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Erin-Nima

Episode 32: Living in Empathy with Erin Matthews and Nima Novak (8/26/20)

In this episode, we explore diversity, equity, and inclusion with the founder of Living in Empathy, LLC, Erin Matthews, LCSW, and Nima Novak, MS, CCC-SLP, COO and co-facilitator of Living in Empathy, LLC. Erin and Nima offer a unique program which helps white people unpack whiteness while taking steps to authentic action. Each FAACT team member has participated in this program to enhance personal growth and to uplift FAACT's work within our diverse community.


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Erin Matthews, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and founder of Living In Empathy, LLC which helps white people unpack whiteness while taking steps to authentic action. Having received training in multicultural therapy and being a woman of color, Erin has spent years honing what does and does not work for clients. Erin works extensively with racism, inclusion, and acceptance of both one’s own racial and ethnic identity and being able to move through the world with confidence. Realizing how oppression and identity impact clients has been a crucial part of her work in helping clients move forward and feel high levels of self-worth. Being able to identify client’s struggles within their family, community, and social systems has allowed her to deepen the work that she does for clients. Erin feels strongly about education around how racism impacts both community and individuals in and outside of the therapy room. Working with white people who are unfamiliar with interacting with oppressed or marginalized populations has become an integral part of her desire to both educate and promote improving racial relations.

Nima Novak, MS, CCC-SLP, is an Indigenous Speech Language Pathologist from the Mohawk Tribe of the Iroquois Nation. She holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology. She has worked extensively in marginalized communities, specifically on the west side of Chicago, where she has seen first hand the negative effects of trauma on speech, language and fluency development. She is currently studying somatic therapies, NeuroAffective Touch, and Reiki to promote healing across the communities she serves, with the intention of loving kindness for all. Her focus on evidence-based practices and empirical research serves to bridge the worlds of healing and science which are often relegated to different categories. Nima’s holistic approach of resilience and education teaches how research-based mindfulness practices can be used to manage trauma in the body for both her students and colleagues experiencing the effects of secondary trauma. She is dedicated to empowering her students and all womxn to pursue their passions through the cultivation of resilience and self-worth. In her school based speech therapy and basketball coaching Nima takes a trauma-informed approach to support BIPOC and all students at every level. She is also the Co-Founder, Creative Director, Speaker on Indigenous history and COO of Living in Empathy, LLC.