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Meet Jimanekia Eborn of SEWJim in East LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jimanekia Eborn.

Jimanekia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My journey has been a very fun tale with lots of twists and turns. I have always had it within me to help people, I have always known that I was a healer. I watched a lot of Law and Order SVU. Which naturally made me want to be someone that worked in SVU, special victims unit. Because I wanted to work with and protect women at first. And then it became an overall wanting to protect humans that had been affected by sexual assault and trauma. I went to school for criminal justice. Long behold, it was a rough time for me, I got kicked out because I never went to class and partied.

It was the best thing that could have happened. I had a been struggling with depression and drinking. I continued going to community college and wanted to explore more of my passion. I became a rape crisis counselor for San Bernardino County. Which meant when someone had been assaulted, and they went to a hospital to get a SART kit, I was that person that was sitting next to them to support them. I was their advocate for whatever they wanted and did not want. THAT, was when I really knew this was it! I felt so connected and humbled at that moment.

I ended up going back to school to study psychology. While in school I continued working, I ended up working in a group home setting with juvenile sex offenders. So, at this point, I have worked with both populations and it is really intense and I wanted more. To make a long story short I went from there to working with other teenagers in a mental health setting, eating disorders, and a residential facility for women with mental health struggles. The thing that they all had in common was the sexual assault.

I decided ok, there had to be more. And I thought to myself how could I never have a boring day at work and what filled was ever evolving and I could do all that I wanted.

SEX! Sexual education actually, and within that, I could help sexual assault survivors as well. That was almost 3 years ago that I went after my passion and I have not looked back since. It has been an amazing journey creating the brand of myself. SEWJim, which is sex ed with Jim. Current day I am building my own business where I work with sexual assault survivors.

In the space of being an advocate for them. I consult with media, those building classes, education as well. I teach various classes where I can cover multiple areas: LGBTQ+, Sexual Assault, Adolescent Sexual education, Sexual Education, Trauma, Body evolvement, Parent + Child – how to talk about puberty, sex, and answer questions. I take on speaking engagements I have traveled to multiple states and to Canada at this point. I am looking forward to what is next. I am the director of Education, for a nonprofit called More than “No” which is an organization that an outreach and educational group.

We believe an open dialogue about rape, sexual violence, and consent needs to be a common occurrence in order to eradicate it from our society. We offer educational workshops and peer support groups for survivors and allies. More Than No also produces “Cabaret Con-Sensual” which provides survivors.

I am the creator and co/host of a podcast called Cute & Black, where myself and my cohost talk about some of this tough topic that black communities aren’t talking about, that need to be. I work in a residential facility in Malibu for survivors a few days a week. And I am also in grad school working on my masters in Health Psychology.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In building this brand of me is definitely hard. I think I actually have been my biggest obstacle, in struggling with imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is basically when you are in your head thinking you are never good enough.

In working with trauma and psychology I have been doing this for 10 years now. I am very well versed and know what I am talking about. But, I often just have to remember that.

Also, like most spaces, it is always just that much harder as a black woman trying to get my voice heard and for people to see me.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the SEWJim story. Tell us more about the business.
Current day I am building my own business where I work with sexual assault survivors. In the space of being an advocate for them. I consult with media, those building classes, education as well. I teach various classes where I can cover multiple areas: LGBTQ+, Sexual Assault, Adolescent Sexual education, Sexual Education, Trauma, Body evolvement, Parent + Child – how to talk about puberty, sex, and answer questions. I take on speaking engagements I have traveled to multiple states and to Canada at this point.

I am most proud of the people I get to work with. I think knowing that this work that I do isn’t about me is actually extremely meaningful. My therapist said something funny the other day. She said that everything around me allows me to process. And my business is no different. I give everything to my work, you get the most real, most honest support. I am genuine and I will tell my clients what they need to hear, and to be able to support them as they are going through it all.

People sometimes forget that just because someone was sexually assaulted, that they are still them. That the assault is not all that they are. That it is something that happens to them. And I allow people I work with, to see that I know that.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Eh, luck is a funny thing, right? Luck is if, you tried a thing and it just happened to work out. That is luck.

I work hard every day, so I wouldn’t say luck has really played a role in my business.

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