What does harm reduction look like in clinical practice when people’s realities are front and centre? A panel of frontline harm reduction workers will explore these and other questions, and suggest some key issues and best practices.
All panelists have been involved in the development and/or delivery of the Pieces to Pathways Program, a peer-led initiative creating Canada’s first substance use support program for LGBTTQQ2SIA youth ages 16-29 in Toronto, funded by the TC-LHIN.
Akia Munga is a 25 year–old Black Queer harm redux worker, discourse disruptor and Blacktavist. He has lived experience in being locationally displaced, substance use and trauma. Akia most recently organized “We Grieve Thousands,” a demonstration and protest regarding systemic oppression experienced by those living in poverty and the opioid crisis. In addition to working at the Overdose Prevention Site, Akia is the acting secretary at Toronto’s Harm Reduction Alliance (THRA). He also works as a client support worker at Pieces to Pathways and a harm reduction worker at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre.
Faith is a mixed race non-binary artist, grassroots community organizer, and writer of Filipinx descent. They describe their style as a “tomboy femme,” existing on the transfeminine spectrum. Faith identifies as a sober addict in recovery and has been sober for over 11 years. In their activism, art and writing, they wish to politicize their experiences with substance use and sobriety while unraveling the limited representation of the addicted body. Faith uses “they / them” pronouns and if you don’t know what that means, they suggest “Googling” it.
Tim McConnell is a trans-masculine person with lived experience of mental health, substance misuse and trauma. They have previously worked as a peer support worker and substance abuse counsellor at a youth residential addiction treatment facility in New Brunswick, and as a community outreach worker and workshop facilitator with several agencies in Toronto.
Anne Rucchetto is a Research Coordinator at the Upstream Lab at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions.
This session is co-presented by the Centre Talks Committee at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions and the Pieces to Pathways program, Breakaway Addiction Services.