Cutler Institute, University of Southern Maine
Roxy Manning is a brilliant, skillful, kind, funny, and inspiring teacher. Our team sought her out because we had some NVC training behind us and we wanted to bring in an intentional focus on equity and anti-racism. Somehow, Roxy managed to simultaneously break down and build up the core assumptions of NVC: what's up with "universal" needs in a world built on the fundamental inequities of racism, sexism, ableism, etc? How can we ask everyone to call on feelings when we're not all allowed to express all feelings freely, or worse yet, some of us (namely Indigenous, Black, and Brown people) may be harmed for expressing some feelings publicly? What opportunities for connection do we miss, and what strategies for collective wellbeing are hidden, when we don't consider the systemic context of conflict that arises between people? With a fierce yet gentle approach, Roxy led our team through a powerful learning experience that she had tailored specifically for us. By modeling vulnerability in sharing her own experiences, she created a space where team members could tap into our own histories in order to gain understanding and clarity together. Now, we're committed to carrying our learnings forward, and hopefully we can train with Roxy again!