Board of Directors Candidates

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Candidates

Clement Bofa-Oppong ’16, Univeristy of Ghana

Dominique Coronel ’17, DePaul University

Erica Darragh ‘14, University of North Georgia

Randy Davis ’16, Kent State University

Kat Ebert ’18, Michigan State University

Chidi Enitan Edemanya ’17, Ekiti State University

Julia Hilbert ’17, University of Pittsburgh

Jules Hodge ’17, University of California, Santa Cruz

Grant Loew ’15, SUNY Binghamton

Bashorun Olufemi ’16, Crescent University, Abeokuta

Oyerinde Adeola Oluwafemi ’16, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic

Aidan Pillard ’16, Yale University

Tristan Seikel ’18, University of North Texas 

CLEMENT BOFA-OPPONG ‘16

Pronouns: He/Him/His

School: University of Ghana

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Geography and History

Current year in school: Senior

Expected graduation semester and year: November 2019

First Year of SSDP Involvement: 2016

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight:

1. I am currently serving as the Chapter President for SSDP University of Ghana (UG) since 2016. I have ensured the sustainability, vibrancy and membership growth of the chapter through innovative activities since its inception, with the ultimate aim of raising young people who will be dedicated to ending the war on drugs and ensuring change in the status quo.

2. I have served as the Students Coordinator for SSDP Ghana, were I am working with the National Executives to mobilize and expand the students base of SSDP Ghana by establishing more campus chapters across Ghana as well as assisting to coordinate the various chapters activities.
For instance; We successfully established SSDP UPSA and Wisconsin University Chapters.
I spearheaded the establishment of a local branch of SSDP UG at the Accra City Campus which is an annex campus unit of University of Ghana.

3. As a National Executive member of SSDP Ghana and in my quest to promote the vision and mission of SSDP, I am working with other executives to plan, organize and participate in SSDP conferences, outreaches and training workshops. For instance, I helped organized the recent SSDP Ghana Annual Open Forum on Drugs as well as our End of Year Retreat.
Also, I was selected to represent SSDP Ghana in Kenya at the 2nd Global Youth Leaders Forum and Training on Drug Use Prevention in December 2018.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
I joined the Global Miracle Campaign team to embarked on a public outreach event dubbed “Friends of Homeless” at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle within the Central Business District of Accra. I had the opportunity to educate, interact and inspire hope in some individuals who happen to be problematic drug users and as results, have become homeless or neglected by their families. I also engaged some security personnels around like the police, tax forces among others to see problematics drug users as equal citizens who needs help instead of stigmatizing and imprisoning them.

I co-founded an NGO in 2016 called Happy Smiles foundation. As part of our activities, we’ve had the opportunity to visit Good Shepherd Home (Orphanage Home) and Remar Shalom Home (both a Rehabilitation Center and an Orphanage Home) where we interacted with the inmates, youths and managements of the home in finding lasting solutions in supporting orphanage homes and addressing the challenges of problematic drug users. We donated some food stuffs, reading materials and clothes to the home and used various media platforms to call for supports towards Rehabilitation Centers.

I hosted an educational outreach at Ankwa Dobro M/A Junior High School where we offered voluntary teaching and interactive session with the students on Drug Abuse and it’s negative repercussions on them and their future.


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
Forming a community coalition team with some staff of the Narcotics Control Board under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Ghana, Youth Leaders from Liberia,  SSDP Ghana Campus Chapter leaders and Senior High School Student leaders to Address the issue of Tramadol Abuse by Young People in Ghana and Liberia.


What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

Joining West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN Ghana) , West Africa Civil Society Institute(WACSI) and International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) on the 2017 World Drugs Day Celebration in the support don’t punish campaign with focus on harm reduction. It was a great opportunity to publicly join in the fight against the war on drugs as well as a worthwhile and exciting moment as we had media engagements and hit the principal streets of Accra to walk in support of vulnerable and problematic drug users who need support through public health and rehabilitation than criminalization, stigmatization and imprisonment.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

I successfully pitched a Youth in Action Plan on behalf of my project team in front of 5 panel of judges which won my team $1000 as a seed grant to support and implements our Action Plan which was focused on solving issues of substance abuse in Ghana and Liberia. It is worth bringing into light that, my team placed second out of thirty presenters from 21 countries, which saw three projects selected to receive $1000 USD seed grants.

Again, together with the national executives of SSDP Ghana, we drafted and presented a Budgets proposal to SSDP International Staff which afforded us the opportunity to benefit from the SSDP International Activities Fund (IAF) which supported the financial demands of our 2nd annual National Open Forum on Drugs in Accra.


As the co-founder of Happy Smiles Foundation, which is non-governmental organization that reaches out to destitute kids and individuals in the society by doing charitable works in dynamism, I helped raised funds to support our community outreaches through the printing of tally cards and envelopes which is then distributed to friends, relatives, networks and individuals to contribute in their own small way in cash or kind to help supports the foundations’ activities.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Diversity Awareness Reflection Education (DARE) Committee
International Organizing Committee
Issues and Resources Committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
It is a great privilege and an avenue to learn, build capacity and advocacy skills as well as a privilege to offer ones best of services and commitment to SSDP while exuding the core values of integrity, justice, compassion and reason in a well-defined role with an ultimate aim of championing the core mission and vision of SSDP focused on ending the harmful and disastrous war on drugs.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

1.  I will contribute effectively, shrewd and creative ideas that addresses the contemporary needs of SSDP in the event of setting up the organizational objectives at the strategy summit.

2. I will commit fully, support, and ensure the overall integrity and successes of SSDP is attained.

3. In conjunction with the various outreach coordinators and Board of Directors, I will be committed to the establishment of more SSDP chapters across the globe by developing passionate youth leaders through the promotion of youth civic engagements.

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

Growing up in a community surrounded by problematic drug users, I have been exposed to the usage of drugs by young people including marijuana, alcohol, and tramadol who have ultimately been affected negatively by the disastrous war on drugs with its associated stigmatization, incarceration and imprisonment. This exposure coupled with my active involvement with SSDP for the past years and having served in various key leadership positions, has propelled and enabled me harnessed and developed strong activism, advocacy, analytical, communication, excellent organizational and social skills and I hope to bring these relevants and transferable skills to the Board of Directors. Also, I hope to bring on board my natural self-confidence, enthusiasm, integrity, team work, and creativity for the general progress and success of SSDP. I am very passionate about creating a change in the status quo as well as a results oriented young gentleman and I hope to actively involve myself in diverse fields of activities on the board especially one focused on replacing the disastrous war on drugs with policies rooted in evidence, compassion and human rights.

Bio

Clement Bofa-Oppong is a passionate Youth Activist who strongly believes that; the youth are not the leaders of tomorrow but leaders of today and tomorrow. He is currently a student of the University of Ghana(UG) pursuing his undergraduate degree in Geography and History and the Chapter President for SSDP UG. As the Students Coordinator for SSDP Ghana since 2016, he’s been very pivotal to the successes of SSDP Ghana since its inception. He has received training on Drug Use Prevention and Advocacy by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America(CADCA) and The Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme. He is a Co-founder of Happy Smiles Foundation, who reaches out to destitute societies and does charitable works in dynamism as well as the Project Head for Campaign Against Tramadol Abuse (CATA) working in conjunction with the Narcotics Control Board of Ghana. He’s joined many volunteering groups and served in various campus leadership positions including the Speaker of Parliament for his hall, a General Assembly member of the Students Representative Council (SRC) and a former SRC Presidential Candidate. He was adjudged the Students Activist of the year in 2018 for his hall of residence. Clement envisions to be the President of Ghana someday.


DOMINIQUE CORONEL ’17

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs, He/Him/His

School: DePaul University

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Political Science

Current year in school: Junior

Expected graduation: 2020


First Year of SSDP Involvement:

2017

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

As Vice President of SSDP, I championed a movement to change campus Naloxone/Narcan Policy. Building Power with other student organizations to successfully lobby and pressure the administration to roll out the opioid overdose medication on campus and in the residence halls, after a former DePaul student had overdosed just a few miles from campus. Through activism and organizing, the President of our University personally approved a plan to fund education, training, and medication to combat the opioid crisis in our communities thanks to our advocacy work.

At the state level we have developed relationships with public officials and legislators to lobby for the legalization of cannabis in the state of Illinois- pushing for racial equity in the cannabis industry and true reparations for people of color in the bill. SSDP DePaul is working with the chief sponsors of the cannabis bill to develop the new drug education programs/initiatives that will come out of cannabis revenue and taught in high schools all across the state of Illinois. Focusing on a true harm reduction, evidence based, and interactive model. Rather than one rooted in abstinence and purity.

Finally, we have pioneered a revolutionary event which intends to bridge the gaps between music, culture and policy. A Cannabis Legalization/Benefit show and Concert in Chicago that is dedicated to anyone who has been impacted by unjust marijuana laws. Which will serve as a networking opportunity and gathering for future and current cannabis industry professionals, medical cannabis patients, cannabis enthusiasts, drug policy reformers, activists, psychedelic communities, and more. Featuring Chicago’s best artists, vendors, and non-profits.
The “Legalize Cannabis! Benefit Show” will bring communities together through ART, MUSIC, and PEOPLE- to build power, grow the cannabis legalization movement, and advocate for sensible drug policy in our city and state. It embodies a concept that I have been exploring/developing called “People for Sensible Drug Culture.” which seeks to go beyond academia and into less classist spaces.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
My experience as an activist traveling across this country has aided in the development of my character. Has helped me become unafraid to stand up for what’s right. From Standing Rock, to Flint Michigan, to fighting gentrification right here in Chicago. I am unafraid to speak truth to power and fight against systems of oppression.

As an organizer, I have knocked on thousands of doors. I have championed movements to change policy, and I have advocated for the most vulnerable in our society. I have continuously fought for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice- and will do so until the day I die.

I have worked on 6 electoral campaigns and have worked and won victories through many different issue based campaigns. Through my experiences, I have developed strong relationships with power-holders and have a great understanding of the political process.


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
I was seven years old when the D.E.A. broke down our door, pointed guns at our bodies and screamed at us to get on the floor. They destroyed our home. Destroyed my toys and my childhood. They took my father away for years. To this day, I still have nightmares about that traumatizing experience that haunt me.

Even before that, I had lost my mother to drugs, addiction and mental illness.

I was orphaned by the War on Drugs.

I have overcome poverty and homelessness. Against all odds, I have made it to college and continue to fight to make the world a better place every day on campus and in the city of Chicago.

As a Mexican American, the son of immigrants, I have dealt with racism both blatant and institutional.

I believe my experiences in life will serve me well in my quest to become a member of the Board of Directors.


What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

I was able to raise $1500 in 4.5 hours for my chapter through grassroots donations online. I have thrown benefit concerts and shows since I was fresh out of high school for then Presidential Candidate, Bernie Sanders, raising thousands of dollars in one night before I even hit 20 years old. I am continuously developing relationships with wealthy contributors, entrepreneurs, and the ever expanding cannabis industry.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Executive Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, [New Committee Proposal]

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
I think it means lifting up the voices and issues of those in your communities and advocating for them. I think it means being bold and unafraid to challenge the status quo. I think it means being a revolutionary.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

My platform is radical, potentially controversial- but I believe to be absolutely necessary to address huge structural problems within our organization. I am running on a true grassroots approach to ending the War on Drugs, rather than the current top-down model that is failing.

No real change in American history, not the labor movement, not civil rights, nor any other movement for social justice- has ever succeeded without grassroots activism, without millions of people engaged in the struggle for justice. We are limiting ourselves right now. alienating those who cannot afford to go to college.

How, I ask you, are we connecting with the rest of the world in tangible ways? How can we expand SSDP to be a more racially inclusive and economically diverse space for all? What are we actually doing to reach those who are disproportionately impacted by the drug war, to join our cause and build power with us? Most importantly, how is SSDP working to define the existing and ever expanding “drug culture”?

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2. Bringing in People of Color:
It is an embarrassment, a tragedy, a disgrace – that we are an organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of those impacted by the war on drugs, and yet black and brown people (who are impacted the most!) are seriously lacking in representation. This cannot continue to happen. The war on drugs is not just a war on white kids, it is a war on all people. We need to build power with black and brown people. It is not enough to be ANTI-racism. We need to be PRO-Black and Brown Liberation. This means collaborating more with minority coalitions, developing concrete initiatives to reach those people of color who want to work with us, but can’t because they’re not in school.

3. PSDC – People for Sensible Drug Culture:
At its core, PSDC is the embodiment of the fundamental understanding that we are in the midst of a Drug Culture Revolution. Whether or not we (as a network) condemn or condone drug use – folks are using drugs and will continue to use drugs, especially in an era when marijuana legalization is a political inevitability. This, along with the decimalization of psilocybin movement, and the rampant use of drugs in the music scene and in all communities, will necessitate the development of a culture in how we use and think about drugs. SSDP/PSDC has the potential to be a leading force in how the world thinks about drug use, especially as drugs become more mainstream. A failure to embrace this cultural shift could lead to a hijacking of mainstream drug use by the capitalist class and drug industries, as exemplified in the opioid crisis.
At a very high level, PSDC would be a subsidiary of SSDP, a grassroots effort dedicated to defining what it means to be a life-long drug user or member of the drug community in this new age and incoming revolution. PSDC would:

–          Go beyond academic institutions and expand to the new drug culture. Through media/film/art/interactive articles/blogs/memes- to bridge the gaps between culture and policy.

The most limiting factor for reaching marginalized communities is that SSDP is focused on college campuses where only the most privileged can attain education and thus have access to an organization like Students for Sensible Drug Policy. PSDC goes beyond academia and would be more inclusive to all folks. Thus, PSDC would requiring a strong presence at music festivals, raves, shows, online, and more. It would necessitate a platform(s) dedicated to drug memes and other drug related content. (Drug use tricks/tips. What does it mean to be a POC and a drug user? A mom/dad and a drug user?)

Drug culture already exists. [Rich/White] People are now realizing the power psychedelics, and will likely try and profit and hijack the culture. It’s becoming mainstream. Thus reinforces the need to have a stronger presence in the music scene and at festivals and local raves and online and in the memes and everywhere in between. But beyond that, it’s about ensuring we, as young people, as the next generation- start defining what it means to be a drug user. Start promoting safe and healthy drug use now and the normalization of drug testing, especially as drug use will become more common, and as industries will encourage excessive consumption for greater profit.

–         Serve as a pipeline for students and young people to get into these ever-expanding drug industries.

Where it would enable our society to end stigmatization, promote and work towards equal opportunities for people of color within these industries, and be a space for drug industry workers’ labor rights to develop and grow.

–          Be an entity dedicated to true public health and safety in this new culture.
Focusing on real harm reduction, fighting glorification of excessive consumption. Healthy drug use. Proper dosing. Sex and drugs, consent and drugs. How are we properly educating folks to help those who are having a difficult experience with psychedelics?

       **While I recognizes that entities like dance safe and the Zendo Project already exist, I believe it is essential to be the pipeline to those entities for all who might be interested and continue working together by entering these cultural spaces. Our Global SSDP conference is incredible. But not everyone is a student or has $400 to blow on a ticket (or more). It is our job to bring the conference to the People- through media, through grassroots means, and entering spaces where the people actually are.**

We, as an organization- be it SSDP or PSDC within it – must consider the intersectionality of drugs and other issues within Drug culture: like sex and consent and drugs, race and gender and drugs, mental health and drugs, etc

These are just a few examples of what PSDC might look like. We are seeing every day on various news outlets that psychedelics are becoming more mainstream. While these are just pinpointed ideas at a very high level, still being developed, I believe they are all issues we need to lift up. The time to leave our bubble of academia and expand to the rest of the world is now.

By entering these cultural spaces that already exist (like music festivals, social media, concerts, art spaces, etc), we can expand our network to folks who need this information and knowledge the most. We need to get out of classist bubbles like colleges and get into the streets and in the places where drugs are being done and a culture is being formed. These folks who are using drugs can be brought into these discussions and together we can develop a holistic drug culture. Only by creating this can we ensure a better society rooted in common humanity and public health which will lead to changes in law and policy.

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

I hope to bring an outside perspective, as someone whose entire life has been impacted by the War on Drugs. I hope not to be tokenized, or fetishized, or placated or exploited. I truly hope to change the dynamic of SSDP to something stronger and more effective. I hope to be apart of a Board that will spark a revolutionary movement. I hope to bring in all people, regardless of income or socioeconomic status. I hope to change the world through SSDP Board of Directors, and be one step closer to ending the War on Drugs.

Bio

Dominique Coronel is currently a junior at DePaul University, pursuing his degree in political science. Dom has traveled across the nation fighting for justice. His journey has taken him to Standing Rock, Flint, Michigan, and across  his hometown of Chicago. It is his life’s passion to stand up to systems of oppression and lead social movements to enact concrete policy change. On campus, Dom championed a successful campaign to increase access to naloxone. At the state level, he lobbied for racial equity in the cannabis industry, reparations for those impacted by the War on Drugs, and advocated for evidence-based drug education in public schools through the Illinois Cannabis Legalization Bill. Recognizing the Power of Psychedelics to heal, help, and find our common humanity, he has volunteered at events for MAPS and the Zendo Project on behalf of SSDP. As a student who himself has overcome homelessness and poverty, Dom is the spokesperson for the DePaul USA Dax program, appearing on various networks, like CBS Sunday Morning, Vice News, and Broadly, to advocate for homeless college students in Chicago and throughout the United States. Orphaned by the Drug War, Dom knows firsthand the impact drug prohibition has on people of color and low-income communities. Dom will seek to bridge the gaps between policy and music, art and culture, to bring people into the political process and help create a radical and revolutionary movement to end the disastrous War on Drugs.


ERICA DARRAGH ‘14

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

School: University of North Georgia

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Bachelor of Science, Psychological Science

Current year in school: Recent Alumni

Expected graduation: Fall 2018


First Year of SSDP Involvement: 2014

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight.
Although our chapter has not, as of yet, had an executive role beyond president, I served in a leadership capacity every semester I was on campus. I have been unofficial treasurer, event coordinator, secretary, and executive cat herder. I created and led one of our most successful events, Psychedelic Safe Space, which was awarded Best New Event by Student Government Association in April 2017. My role with SSDP is also directly responsible for my involvement with Peachtree NORML, Zendo Project, Dancesafe, and Psymposia. These roles also directly influenced my admission to the McNair Scholars program.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
Dancesafe: Georgia Chapter Director

Psymposia: Social Media Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Content Contributor

Zendo Project: Volunteer

Peachtree NORML: Board of Directors, Collegiate Liaison

Stacey Abrams ’19 campaign: Volunteer

Bernie Sanders ’20 campaign: Volunteer

Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
Beyond direct action activism, my interest in drug policy reform and harm reduction is also academic. As a McNair Scholar, I completed research on the role language plays in perpetuating stigma related to substance use disorder. The research compared clinical and colloquial substance use-related terms, including “substance abuser,” “addict,” and “person with substance use disorder.” The data was stark: “substance abuser” and “addict” are stigmatizing terms that elicit significantly harsher judgments of treatment worthiness, blameworthiness, social threat, and other characteristics. Because stigma plays a dual role as a barrier of access to care, this data suggests that changing the language we use to discuss problematic substance use may be beneficial to progressing harm reduction and patient advocacy conversations.

This research was conducted in my pursuit of graduate school education in clinical psychology, where I hoped to eventually become a psychedelic therapist. I did everything I had to do to go straight to graduate school, including taking the GRE, contacting potential advisers, and applying to programs. However, I faced a barrier that I was wholly unprepared for: the “black box” we have been lobbying against on housing and employment applications is also one of the first questions on graduate school applications. Even though I have not even been to court, discrimination is pervasive. However, this speed bump has afforded me the opportunity to re-evaluate my potential role in the drug policy, harm reduction, and clinical psychedelic spheres.

Beyond academic involvement, I have also become involved in conversations critiquing the mainstreaming of psychedelic medicine, particularly related to intentions of certain venture capitalist firms that have recently entered the sphere. I was invited to speak on a panel at SSDP ’19 about this topic, and look forward to the dialogue that will occur. Another topic I have become passionate about is encouraging the development of a consent culture in the psychedelic and live music communities. Dancesafe’s #WeLoveConsent campaign has afforded me the opportunity and resources to promote these ideals in the Atlanta scene, and I hope to assist national in their efforts to create more materials and spaces for conversation this topic. I also intend to represent these ideas at an upcoming event in New York, “Consent is Psychedelic,” where we are addressing silenced issues in the psychedelic community and creating a safe space for conversation and education.

What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?
One of the most meaningful moments I have had was in April 2017. Just days before I left for Psychedelic Science, we attended the Student Government Association’s Student Organization awards ceremony. We were nominated for Best New Event for our wildly successful Psychedelic Safe Space. To my heartwarming surprise, we won. A psychedelic-themed event was recognized by a fairly conservative southeastern university as having a beneficial impact on campus. I hadn’t realized how meaningful that type of institutional validation would be, and this experience served to reinforce that the times are indeed changing.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)
My fundraising experience is directly related to my role as chapter director of Dancesafe Georgia. As an independent chapter of a nonprofit, all of our financial resources come from merchandise sales, donations, and fundraising efforts.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –
Strategic Planning, Issues and Resources, Congress Committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
For me, the Board of Directors acts as the compass for SSDP’s ever-evolving role in the movement to end prohibition, promote harm reduction, and encourage people to just say know. As student leaders, we ensure that SSDP stays true to its charter and the intentions set forth two decades ago. Additionally, SSDP’s Board of Directors ensures that a new cohort of activists level up in the skills necessary to strategically deconstruct the war on drugs.

List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.
Bulleted or numbered format is preferred.

*Encourage respectful and critical evaluation of the direction of psychedelic mainstreaming. It is our responsibility to ensure that the clinical framework reflects the fundamentally egalitarian nature of psychedelics, and we must work to ensure accessibility for under-served and under-represented populations.

*Promoting and expanding consent culture. Consent is often understood in a physical context, but its application extends far beyond that. Evolving the culture of our community is an active process, and these conversations should be integrated whenever possible.

*Exploring potential methods of reducing discrimination in graduate education. The Ban the Box campaign has been successful in several areas, but as of yet it has be minimally addressed in the academic context.

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?
As we approach a post-prohibition world, it is our responsibility to play an active and critical role in the development of mainstream frameworks for cannabis legalization, harm reduction expansion, and psychedelic medicine. As a board member, I hope to speak to concerns related to decolonization and the future of psychedelic medicine, promote consent culture and its integration into our community, and investigate potential methods of promoting Ban the Box in order to reduce discrimination for students pursuing higher education. I also hope to encourage thoughtfulness related to the language used to discuss problematic substance use and harm reduction tactics.

Bio
Erica is a drug policy reformer and harm reductionist from Georgia. She became involved with SSDP in 2013 and has since become involved with other affiliate organizations. She currently serves at Chapter Director of DanceSafe Georgia , Social Media Manager for Psymposia, Collegiate Liaison for Peachtree NORML, and is a regular volunteer with MAPS and Zendo Project. She has also completed academic research on stigma related to substance use disorder, and intends to pursue graduate education in order to better serve the harm reduction, policy reform, and psychedelic communities. Currently, she is focused on addressing discrimination in higher education, building a consent culture throughout our community, and encouraging respectful but critical conversations related to the mainstreaming of psychedelics.


RANDY DAVIS ‘16

Pronouns: He/Him/His

School: Kent State University

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: BS Biochemistry, BBA Business Management, currently in MS Chemistry – Organic Chemistry

Current year in school: 1st Year Graduate Student

Expected graduation: Spring 2020


First Year of SSDP Involvement:

2016

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

Treasurer for one year, vice president for one semester, chapter leader for one year, and helped facilitate and lead the SSDP2018 Midwest Regional Conference. Currently the KSU treasurer for spring 2019.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
Volunteered with MAPS for the SOAP conference 2018, certified to prevent sexual violence through Green Dot at KSU (SRVSS office), four years of chemistry/biochemistry research, performed a summer research internship at KSU, collected signatures with MPP for medicinal cannabis on the ballot in Ohio 2017


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
As a chemist I am fascinated with the phenomena that psychoactive substances can elicit on consciousness and how this must not be criminalized in our society anymore! I hope to one day aid in or personally design new psychoactive substances to aid with medicinal purposes, in addition to creating safer alternatives and protocols for the recreational substances that people use regularly in our society. I believe that joining the Board of Directors will assist my goals to achieve where I want to be as a scientist in addition to helping the future of SSDP flourish, especially for individuals in the organization like myself.  


What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

My most memorable moment was the entire SSDP2017 conference in Portland, Oregon, as the location and overall essence of the conference will forever be ingrained in my memory. However, being invited and participating in the strategy summit in 2018 had the most impact on my interests to pursue more professional routes in this organization.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

Our chapter has performed multiple fundraising activities, as we have done “fundrager” parties where the purpose is to fundraise for the conference travel expenses and hotel costs. We have been very successful and tend to bring in hundreds of dollars in one evening, both at more private fundraising parties in addition to events we’ve hosted in public areas. Our most successful fundraising event was when our chapter raised $500 during a public concert we hosted. We facilitated multiple artists to perform for free, utilized a local tavern/concert space for free as well, and promoted the event around the city of Kent, bringing in numerous people not associated with SSDP. During the SSDP2017 conference, Kent State University was recognized with the Fundraising award.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Executive committee, strategic planning committee, issues and resources committee (4th choice congress committee)

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
I believe that being a part of the SSDP Board of Directors allows young leaders of the drug policy reform movement like myself to engage with professionals and staff of SSDP and other organizations. If elected to the board, I will make decisions to move the organization further towards its missions and values, aiding in the eventual end to The War on Drugs.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

1. To continue the forward direction of SSDP’s mission and values by assisting with the professional aspect of the organization’s growth and decision making through the Board of Directors
2. Creating new methods for SSDP to engage with our students who are pursuing scientific majors, i.e. facilitating a chat group to share and discuss relevant scientific literature, building networks to aid in assisting students with finding programs, etc.
3. To facilitate the creation of new coalitions and outreach to organizations outside of the established network of drug policy reform groups

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

I hope to bring a professional, scientifically oriented perspective to the Board of Directors, utilizing my knowledge in business management whilst coinciding with the scientific community of SSDP to make improvements to the organization and further its progress towards its ultimate goal to end The War on Drugs.  

Bio

Randy Davis is currently enrolled in a graduate master’s program for organic chemistry at Kent State University. He has a B.S. in chemistry with biochemistry concentration and a B.B.A. in business management. Randy hopes to be at the cutting edge of psychoactive drug discovery in the future to aid in the progress of the scientific aspects of drugs and harm reduction.



KAT EBERT ‘18

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

School: Michigan State University

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Neuroscience with Pharmacology/Toxicology Minor

Current year in school: Junior

Expected graduation: May 2021


First Year of SSDP Involvement:

2018

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

I am currently the president of Michigan State’s chapter of SSDP. I recently reactivated MSU’s chapter and spent all summer and fall working on the reactivation process. My chapter is currently one of the fastest growing chapters of SSDP and we already have over 50 members since last November when we became an official Registered Student Organization on campus. Currently we are working on running our first campaign to expunge marijuana-related criminal records in the state of Michigan after the legalization of marijuana back in November. I assisted with proposal 1 on campus by attending several rallies and speaker sessions to gain support for this proposal. Our chapter is still one of the newest chapters of SSDP, but I am diligently working to help it grow and develop into the best chapter we can be.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
I am currently a volunteer for The Army Of Survivors which is an organization formed by my sister survivors from the Larry Nassar scandal. We help provide resources and support for survivors of sexual assault. I also recently accepted a board position for the new 24/7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program which will be officially up and running by January 2020. I helped create this program as well as a new Gender and Multicultural Identity Resource Center on campus whose main purpose is to provide resources for marginalized groups in a multitude of areas. This will also be my third year as a mentor for the empowHER program. This is a program held on MSU’s campus every year for 4th-9th grade girls to inspire confidence, community, and resiliency during one of the toughest time periods of a young girls life. I am also a huge advocate for the #MeToo movement and am working with Rachelle and Oriana on the new #MeToo in our movement SSDP2019 session about sexual misconduct and responses to it within the Drug Policy Reform movement.


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
I am currently studying Neuroscience with a Pharmacology and Toxicology minor and plan to attend graduate school to receive my DO/PhD in Neuropsychopharmacology to research and administer effective treatment for PTSD, Anxiety and Depression through psychedelic research. I am very involved with MAPS and follow the current research regarding psychedelics very closely.


What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

My most memorable SSDP moment so far was successfully reactivating the Michigan State chapter of SSDP. It took months and lots of hard work, but we are now a healthy growing chapter with more than 50 members. Because of the new status of our chapter, we are still working on running our first successful campaign to create positive and effective change on a large level, but I have high hopes for our chapter and can’t wait to see what we accomplish next.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

I have lots of experience fundraising for my high school band and choir programs, as well as a few fundraising experiences with SSDP. Last week was our first fundraiser and we successfully raised $114 for our chapter. We will also be hosting a few more fundraisers in the next two months to raise money for the 2019 SSDP International Conference.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Issues and Resources Committee, DARE Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Congress Committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
I believe that with a position on the board of directors I would not only be responsible for implementing more profound policy changes, but serve as an example and role model of what SSDP is truly about: students that are committed to ending the war on drugs and eliminating the negative stigmas surrounding substance use and abuse to encourage those struggling with addiction to come forward and ask for help as well as provide them with resources. The board of directors represents SSDP as an organization as well as the SSDP family, making members and individuals involved in the drug community feel accepted and empowered with knowledge in harm reduction and policy reform skills.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

1. Advocate for more psychedelic research and clinical trials
2. Focus on the importance of mental health and drug policy including more accessible resources
3. Expand policy reform and education to high school students and allow them the opportunity to get involved in areas of policy reform that they would like to see a change

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

I believe that I have a unique perspective in regards to policy change and harm reduction as I have witnessed the risks and rewards of drug use. My life revolves around substance use and abuse and my professional goals and aspirations revolve around research and the medical and health related benefits of substances, specifically surrounding mental health. I believe in the curative powers of certain substances and advocate for more research and accessibility to resources for those struggling with addiction.

Bio

Kat Ebert is a junior at Michigan State University studying Neuroscience with a Pharmacology and Toxicology minor. Kat hopes to receive her DO/PhD in Neuropsychopharmacology to research and administer effective treatment for PTSD, anxiety and depression. Kat is currently involved with a multitude of organizations including a board position for the new 24/7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program and a volunteer position for The Army of Survivors. Kat is also the founder and chapter leader of the Michigan State University chapter of SSDP and has one of the fastest growing chapters with over 50 members since mid-November 2018. Kat is very passionate about education regarding substance use and abuse and the effect it has on mental health.



CHIDI ENITAN EDMANYA ‘17

Pronouns: He/Him/His

School: Ekiti State University

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Philosophy

Current year in school: Graduate

Expected graduation: N/A

First Year of SSDP Involvement:

2017

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

In the past three years since I have been involved with ssdp, I have garnered several experience in the drug industry and unlearned several prejudice which are mostly attributed to drugs, as regards my role and duties, I have been a state coordinator in the most populous city in Nigeria, Lagos state. I have several accomplishments over the years however I would highlight three that standout for me.

Firstly, my team and I are currently working on a documentary that focuses on the present drug policy in Nigeria and the adverse effect on the general population; we have interviewed all the major stakeholders from drug enforcement agents, civil servants in charge of youths and rehabilitation, social workers, politicians, drug dealers, caregivers and drug policy analyst. This project is being done out of the purse of I and my team mates with a very lean budget and we are currently at the post-production stage, this documentary would be available for public view by April 2019.

Secondly, my team and I in 2017 ran an outreach engagement for students of senior secondary schools on drugs it was tagged “just say know” in one of the most troubled district in Lagos state and we were able to tutor and mentor some of the students and provide skill for trouble teens. We have received several positive feedback’s from parents, guardians, teachers and students. This is my greatest achievement with ssdp and the amount of life’s we were able to reform and help mentor.

Lastly, the present structure of ssdp Nigeria and our increased growth didn’t come easy, I am glad I was part of the team that helped restructure, reform and strategically place ssdp Nigeria on the present pedestal we are on. Operating from a lean budget we have achieved a great feat in bringing like minds together and pushing towards drug reform and proper rehabilitation for people who have problematic drug use. I am proud of the family we have become.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
Since I been involved with drug advocacy, my team and I have been in close relationship with drug enforcement agency, although we do not agree with their modus operandi, however we have been able to collaborate with their drug demand reduction unit(DDR). We have participated in training’s and rehabilitation programs with people who have problematic drug use, through our present collaboration we have assisted young people who are caught with drugs from jail time by providing out of court methods with the agency, although we have only assisted three persons but this collaboration has been very strategic.

Also I have volunteered with students for liberty, as a local coordinator I have advocated for more open markets reforms and liberal policies. Engaging with policy makers on market reforms, holding seminars and lectures. I am presently active in politics which are where i share my ideas and policy with political leaders and party members


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)

All my life I have been curious about human existence and the role each and every individual as to play for social progression. studying philosophy in college also opened my mind into idealism and the need to be idealistic and view perspective from several possible angles without losing sight of the general good which is the ultimate progression of the human race. I have always viewed actions and inactions with consequence, coming from a third world nation with millions of people living in poverty I have always sought for ideas and perspective that would improve productivity and human capital development. This year I am beginning my master’s program out of my quest to seek knowledge to improve the society and myself. I am actively involved in grassroots politics and look forward to run for local council representative in 2023.


What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

the most memorable moment for me in ssdp so far has been the “just say know” outreach myself and my team undertook in senior secondary school students in one of the most trouble municipals in lagos, mushin local government. we educated and mentored the students on the effect of drugs and how they could cope and set their priorities right in their troubled environment which has a major influence over their lives. we were able to mentor about 17 students who later got into college, the feedback we got from parents, teachers, guardians was tremendous and very encouraging. the lives we touched and the influence we had on them was very visible. i am glad to have partook in that assignment and till date i still feel fulfilled looking back at that initiative.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

yes, i have engaged in several fundraisers for people with severe medical conditions,i have volunteered with kbk foundation,, an humanitarian foundation that partake in assisting people with medical bills. i have been contracted to bring in several social media influencers for the campaign. we engage the general public through social media and writing compelling stories to drive empathy. i was actively involved for a particular patient who was suffering from severe heart complications and we were able to raise over $6000 for her to undergo a heart surgery in india. although it wasn’t solely my effort it was collaborating with several individuals and organizations to achieve this feat. however it was a learning process for me, taking cognizance of the timeline and the amount we needed to raise at the time. i still look forward to learn more about fundraising because we were quite limited to social media alone.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

diversity awareness reflection education committee

issues and resource committee

international organizing committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
being a board of director is upholding all of the ideals of students for sensible drug policy and also expanding such ideals. a board of director should always look out for the best interest of the organization, making sure programs are being followed and progress is being made. helping new chapters learn through the ropes and making sure operations of programs are not halted. it is being open minded and meeting the needs of members, providing strategies and being held accountable for action and inactions. it is also the ability to communicate properly and have the right emotional intelligence in addressing all the multifaceted problems of drug policy.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

1.increasing local drug policy contents on the “just say know” peer education curriculum, this would help diversity and enable ssdp members across the world access drug data and resources closer to home

2.increasing students engagements and chapter programs across the world, through incentives focusing on harm reduction and community engagement

3. raising $2500 for the organization

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

i am bringing my pragmatism and my idealism, i am passionate against the war on drugs and would do everything within my capacity to see it end, i intend to seek new ways in engaging every member/chapter of ssdp across the globe, my flexibility is one of my strongest attribute and i am ready to deploy that skill set in achieving every task as a board of director.  

Bio

N/A


JULIA HILBERT ‘17

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

School: University of Pittsburgh

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Major: Social Work, Minor: Spanish

Current year in school: Junior

Expected graduation: Spring 2020

First Year of SSDP Involvement:

2017

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

During my time with the University of Pittsburgh’s SSDP chapter, I have served as the Business Manager as well as the Vice President of our chapter’s executive board.  Our work in creating awareness about our university’s medical amnesty policy lead to us being honored with the Rising Star chapter award at the SSDP 2018 conference. Twice in the past year, we have put on seminars in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh’s Neuroscience Honors Society in a series called the Addicted Brain, where we invite professors and other professionals who work with people with substance use disorder to speak about their experiences, and explain the basics of the neuroscience of substance use disorders to students and members of the community.  This past summer, I took part in the Sleeping Octopus Assembly on Psychedelics in Wilkinsburg, PA representing both SSDP and DanceSafe as I tabled, volunteered, and helped to plan the event. It was here that the Pittsburgh Psychedelic Society was born, and this event also served as the inspiration behind my SSDP blog post regarding self-disclosure of personal drug use as an advocate or activist. Most recently, my chapter hosted a Decriminalize Safety rally in the fall, working with approximately fifteen organizations and agencies from the larger Pittsburgh community. This was our first large move in our plan to enact legislative change in Pennsylvania by removing syringes and drug testing materials from the definition of “drug paraphernalia” in the Section 2 definitions of PA’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act of 1992.  We gained a total of nearly 1,000 signatures on our petition for this legislative change from supportive members of the Pittsburgh community in the month prior to our rally, and continue to receive support in our efforts from many organizations and agencies in the community who work with people who use drugs, people with substance use disorder, and/or people in recovery, as well as receiving ongoing support from members of the Pittsburgh City Council.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
– Students for Sensible Drug Policy at the University of Pittsburgh – Vice President
– Pittsburgh DanceSafe – President, founding member
– Prevention Point Pittsburgh – Intern, syringe exchange volunteer
– Pittsburgh Psychedelic Society – volunteer, founding member
– Pittsburgh Agents of Cultural Change – Business Manager (Facilitating on-campus volunteer classes for sexual misconduct prevention and drug-related emergency intervention)
-Rights Restoration Project – Volunteer
– National Association of Social Workers – Active member
-Attended SSDP’s 2018 Strategy Summit as the University of Pittsburgh chapter’s Business Manager
-Certified Just Say Know Peer Educator


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
I originally got involved with SSDP because of my shared experience with friends and family members with substance use disorder.  At the SSDP 2018 conference, someone told me that they “have always been practicing harm reduction, but never had a name for it”. That idea really resonated with me.  In my hometown, in the Poconos, PA, there is still a horrible lack of harm reduction resources, and a huge presence of stigma against people who use drugs. I have brought sterile use supplies, narcan/naloxone, and fentanyl test strips back there with me on several occasions, but could only reach a limited amount of people, and few other people are attempting any harm reduction efforts in this area.  As someone who has seen many friends and family members become incarcerated, become homeless, and/or pass away from overdose, it has always been very important to me to change that stigma, and create an understanding that people who use drugs are people, with valuable lived experiences. As I continue with my studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and my involvement with SSDP and other student and community organizations, I am planning to bring all of these experiences with me into a career based in harm reduction and drug policy reform.    


What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

My most memorable SSDP moment so far was the speech that I gave to conclude my chapter’s Decriminalize Safety rally for the decriminalization of syringes and drug testing materials in Pennsylvania.  Although following up our main speaker, Brooke Feldman, was a daunting task, it was wonderful to address the local people who came out to attend such an event, and share with them why I, as well as the rest of my chapter, am so passionate about continuing to pursue this legislative change with and on behalf of people who use drugs in our community, as well as the greater state of Pennsylvania.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

Although my experience in fundraising is somewhat limited, since beginning work with SSDP, DanceSafe, Prevention Point Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Psychedelic Society, I have had some great fundraising opportunities.  These have included speaking to local donors and stakeholders in attempts to convince them to make donations, as well as fundraising at community events by tabling for these organizations. My chapter has also hosted several small fundraising events, the profits from which we used to pay for the costs associated with our Decriminalize Safety rally.  Additionally, after attending the SSDP 2018 conference and SSDP’s 2018 Strategy Summit, I became even more passionate about the work that this organization does, and joined the Sensible Society to donate a small monthly gift myself.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining

1.     Issues and Resources Committee
2.     Diversity Awareness Reflection Education (DARE) Committee
3.     Congress Committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
Being on the SSDP Board of Directors requires serious time management and leadership skills, as well as having a passion for harm reduction, drug policy reform, and everything that SSDP stands for as an organization.  Serving on the Board of Directors also requires professional responsibility and integrity, as well as a capacity to fundraise on behalf of SSDP, and gain a greater knowledge about nonprofit activity. Someone ready to serve on the Board of Directors should be willing and able to make time for calls, meetings, commitment to various committees, and attend Strategy Summits and international conferences during their time serving on the Board.   


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

1. Improve knowledge about highly stigmatized drugs, people who use them, and their loved ones
2. Improve knowledge about the intersection of people who use drugs and people engaged in sex work
3. Improve my knowledge of fundraising and nonprofit management toward a future career in social work and community organizing

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

I hope to bring the leadership skills that I’ve honed from my work with student and community organizations in a way that compliments the leadership skills and experience of other members of the Board of Directors.  Currently, I serve on the executive boards of two student organizations at my university, as well as serving as President and founder of our Pittsburgh DanceSafe chapter. I also hope to bring with me social work’s core values: Service, Social Justice, Dignity and Worth of a Person, Importance of Human Relationships, Integrity, and Competence.  Being a part of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work has changed my perspectives on many social issues, and heightened my awareness in how to deal with others from a place of empathy, meeting them where they are at. This value is at the core of all work in harm reduction and drug policy reform, and I hope that I can bring it with me to serve on SSDP’s Board of Directors.

Bio

My name is Julia Hilbert and I have been involved with SSDP since the founding of the University of Pittsburgh chapter in August of 2017.  I am a student in the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, and I plan to continue straight on to get my masters in social work with a specialization in Community Outreach and Social Action.  I plan to use this degree to go into work with and for people who use drugs, people with substance use disorder, and/or people in recovery. I currently serve as the Vice President of my SSDP chapter, the President and founder of my Dancesafe chapter, the Business Manager of Pittsburgh Agents of Cultural Change, a volunteer with the Pittsburgh Psychedelic Society, and a volunteer and intern with Prevention Point Pittsburgh.  I am incredibly passionate about reducing and eliminating stigma against people who use drugs, people with substance use disorder, and people engaged in sex work.



JULES HODGE ‘17

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

School: University of California, Santa Cruz

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: History

Current year in school: Junior

Expected graduation: Spring 2020

First Year of SSDP Involvement:

I joined Students for Sensible Drug Policy in August 2017 after seeing a recruitment post on Facebook from my campus’ chapter. The club piqued my interest because of my father’s history with medical cannabis helping his alcohol dependency. However, other than my views on cannabis legalization, I was living with a learned prohibitionist mindset. The weekend I attended the 2017 Pacific Regional Conference at UC Berkeley, I was introduced to a completely new mindset. I learned how to look at the war on drugs through the lens of imperialism and other outside motives that hurt more than help people. After the conference, I became one of the most dedicated members of my chapter.

My primary role in our chapter that year involved creating graphics for club stickers and harm reduction materials. I enjoyed getting feedback on my work from fellow chapter members while we sat together in meetings, or in a hotel room with other SSDPers in Baltimore, or in a car while road-tripping to Southern California. One of my favorite experiences, however, was running a harm reduction table at our campus’ unofficial 420 event with all my friends. It was the one time in the year we managed to get every single member together at once, and we ran a successful event that helped students stay hydrated and informed about sensible cannabis use.

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

I regularly play a role in my chapter of creating graphics for our social media pages. The first big design project I had was my chapter’s response to a fear-mongering email from campus police warning against the dangers of “scromiting”. We created a digital poster that poked fun at the police while educating students on how they could sensibly use edibles without any danger of “scromiting”. More recently, I made a poster to advertise my campus’ new Amnesty Policy. In creating these graphics I get to do a lot of research, which helped me grow when I was someone new to progressive drug policy.

In the past few months I have put together a campaign with other California SSDP members called the Campus Cannabis Coalition, which aims to get the University of California system to allow medical cannabis on our campuses. I started working with an SSDP advocacy fellow over the summer, and have been recruiting other students as we’ve been planning. I have also taken charge of the graphic design and social media aspects of the campaign, and have spent a lot of time designing materials and interacting on social media to get us attention. Right now, we have just started sending out our petition page and survey to the public, and hope to start our letter-writing campaign to the UC Office of the President soon.

One of my more recent accomplishments is creating a drug checking program with DanceSafe that my chapter is helping to publicize. I helped set up the new Bay Area DanceSafe chapter so that UCSC SSDPers can become certified reagent testing volunteers and create a service that our SSDP chapter will help advertise to the student body. I am proud that I was finally able to make this project happen, which was many years in the making and involved communicating with many people on and off campus.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
On campus, I am a founder of the new Trans and Substances Community (TASC) group, which is a harm reduction support group for transgender students and allies. Off campus, I am the social media officer for the new Bay Area DanceSafe chapter, a member of the Santa Cruz Harm Reduction Coalition, and am a social media intern for SSDP Global.

Outside of the drug policy realm, I’ve done graphic design for the school newspaper, was the elected secretary of a multicultural education committee, and worked with school administration to advocate for student rights as a member of Quality Education in UCs. I’ve also attended student government lobbying conferences, and will be a facilitator at a Northern California conference for transgender students in March.
Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)

Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)

The experience that I use most as president of my campus’ SSDP chapter comes from my time with the Girl Scouts back in high school. Through my 5 years of central leadership roles, I learned so many critical skills like presiding over meetings of my peers and large-scale event planning. I also had a year-long term on the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Orange County.

Through an internship with HRC in the summer of 2017, I learned about the financial and organizational skills required in running a major non-profit organization, and gained experience working in the center of emotionally-charged political environments. I got to work with public elected officials when attending rallies against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and while canvassing for then-candidate for state legislature Danica Roem. I also learned to work in situations of tragedy and loss when I helped to manage the public and represent HRC during Orlando Massacre anniversary events, and during the recovery from the Charlottesville Rally.

The idea of having to walk a line between political motivation and what is morally or scientifically right fascinates me, especially when it pertains to drug policy. It started back in high school with a fascination for the West Wing, and continued into college where I spend time studying the different components of the drug war in my history classes. Seeing the injustices involved, and thinking about the potential good it would do if they were reversed, makes me passionate about drug policy reform, and I am excited to see what part I will play in this movement in the future.

What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

Attending last year’s international conference and connecting with SSDPers from other parts of the globe was incredible, and showed me how big our movement really is. Lobbying for drug policy reform in Washington D.C. with my friends was also an incredible experience that gave me valuable lobbying practice, and a more first-hand look at my career aspirations of working in the area of public policy.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

Other than my impressive Girl Scout cookies-selling record, I don’t have very much experience with fundraising outside of simple club boba sales. However, there is a project I’m working on right now that will give me more experience for when I start fundraising for the board of directors.

Right now my SSDP chapter is working on one of our biggest fundraisers yet, Giving Day. We are going to be part of a campus-wide fundraising competition where we compete with other student organizations to get the most donors. For this, I am drafting emails and connecting with local businesses and organizations to get the word out about this event and gain support for my chapter.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Strategic Planning Committee, Issues and Resources Committee, Diversity Awareness Reflection Education (DARE) Committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
To be on the SSDP board of directors is to dedicate a significant part of your own life to reversing the harms caused by the war on drugs, as well as to empowering students to take part in the political process and in their own communities to solve these issues. In addition, they have the responsibility to ensure the sustainability and success of the organization by making sure it stays true to its values.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

I want to empower students to make direct connections with their elected officials. It is a fantastic way for someone to feel like they’re making a direct impact in their government, and it can help foster invaluable skills for the future. I hope to do this by helping students connect with their local representatives’ and officials’ offices, as well as encourage hosting lobbying workshops.

Increasing our online presence could be a fantastic way to grow our audience and improve student morale. This could be done by offering chapters CAT points for relevant content, posting profiles of students or staff members, or anything else that could increase the amount of relevant and engaging content we publish on our social media pages. Another great way to do this would be by expanding our Youtube channel with Just Say Know videos, and even breaking news announcements.

I also want to foster inter-chapter connections. Creating meaningful relationships across SSDP chapters can help student activists build networks that will benefit them in the future. Joining forces for lobbying trips, having inter-club movie nights, and having general brainstorming sessions together can put students in a position where they can learn from each other and get inspiration for activities back on their home campuses.

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

I hope to bring the diverse perspective of a transgender non-binary person to the board of directors, as well an additional hardworking mind that is dedicated to our cause.

Bio

Jules is a third year history major and the chapter president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They joined in 2017 as someone completely new to the concept of progressive drug policy, and have since become the social media officer for the Bay Area DanceSafe chapter, joined their local chapter of the Harm Reduction Coalition, and helped start a transgender harm reduction support group on their campus. Before getting into drug policy, most of their advocacy experience came from their work in the LGBT+ community. They have worked to educate their community on queer issues since high school, and spent a summer working with the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. during the Summer of Action in 2017. Currently, they are helping lead a coalition of SSDPers across the University of California system to allow medical cannabis on campuses, and they just helped launch an adulterant screening program in the Santa Cruz community. They are also SSDP’s social media intern.


GRANT LOEW ‘15

Pronouns: He/Him/His

School: SUNY Binghamton

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Environmental Chemistry

Current year in school: Senior

Expected graduation: Spring 2019

First Year of SSDP Involvement:

2015

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

2 Years President of SUNY Binghamton Chapter
2018 Strategy Summit Attendee / Contributor
Planner and Host of 2018 Northeast Regional Conference

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) Intern
Co Host of “The Listeners Pharmacopeia” –  a campus radio segment dedicated to educating students/listeners about drugs and drug policy
Truth Pharm Volunteer


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
DPA Intern
4Front Cannabis Cultivator
Festival Harm Reductionist


What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

Directing and organizing a day of lobbying at the Albany State Capitol in conjunction with SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Albany in support of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) and an industrial hemp bill.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

I have presented budget proposals to our Student Association to keep SUNY Binghamton’s chapter funded for the past 3 years. I have also successfully written proposals to big money corporations to fund the travel and lodging of high caliber speakers for the Northeast Regional Conference ($1,000+).

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Fundraising
Strategic Planning
Issues and Resources

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
Ensuring the longevity of the organization by soliciting donations from large and small donors, supporting the needs of staff and student leaders, and curating thoughtful and inclusive spaces for students to feel welcomed and valued.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

1) Increase annual revenue
2) Creation of more paid student intern opportunities
3) Develop a more robust system of connecting students to professional opportunities and careers

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

My path through SSDP was from a member, to chapter treasurer, to chapter leader, to Strategy Summit collaborator, to Regional Conference host, while also working my way into attending as many conferences and volunteering where ever possible. My experience is what will drive me to become a key player in the future of this organization we call family. My time in life has never been for myself, but for helping others in any way possible. I hope to create a direct line of communication from the Board to members of any level of involvement, so that there is continuous improvement within SSDP. Any question or concern a member poses should be heard and valued. I want to be on the Board as a listener, not as a space holder.”

Bio

My inspiration to end the war on drugs began when I had a similar experience to Dr. Grinspoon. Friends were consuming cannabis, but it had been taught that cannabis was dangerous. Seeking the truth led me to a Canadian documentary, The Union. Not long into the movie, Dr. Grinspoon, a Harvard student and Professor Emeritus, shared his experience in exposing propaganda for what it was. The rest was history.


BASHORUN OLUFEMI ‘16

Pronouns: He/Him/His

School: Crescent University, Abeokuta

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Political Science and International Relations

Current year in school: Senior

Expected graduation: 2020


First Year of SSDP Involvement:

2016

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight

Promote SSDP Nigeria on campus is one of the achievements I’ve recorded bring a member of SSDP Nigeria. Our continuous advocacy on campuses have done our course a great good.

Reduced incarceration in many Nigerian prisons since we started our advocacy. We have seen to the release of people who use drugs in Nigeria and who were locked up for many weeks, if not months without help of getting out.

Education of the public about drugs and policies is also one of my achievements as a member of SSDP Nigeria. People can only do better when they know better

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
My previous involvement with SSDP came when I was just a member of SSDP Nigeria. The passion for better drug policies in Nigeria and my concern for people who use drugs led me into SSDP.

Since being a member, I’ve grown from being a member to being the Director of Administrations, and now the Chapter President.

Since becoming the Chapter President, we have held different summits, drug talk shows, open discussions on drug policies among students of higher institutions of learning, as well as carrying out awareness campaigns on matters relating to drugs.

Not forgetting our celebration of the 20th anniversary of SSDP which was done in five out of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

My involvement in SSDP, then and now has been to see to the growth and development of SSDP through the advocacy against discrimination and criminalisation of people who use drugs in Nigeria.

Our advocacy, with my involvement, has seen many youths walk out of incarceration without conditions. This, we have done through my involvement in SSDP, with plans to do more.

All programs are fully captured on our social media accounts for proper documentation and enlightenment of the public


Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Nigeria caught my attention when I came across a group of youths who were arrested during a raid by the officers of the Nigeria Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for allegedly possessing illegal drugs which was not even found on them as at the moment of their arrest.

Seeking a platform to advocate the reform of our drug policies in Nigeria, I ran into SSDP which gave a suited platform for my drive against discrimination on drug users.

Since I have become a member of SSDP, I have learnt more about issues relating to drug use or abuse, as well as drug laws and policies.

I’ve always looked forward to having more summits with chapter leaders across the country, who will, in turn, take the message back to their various chapters to the benefit of chapter members, and in doing this, I’ve not regretted it one bit.

Also, the weekly High School Seminar, where members of SSDP, with the approval of the School’s authority, go to different High Schools according to an agreed timetable and then enlighten these young minds on drug use and abuse.

SSDP has given me the needed platform to speak in support of drug users

What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

My memorable SSDP moment was when four undergraduates of the Lagos State University regained their freedom through the efforts of members of SSDP Nigeria after they were locked up for drug possession

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

No. I don’t have any experience in fund raising

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Congress Committee. International Organizing Committee. Strategic Planning Committee.

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
To be on the SSDP Board of Directors means to understand the requirements and responsibilities of being a leader.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

1. One of the goals for my tenure on the Board of Directors is to strengthen SSDP in Africa. Africa is at the bottom of the ladder of sensible drug policies, yet record a high punitive and discriminative attacks in their society.

2. My tenure will also see to the establishment of more SSDP chapters in Africa. This will help spread the word about sensible drug policies faster.

3. My tenure will also help me sharpen my self about the approaches towards reaching sensible drug policies in Nigeria and Africa at large. My interaction with other members of Board of Directors will avail me the opportunity to understand how the drug policies of other countries have been successfully changed

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

I hope to bring in my ideas of making SSDP better in Africa; to make SSDP more formidable in Africa; and finally, to make SSDP a force to reckon with in Africa.

With the number of arrests, detention, incarceration that goes into record every year, coupled with the discrimination of people who use drugs in African countries, it would be agreed that the presence of SSDP is highly needed to bring the knowledge and information required to make the  situation better.

The yearly record in Nigeria alone is scary, let alone the whole of Africa.

A recent visit to the premises of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency, NDLEA in a state in Nigeria revealed to us that many of those who are behind bars are still awaiting trial.

Youths, who should be of importance to the growth and development of the society were locked up for months without trial, simply because they use drugs. And this is the record of one, out of 36 states.

We need the presence of SSDP in many other African countries, and that’s one thing I hope to bring to the Board of Directors

Bio

Bashorun Olufemi is the president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP Nigeria), an NGO where they speak against the criminalisation of people who use drugs. A group that advocates the enactment of friendly drug policies in Nigeria.

He’s also the founder of the Nigerian Youths Advocates, which has helped hundreds of youths find their voices through a well organized advocacy.

He started his advocacy as a member of Students’ Union during his undergraduate days. He was the Students’ Union Secretary, where he championed the reduction of fees and better learning environment for students.

Through his engagements with SSDP Nigeria, he has become a voice for many of those who have been incarcerated in prisons for engaging in drugs.

A public analyst, an advocate and a comrade, Bashorun is in the forefront for better drug policies in Nigeria.


OYERINDE ADEOLA OLUWAFEMI ‘16

Pronouns: He/Him/His

School: Moshood Abiola Polytechnic

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Marketing’

Current year in school: Senior

Expected graduation: 2018

First Year of SSDP Involvement: 2016

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight
Organized workshop in partnership with precious pharmaceutical.
Established ssdp students group on campus.
Organised free medical check up on hepatitis, HIV, AIDS, blood pressure, blood sugar level.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)

Students union electoral committee
Campus president SSDP.
Campus vice president African students for liberty.
General secretary national association of marketing students

Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)

Organised seminar
Organised free medical check up
Raising leaders
Mentoring

What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?

First support don’t punish campaign in Nigeria Abeokuta

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

Raising fund from philanthropist and stakeholders

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –

Executive committee
International organising committee
Strategic planning committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?

Executing project, fundraising and making sustainable decision that ensure success achievement.

List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.

Expansion of ssdp students group on campus
Ensure drug education in all high school
Carryout collaboration programs with non governmental organization

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?

Innovation and creative idea in expanding the idea of ssdp and to ensure more ground are covered in educating the general public about harmful drugs

Bio
name:Oyerinde Adeola Oluwafemi
date of birth: 1st july 1991
gender: male
school: Moshood Abiola polytechnic


AIDAN PILLARD ‘16

Pronouns:  He/Him/His

School: Yale University

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Humanities and Pre-Med

Current year in school: Junior

Expected graduation: Spring 2020

First Year of SSDP Involvement: 2016

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight
1) During my second year with Yale SSDP, we successfully expanded the medical emergency policy to apply to drugs other than alcohol. Our chapter was initially founded for that purpose, so that felt like a huge accomplishment. Since then, we’ve expanded to local and state politics and community organizing work.

2) Last year, we held the first Connecticut gubernatorial debate of the 2018 election cycle with CT NORML. As far as we know, it was the first gubernatorial debate to focus on drug policy in the country. Since then, our coalition working towards cannabis legalization has grown to half a dozen groups across the state, and we’ve gotten the support of a majority of CT legislators. Now, in the final push, we hope to ensure that justice is restored to those most harmed by the War on Drugs.

3) One of the SUD treatment providers in our city, the APT Foundation, has fully embraced the harm reduction treatment model by providing low threshold methadone maintenance to over 8000 patients regardless of their ability to pay or their current substance use. They have fantastic treatment outcomes–some of the best in the country–but have received significant blowback from the city. We’ve embarked on a major community organizing project to change perceptions of APT and improve their integration into the community. Lower stigma means better treatment. We’ve made excellent progress, with stakeholders from all over the city supporting our development of community gardens for the neighborhood to be integrated into treatment.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
I have dropped a number of my extracurriculars over the course of my time at Yale in order to dedicate more time to SSDP. At school, I am a mentor for young men in prison with the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project. I also mentor high school students over Skype through Collegevine. I am involved with the fossil fuel, Puerto Rican debt, and private prison divestment coalition, and have helped organize actions to push our administration towards ethical investing. Last summer, I worked as a President’s Public Service Fellow with the City of New Haven and the office of the fire department to improve the city’s emergency response to the opioid crisis.

Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
Before coming to Yale, I went to paramedic school before working full-time as the youngest paramedic in Massachusetts. I worked in and around Boston, and treated overdoses on almost every shift. People who use drugs often interact with EMS, but EMS and emergency rooms are completely unequipped to deal with SUDs in a meaningful way. I’m excited about working in emergency medicine–I’ll attend Mt. Sinai medical school after undergrad–and I’m especially excited about improving linkage to long-term care and adequately addressing addiction through the emergency medical system.

What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?
Last year we hosted the northeast regional conference at Yale, and I absolutely LOVED getting to interact with the other SSDPers from around the state. The speakers were inspiring and the vibes were so warm and welcoming. I felt more appreciated, supported, and at home in the SSDP community than I have in almost any other.

Do you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)
As a member group of Dwight Hall, the organization that supports non-profit student organizations at Yale, we are required to assist their fundraising efforts each year. I’ve written to and called a whole bunch of alumni and donors for them! I’ve also done door-to-door fundraising for Action Against Hunger and political candidates.

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –
Strategic Planning, Issues and Resources, International Organizing

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
Being on the Board of Directors means taking my SSDP involvement to the next level. It means soliciting feedback from chapters across the globe, listening well, and doing everything I can to support student efforts towards sensible policy. I love this organization, and look forward to the opportunity to express that more deeply through the BoD.


List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.
1) Expand and facilitate coalition building between chapters, especially within states. We’ve had great success partnering with UConn SSDP over the years, but without much support from SSDP national. I envision this as supporting state-wide lobbying efforts and sharing resources and information from local experiences.


2) Build our resource database and improve ease of access. We have some outdated stuff on our website, and I think it should be an easy to use, go-to spot for drug education and harm reduction resources. I think it would also be great to support individual chapters in making websites or pages of their own within the SSDP national site. Yale ssdp has started to make one in order to share our project and compile local resources, and I think it has been a meaningful project for us to reflect on our work and appreciate the work of people in our community.


3) Improve interorganizational coalition building. I’m sure our lobbying efforts could be strengthened by coordinating more closely with like-minded organizations like DPA, MPP, NORML, MAPS, and others. I’m sure we already do some of it, but I haven’t been connected to many of those organizations and think the BoD could do more to help chapters connect to those orgs.

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?
I hope to bring my own chapter leadership and organizing experience to the board. In learning the principles of community organizing, I think I’ve improved my skill at facilitating connections between groups with similar interests. I think I’ve also become deft at helping organizations and individuals work through animosity they harbor towards one another. I think I’m a leader from behind; that is, I am good at drawing out the passions of those around me and supporting them to achieve their goals. I also look forward to bringing my hands-on experience dealing with the opioid crisis as a medical professional to the board. I hope that my experience will inform our work to best address the needs of those struggling with SUDs and bring life to our lobbying efforts.

Bio
Aidan is a junior in the Humanities major at Yale. Before college, Aidan experienced the fallout of the opioid epidemic first-hand in his work as a paramedic in southern Indiana and Boston, MA. Since then, he has worked on the connection between emergency services, harm reduction, and comprehensive addiction treatment. During his time with Yale SSDP,  the group has expanded the campus medical emergency policy to cover all drugs, supported local harm reduction and treatment services through community organizing, and advanced cannabis legalization and MAT access in prison at the state level. After Yale, he plans to go to Mt. Sinai for medical school. He likes waffles, running,


TRISTAN SEIKEL ‘18

Pronouns: He/Him/His

School: University of North Texas

Major(s)/ Minor(s)/ Areas of Study: Applied Anthropology

Current year in school: Graduate Student
Expected graduation: Spring 2020

First Year of SSDP Involvement: 2018

3 roles/duties/accomplishments/SSDP related things you have done or contributed to which you’d like to highlight
I am an organizer of several local drug policy reform campaigns including an effort to pass a resolution in UNT’s Student Government Association that would ask the university to remove the type of substance as a determining factor of a student’s punishment and we are working on getting the City of Denton to adopt cite-and-release for marijuana violations. Also, I recently  hosted a successful fundraiser to buy the screening rights for an educational documentary on psychedelic science and since we surpassed our donations goal, we were able to secure the screening rights for the film and have set up several events in the near future where we plan to screen it to the public for free. Additionally, between my fellow members and I, we were able to register almost one hundred new voters during the last election cycle and we are working with a campaign to bring an additional voting station to our campus.

List your on campus/off campus involvement (affiliations, organizations, volunteer efforts, etc.)
Founder and Chapter Leader of University of North Texas Students for Sensible Drug Policy and former Mentor at UNT’s G-Force.

Other involvements/passions which you feel inform your SSDP experience? (These can be professional aspirations, communities you’re a part of, and so on.)
My research interests of drug use, harm reduction and psychedelic science have been informed both by personal and academic experiences. As an emerging applied anthropologist, I am working on a graduate thesis research project that would use anthropological methods like surveys and in-depth interviews to understand the lives of non-clinical and undergroud psychedelic users. It is my hope that this research will help bring greater awareness to the legitimacy of different cultural approaches to psychedelic use. In considering my future professional path, I plan on using research and activism to promote psychedelic science, harm reduction and criminal justice reform.

What has been your most memorable SSDP moment so far?
My favorite memory with this organization so far was going to the regional conference in Austin and getting connected to fellow SSDPers. It felt great to feel so included and welcomed with people who share similar views on such important issues.

Do I recently hosted a benefit show to raise money to buy the screening rights for an educational documentary, ‘Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines’ and we were able to get nine bands to perform across a two day period. We needed $250 for the screening rights and were able to get $170 on the first night and by the second night we had raised $280 in donations! With this in mind, I can think of many exciting and effective ways to fundraise.you have any experience in fundraising? If so, describe your experience(s)

List 3 committees you’d be interested in joining –
Strategic Planning Committee, Issues and Resources Committee, and Fundraising Committee

What do you think it means to be on the SSDP Board of Directors?
I think it means that you play a deciding role in the internal mechanisms and direction of SSDP. I hope this would give me an opportunitydomn to have the most beneficial impact as possible in my advocacy for drug policy reform and help me grow as a leader and person.

List three goals for your tenure on the Board of Directors.
1. To increase advocacy for psychedelic science.
2. Raise support for nationwide harm reduction initiatives such as needle exchange and safer consumption spaces.
3. I will seek to bring greater viability and resources to SSDP.

What do you hope to bring to the Board of Directors?
I plan on bringing new ideas and insight into fundraising and generating political change. Additionally, I feel confident that based on what I have been able to accomplish so far with my small group, I would be able to do much more for drug policy reform campaigns at a larger scale if given the opportunity.

Bio
I am a graduate student at the Univeristy of North Texas with research interests in drug use and policy reform, harm reduction and psychedelic science. As someone who has in the past struggled with drug use and related laws, I am particularly interested in bringing greater visibility to the diverse communities that use psychedelics as well as advocating for harm reduction initiatives such as needle exchange and safer consumption spaces.