liberation and Anti-Oppression, Neuroscience lenses and Participatory Facilitation models to work with individuals, families, and organizations. Kristin identifies as white, cis and queer and lives on Amah Mutsun land known as Santa Cruz, CA with 3 generations.
David Johnson spent years overseas as a humanitarian aid worker working in over a dozen countries in returnee villages and displaced people and refugee camps. From positions such as Logistics Officer, Water & Sanitation Coordinator, Deputy Director, and Regional Program Officer for the Great Lakes of Africa, David brings vast experience in program development and people management across different cultures and complex multi-layered situations to all the work he supports. A few years after being introduced to NVC he returned to North America and immersed himself in the study of NVC as part of his exploration of practices that address the roots of violence and suffering. He has seen how NVC supports him in all aspects of his life, and he has shared NVC with families, schools, activists, and social service organizations via workshops, retreats, and mediation since 2011.
Julia Rogers, PsyD
Julia Rogers (she/her) has attended the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice intensive since 2013 and has been fortunate to serve as an assistant three times. She has been passionate about social justice work for much of her life and about NVC since about 2010 and loves the marriage between the two of them. Julia facilitates racial justice groups both at work and her church and is thrilled to be able to assist at some of Roxy’s classes.
Shannon Casey works in conflict transformation specific to cultural responsiveness and dialogues across differences using NVC and Systemic Constellations. In 2011, Shan completed a certificate in Civic and Community Engagement from DeAnza College and participated in the accompanying NVC cohort. She has attended the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice Intensive every year since 2015, and now serves as an assistant trainer. In 2016, Shan began training with Sarah Peyton and completed the Your Resonant Self program. Shan’s anti-racist LGBTQ+ identity and her trauma-informed lens are important parts of her NVC practice.
Susan Strasburger, PhD
Susan Strasburger, PhD, has a private counseling and coaching practice with individuals and couples. Susan learned NVC over 20 years ago, but started truly living it and incorporating it into her practice after training with Roxy in 2007. Since then she has been on leadership teams for therapists, couples and individuals, continually inspired by the power of learning in community. Prior to 2007, Susan co-led equity and inclusion workshops with her colleagues from InPartnership Consulting. Throughout her career, Susan regularly includes somatic and improvisational practices into her client sessions. For more information: 510-334-0879 or www.susanstrasburger.com.