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Roxy Manning

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology
Supporting individual and social transformation toward Beloved Community
United States
Speaks English
Certified Trainer since 2012
Assessor - Accepting new candidates
"My enduring passion for nonviolent social justice is rooted in my life experiences, which have transcended the many boxes and categories in which I was placed and allowed me to see how a diversity of truths can be present, and valid, at the same time."

Roxy Manning is working to end racism and contribute to the creation of Beloved Community. She approaches Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a vehicle for social change. 

Roxy’s life experience as an Afro-Caribbean immigrant to the U.S., combined with her academic training and professional work as a licensed clinical psychologist and Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) Certified Trainer and Assessor, have cultivated her deep passion for work that supports social change at the personal, interpersonal, and systemic levels. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, she maintains a private therapy practice and serves the homeless and disenfranchised, mentally-ill population. 

Finding Nonviolent Communication

Roxy first encountered NVC at a CNVC International Intensive Training (IIT). Already an established clinical psychologist, she had never before heard of NVC. Despite “how often psychologists are told that empathy is the most important quality that creates change in our relationships,” Roxy says, she had encountered very few programs that emphasized empathy as a grounding principle. During that IIT, Roxy reflects, she “got to witness the power of empathy in creating space for people to look at past pain, and to look at it in a way that was transformative and not just restimulating.” 

Acknowledging the Need for Self-Care

In NVC, Roxy also found permission to prioritize self-care. The necessity for self-care came to a critical head in Roxy’s life when she suffered an aneurysm after a particularly long day at work. “I had a one-year-old at the time, and I had this one client who always wanted the latest possible appointment, and then would cancel every time,” she recalls. “One time I stayed really late to meet with her, but she didn’t show up. I was in the office really wanting to get home to my kid. When she called around 6 o’clock, I fell back into old habits and said, Of course I'll meet with you. And as I hung up the phone there was a pop.” Roxy’s world went dark. Thus followed a two-week hospitalization and brain surgery. “And of course the aneurysm wasn’t just a result of the frustration, but I think it was in some ways emblematic of how much I didn’t take care of myself. I would silence my frustration. Always serve, always serve, always serve.”

When she discovered NVC, she had two small children, aged one and four, and her third hadn’t yet been born. “I wanted to parent in a way that was different from how I knew to parent,” she says. “I wanted to be able to support them in having their own voices and to have those voices be honored.” At the same time, she reflects, “I wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t also self-sacrificing. Because that was another model of parenting that was so familiar to me.” NVC allowed her to acknowledge her needs and showed her how to understand and take care of her needs in a way that “isn’t about being selfish or being coercive. I really wanted to do both. I didn’t want to ignore my needs. I also didn’t want to prioritize my needs above those of everyone else.”

Discussing Inequities Through the Lens of NVC

Roxy also found herself excluding her needs as a person of the Global Majority. “I think there are a lot of different ways people respond to having marginalized identities,” she says. “For me, one of those ways was to essentially keep myself out.” In her role as a service provider, she found herself acting as a role-oriented professional. “But it wasn’t a relationship that included myself.” At work, in meetings, at retreats, Roxy would recognize when her needs around inclusion and equity were not met, but if it involved only her needs, she didn’t act. “But if I saw it happening to someone else, I would always step up and say something and try to be an advocate.” Roxy used NVC to learn how to change that pattern. Becoming her own advocate made her a much more powerful advocate for others.

Roxy has woven together her prior academic training and NVC consciousness to train and support people who are tackling inequities in their workplaces and communities. She has been exploring undoing racism as an archetype for dismantling all the isms plaguing our society.  “Part of how racism has played out in the U.S. is that it’s this horrible thing. It’s our national shame that we’re not allowed to talk about,” she says. “And because we’re not allowed to talk about it, it’s taboo. If I tell someone, Hey I’m really concerned that race is playing a role in what’s happening between us, they may take it as an attack. Then we either have pushback and anger, or we have fragility.” 

She identifies several ways NVC can help people have authentic conversations about race, whether in the role of actor, receiver, or bystander. One important gift of NVC that is foundational to these conversations, Roxy says, is that  “NVC helps us know how to work with ourselves. If I’m the person who’s receiving a microaggression, NVC helps me know how to show up. It helps me know, Do I actually want to address this right now? What is important to me if I do try to address it? What am I needing from this person? If I am the person committing the microaggression, NVC helps me figure out, How can I notice all that’s coming up in me, whatever it is, so that I can stay present to this person and work toward true repair?”

Cultivating the Next Generation

“In NVC spaces there have been some challenges around inclusion,” Roxy reflects, and she is working to address this within the NVC community. As a CNVC Assessor, Roxy works with people of the Global Majority seeking to become Certified Trainers. She especially seeks to work with “people who are interested in NVC not just for personal growth but also for social change.”

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NVC helps us know how to work with ourselves.

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