Dearest Harm Reduction Community,
More than 1,500 of us convened last week in San Diego for the 11th National Harm Reduction Conference. It was our biggest conference ever and a testament to our growing movement. Each session and panel invoked the spirit of harm reduction—unabashed love, support, and advocacy for those among us whom society casts out.
In light of Tuesday’s election in the United States, our community has more work to do than ever before. Harm Reduction Coalition is here for it, and we know we are not alone.
Harm Reduction Coalition vows to work with all of you to ensure the voices of people who use drugs and their advocates are heard in the new Administration and Congress. We will work with you to hold President-elect Trump to his claim that he will be a “President for all Americans.” The work we began nearly 30 years ago will not be in vain. We are the change-makers. We are the risk-takers. And we will continue to grow and thrive in spite of the roadblocks ahead.
We know it’s difficult not to view this vote as a repudiation of our values, our principles, and our work. We know the struggle to figure out how our communities will survive and advance in a hostile and dangerous environment. We refuse to believe that all of our progress will be rolled back.
Over the course of the next four years we will need to be even more explicit in our vision and our commitments, and we will need to be more caring and present for each other and our communities. Our greatest gift is compassion: the dedication to meeting people—all people—where they’re at. Compassion calls us to balance vulnerability, reflexivity, and hope.
The future of harm reduction began last week and Harm Reduction Coalition is actively developing a bold vision for the future. We need to be more creative and transformational in our work—and you can help. We’re asking for your support as we strive to become even more intentional about organizing and building community. Please consider making a donation to Harm Reduction Coalition to help us achieve our community’s collective vision of a society free of drug-related stigma and harm. You can donate online here or by phone: 212.213.6376 ext. 18.
This isn’t just about us: we want to hear directly from you. What are your hopes, fears, dreams, and ideas? What can Harm Reduction Coalition do to help you advance the work you’re doing in your community? Email us directly at the addresses listed below.
Let’s hold each other close as we enter this new era. Harm reduction is what we do, and our society needs us now more than ever.
Director of Policy