Support Texas' First Harm Reduction Conference
NEW! RESPONSE TO COVID-19 AS OF 3-18-2020
We have been keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 issue, and wanted to be as intentional and informed as possible before making this announcement. It has been shown that cancelling events and self-quarantines & social distancing are a key component in slowing the spread of this virus. Many other harm reduction-related events have been cancelled, and we paid close attention to these guidelines from the CDC for cancelling or postponing an event. Given that we intend on purchasing flights for colleagues around the nation and are attempting to get to word of compassion and harm reduction into all the far reaching spaces of the state, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the conference.
We are still working hard and having informative conversations with folks about harm reduction (in pandemic and non-pandemic contexts). While we are attempting to reach small communities and vulnerable populations with this event, we think it would be unwise to move forward with a conference as soon as June, but are in conversations concerning this fall, depending on how all of this plays out in the near future.
Multiple things led to this decision, despite the possibility of a COVID-free or COVID-light June. The health and safety of our committee and our communities are absolutely the priority. Please be patient with us as we navigate all of this uncertainty. Rest assured that your donation WILL be used to spread the message and tools of harm reduction, something that is so needed in Texas communities. Your financial and moral support have served as motivation throughout this planning and unplanning process . Stay tuned for our next steps - we will let you know as developments unfold.
Harm reduction is a movement - a set of strategies implemented by people who recognize the individuality and nuance that comes with substance use; It offers a framework that values improved quality of life as a measure of success for people who use substances and includes a spectrum of choices ranging from safer use to managed use to abstinence. Harm reduction is borne of grassroots organizing and community collaboration. Lastly, harm reduction is an evidence-based approach based on current scientific research that values the voices, humanity, and choices of people who use substances.
In light of failed drug policy and an overwhelmingly contaminated street drug supply, there is a strong need for more collaboration, strategies and solutions in Harm Reduction and in our communities. Texas Harm Reduction Conference (THRC) will bring people together to highlight Harm Reduction as the standard for empathic and compassionate care to our Texas population. Harm Reduction leaders, service providers, activists, and people who have been negatively impacted by our nation’s failing drug war will gather at the THRC to reverse the current trends of stigmatization and incarceration and discuss best practices for giving people agency over their own lives.
We will feature the voices of people who historically have been excluded from conference settings and conversations surrounding substance use and sex work. Enthusiasm has been sparked by our planning committee of 30+ Texans who are planning and producing panel discussions, plenaries, and workshops all centered around the idea that we can love people to health in whatever way that means to them. We intend on having roundtable discussions linking people with shared histories or visions, and we hope you’ll join us for a panel on safe consumption sites.
Your support sends a clear message that you believe in trauma-informed Harm Reduction practices and aim to alleviate people’s suffering through improved access to resources for healing.
By sponsoring the THRC, you are investing in a space for people to set their own goals, experience compassionate and judgement-free healthcare environments, and access supplies that allow for autonomy of their own experiences, including but not limited to opiate overdose reversal medication. Tangible benefits of sponsoring are detailed in the attached document.
We invite you to participate in our vision for Texas’s first conference of this kind. We anticipate 500 guests from public, private, and nonprofit sectors to be there. Our day-long event in June 2020 will celebrate collaboration around harm reduction in our community, and we would be honored if served as a sponsor by contributing today.
Thank you for joining with us in this mission. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I hope that your support or attendance at this event continues to thrive, and I look forward to assisting you with any details needed to fulfill your potential sponsorship this year. If you would like to meet to discuss larger donations or other ways to contribute to our cause, please let me know.