Dr. Nivea Castañeda

Dr. Nivea Castañeda
Director of Impact and Systems Change

Dr. Nivea Castaneda Acrey is a first-generation Chicana who serves as the Director of Impact and Systems Change for Caminar Latino-Latinos United for Peace and Equity. During her academic career at the University of Denver, Seattle Pacific University, and Boise State University, Nivea studied Latinx family communication, healing, and wellness following the occurrence of stigmatized trauma. Specifically, by drawing on storytelling and Indigenous and community research methodology, Nivea studied the way survivors of child sexual abuse disclosed their experiences, who they confided in, the reactions they received, as well as their healing needs. Additionally, her scholarship explored the nuanced cultural discourses that impacted survivors’ decision to disclose and seek help. Through several campus initiatives and service learning, Nivea’s students partnered with local organizations to support sexual assault awareness projects on campus and in the community.

Prior to earning her Ph.D. at the University of Denver, Nivea served as an in-house suspension, health, and Spanish high school teacher in Reno, NV. Thereafter, she completed a master’s degree in counseling and educational psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno where she specialized in modes of therapy that centered youth of color. Nivea’s former and current roles and experiences inform and strengthen one another. Her experience in the high school and collegiate classroom, her research, and her current appointment at LUPE inform her small bilingual private practice. Nivea draws on decolonized and creative forms of trauma informed therapy to properly serve Latinx, immigrants, and incarcerated youth. She is grateful to then use this experience rooted in community to guide her role at LUPE and enjoys getting to share this knowledge with gender violence organizations across the country.   

On a personal level, Nivea loves to cook, garden, eat, watch sports, and enjoys spending time with her family. Nivea is a mom to two sons, Mateo and Santana, and a sweet pup named Trauma. She is a wife, a big sister, and a very proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. 

Published Work 

«Journal of Family Communication», «Review of Communication», «Communication Monographs».

Edited collections such as »This Bridge We Call Communication: Anzaldúan Approaches to Theory, Method, and Praxis», « Family as Metaphor», and »The Handbook of Critical Intercultural Communication».