The national Harm Reduction Coalition has engaged in an intentional process in our decisions about the National Harm Reduction Conference (HarmRed20) scheduled for October of this year. We took into consideration the safety and health of our community and centered input from the local organizing group in Puerto Rico. Additional considerations required us to think beyond the current moment to the longer-term impact of COVID-19.
After thoughtful deliberation, we have decided to postpone #HarmRed20. We are not canceling the conference; we are doing what harm reductionists do best; we are pivoting and responding to the emerging conditions. The timing is shifting, but the commitment to our movement and specifically the Puerto Rican community will not waver.
We want to give our heartfelt thanks to Rafi Torruella from Intercambios and the local organizing group for bringing their vision, knowledge, and magic to the planning process.
We understand that there are many questions, and in the coming weeks, we will provide detailed information about registration refunds, abstract submissions, scholarship applications, and exhibitor booths.
While we will not see each other in person this October, we will find creative and meaningful ways of being in community and supporting one another. When the time is right, we will gather for the panels, workshops, roundtables, fashion show, dance party, soccer game, all the magical, life-changing conversations that take place in the corridors between sessions, and the late-night talks between old friends and new comrades. When the time is right, we will hold each other again.
Maria, Monique, and the conference team