Drug War Stories: Speaking Out | DC

  • Washington Monument 2 15th St NW Washington, DC 20007 USA

We invite you for an evening of storytelling on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Psymposia is excited to be a part of Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for Healing the Drug War, which will begin at 7 pm on November 20 on the NW-side of the Washington Monument, with the intention of healing the harms of the drug war. Please live tweet #speakingout #catharsis

Right across from the Temple of Essence, which will burn the following night in honor of all those affected by the drug war, Psymposia will be hosting "Drug War Stories: Speaking Out".

Paula Frango, Prevention and Community Intervention, Serviço de Intervenção nos Comportamentos Aditivos e nas Dependências (SICAD), Lisbon, Portugal

With a degree in Social work and Psychology and a Master's degree in educational psychology, Paula has been working in the drug field since 2000. She currently lives in Lisbon and is part of SICAD - Serviço de Intervenção nos Comportamentos Aditivos e nas Dependências (General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies) – the national Portuguese agency responsible for this area. 

Dede Goldsmith, Founder, Amend The RAVE Act, Abingdon, VA

Having lost her daughter, Shelley Goldsmith, to heat stroke at an electronic dance music (EDM) concert in Washington D.C. after consuming a psychoactive substance, Dede became a strong advocate for federal drug policy reform with a focus on harm reduction. She launched a campaign to Amend the RAVE Act (ATRA) on the first anniversary of Shelley's death on August 31, 2014 in order to make EDM festivals and concerts safer spaces for attendees. 

Ifetayo Harvey, Executive Assistant, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Santa Cruz, CA

Growing up with an incarcerated parent, Ifetayo spoke publicly about her experience in hopes of bringing an end to racist drug policies and mass incarceration at the opening plenary of the 2013 International Drug Policy Reform Conference and on NPR’s All Things Considered. She has interned with the Drug Policy Alliance and had her work featured in The Huffington Post, Alternet, and other media.

Julie Holland, MD, Psychopharmacologist, Psychiatrist & Author, New York, NY

As a psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology, Julie spent 9 years running running the psychiatric emergency room at Bellevue Hospital and wrote a memoir in 2009 titled 'Weekends at Bellevue'. Her fourth book, 'Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Feel Crazy' came out earlier this year. She also lectures widely and runs a private practice in New York City.

Bia Labate, PhD, Co-Founder, Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), and Professor, Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology, Guadalajara, Mexico

Born in São Paulo, Bia has a PhD in Anthropology and her main areas of interest include the study of psychoactive substances, drug policies, shamanism, ritual and religion. She is author, co-author and co-editor of twelve books, one journal special edition and several peer-reviewed articles. On top of her research in Mexico, she is also a Research Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the Heidelberg University. 

Ted Lewis, Human Rights Program Director, Global Exchange, San Francisco, CA

As a seasoned political organizer and educator, Ted started the Mexico program at Global Exchange in 1995. He has focused on supporting Mexican organizations working to end the murders, corruption and impunity resulting from misguided drug policy designed in the United States. During 2011 and 2012, Ted took a leading role in organizing the Caravan for Peace that brought dozens of Mexican drug war victims to tell their stories and appeal for change in 27 cities across the United States.

Jerry Otero, Youth Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York

As a trained psychotherapist and former adjunct lecturer in the addictions program at the Metropolitan College of NY, Jerry has significant experience dealing with drug education and prevention programs and integrating a youth perspective into drug policy. His work is driven by his belief that marginalized youth heal from the impact of racial and economic suffering when they understand and address the complex, hidden social and economic forces fomenting their everyday challenges. 

Tony Papa, Manager of Media and Artist Relations, Drug Policy Alliance, New York

Artist, writer, noted advocate against the war on drugs and co-founder of the Mothers of the New York Disappeared, Papa is a frequent public speaker and college lecturer on his art and criminal justice issues. He is known widely for '15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom' (2004), a memoir about his experience of being sentenced to state prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense under New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. 

María Herrera, Juan Carlos Trujillo and Maricela Orozco, Parents of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping.