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Violeta Donawa, MA, LLMSW

Violeta is a therapist and clinical social worker who loves poetry and the grand capacity of the human heart. She grounds her therapy practice and personal ethos within the principles and practices of Healing Justice which offers a framework for embodiment that, as Cara Page states, “intervenes on generational trauma and violence . . . to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.” She was midwifed into the embodiment of Healing Justice and the impact of community care work through the vision of Adela Nieves Martinez and involvement as a founding member of Healing by Choice! Detroit.

Having pursued her doctoral studies and also earning a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Michigan State University in 2014, Violeta has guest lectured on race and ethnicity, youth and society, sense of belonging across various Social Science and Humanities departments at Michigan State University, Oakland Community College, Vanderbilt University, and the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York. In 2014-15, she also taught and engaged in program development in Luanda, Angola. Violeta was selected as the 2017 United States fellow for the prestigious Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland where she presented on the importance of resourcing community healing from state violence as a human rights issue. As a result, she was later invited as a Summit Speaker for the International Decade for People of African Descent conference in Georgetown, Guyana.

In 2019, Violeta earned her MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with a focus on Interpersonal Practice and African-Centered Social Work. Since bridging her Sociological endeavors with healing justice work and clinical therapy, she prioritizes working on health and healing strategies at the cross-section of collective, personal, and psycho-spiritual care. Violeta is especially passionate about working with BIPOC populations and across  a number of presenting needs including but not limited to racialized stress and trauma, gender identity expression, LGBQQ+ issues, anxiety and depression, sexualized violence and complex trauma. As a kink-aware therapist, she is also trained to work with clients through a sex therapy informed lens. Generative Somatics, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing are commonly used interventions in her practice. In addition to her work clinical practice, she has served as a board member of the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network.

In 2020, she was featured on Lindsay Bryan-Povin’s podcast, Mind Money Balance, addressing the importance of spirituality and rest in the quest for financial wellness. This year, she will have poetry featured in the Untold Stories of Liberation and Love Anthology.

While higher education has offered a strong foundation and access to invaluable training, there are hosts of spiritual teachers, deeply-practiced peers, mentors, ancestral insights, and transformational lived experiences that contribute to how she shows up in her professional life as an educator and therapist.  Her favorite part of this work is uplifting the inherent dignity, wisdom, and resourcefulness of clients and communities.