Lighthouse Learning Series: Queer History of Harm Reduction Pt. 2

Starting in October 2023 and running until February 2024, we will be covering a series of queer harm reduction topics with the goal of creating a more inclusive movement.

Due to program scope, those living and working in New York are given priority. However, the series will be held virtually and is open to all those who want to build on their harm reduction knowledge to provide better services to LGB/TGNC+ folks!

Session description: Embark on a journey tracing liberation movements before harm reduction as we know it today, exploring milestones from the civil rights movement to the emergence of queer liberation. Dive into pivotal moments like the initiation of the War on Drugs, the rise of harm reduction during the AIDS crisis, witnessing the birth of needle exchanges and drug user liberation groups. Navigate the challenges and progress from landmark legal decisions to contemporary issues like COVID’s impact and the surge in anti-trans legislation. We’ll wrap the session by envisioning the future landscape, emphasizing the urgency of action and the critical role programs like Lighthouse play in today’s harm reduction movement. To view Part 1, click here

Facilitators: Arlo Santiago Cruz (he/they) is a proud Chicano Harm Reductionist born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, now living in Northern Colorado, managing the only Syringe Access Program in their county. He views Harm Reduction as a path to true self-actualization and communal liberation, not just a public health standard. Arlo has spoken on international panels around supporting peer workers and best practices for transgender folks accessing Harm Reduction Services. Arlo envisions a world where people who use drugs live without stigma and are properly paid restitution for the war that has been waged on them for decades.

Taylor Edelmann (he/him) is the Program Manager for the Lighthouse Learning Collective, a program dedicated to improving health outcomes for queer and trans people who use drugs and/or engage in sex work. He’s worked in community health for the last decade, providing direct services, capacity building, and technical assistance to organizations and communities committed to providing affirming services.


National Harm Reduction Coalition logo in black bold text, underlined
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