Brave's annual virtual symposium is an opportunity to explore places where technology and harm reduction intersect, to share our discoveries, and to learn from each other.
We know that working in silos can inhibit innovation, but we also know that knowledge-sharing and communication can encourage it.
Colin Askey is a filmmaker who has dedicated his career documenting the transformative impact of humane and evidence-based services on the lives of people who use drugs. His first documentary feature, LOVE IN THE TIME OF FENTANYL (2022), premiered at DOXA Documentary Film Festival and won the juried prize for Best Canadian Director and was released on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2023.
Jess Tilley, co-founder of Harm Reduction Works, has well over 20 years experience as a harm reduction practitioner, advocate, and organizer and is the Executive Director of NEUU (The New England Users Union).
Norma Vaillancourt is a longtime harm reduction worker and caregiver. She is a supervisor at the Overdose Prevention Society and has been with the organization saving and improving the lives of fellow community members since it first opened.
Albie Park and Jess Tilley created Harm Reduction Works, a fully scripted, replicable, harm reduction self-help/mutual aid group. Harm Reduction Works-HRW is a project of HRH413 and was founded in Northampton, MA in March of 2019. A national launch happened at the Drug Policy Alliance conference on November 7, 2019.
Sarah Blyth is the Executive Director of the Overdose Prevention Society in Vancouver.
Meghan (she/her) is a Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Addiction Recovery Coach and Certified Recovery Peer Advocate with a commitment to ending the racist war on drugs and advocating for the rights of humans who use them. As a host, organizer and participant in/for Harm Reduction Works-HRW (a scripted Mutual Aid support group) she has helped to start, develop and implement many meetings including one for Family and Loved Ones.
Mo is an Incorrigible Two Spirit Gender Queer Trans-masculine sub boi Hedonistic Harm Reductionist, Nehiyaw! Mo has a love of harm reduction, thunderstorms, powwows, and burlesque.
Alex Wilson is a Philadelphia based harm reductionist with a background in public health and community organizing. As a harm reductionist they prioritize health equity and deconstructing barriers and ending stigma to create a safer, more accessible, world for all.
Cris Henderson is a Research Associate for Prevention Insights at the Indiana University School of Public Health- Bloomington. In that capacity, they specialize in overdose education and naloxone distribution programing.
Joanne Cogdell is the CEO of Naxos Neighbors.
Michael Sumner is a Naxos OD overdose responder.
Jill works in Operations with the National Overdose Response Service and regularly takes calls with people who are using drugs alone.
JessieB is a Registered Nurse and Mama who turned fear into action when she joined NUA as a national line operator three years ago. Now, she is not only a national line operator, but she is also the Education Director of NUA.
Taija McLuckie resides on North Vancouver Island. In her role as the Harm reduction support worker for AVI (Courtenay) she also provides peer support to the Comox Valley Street Outreach. Her time is dedicated to raising her two children, advocating for the rights of drug users and finding unique ways of connecting community grounded in harm reduction principles.
MySafe builds on the safe supply initiative in Canada which has been providing Canadian residents with access to safe, regulated opiates since January of 2019. It works like a cross between a vending machine and a lockbox, dispensing opiate prescriptions to people already enrolled in the safe supply initiative through biometrics, utilizing a person's unique palm print to identify them to the MySafe vendor and release their prescription to them on the spot at a time that is convenient to them.
Liz Ramseur is the Senior Director of Programming with the ADIS Leadership Foothills-area Alliance (ALFA). Liz has worked in HIV prevention and care for the last 7 years and is credited with establishing many community programs including a harm reduction program and mobile testing unit. Liz holds a Master of Public Health from Lenoir-Rhyne University as well as several certifications including the Certified Health Education Specialist and Recovery Coach Professional designation.
Chris graduated with a BA in Feminist Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz at the age of 38, and now has a MPH from Lenoir Rhyne University. Former single Welfare Mom to 3 with lived experience in poverty, and navigating social supports. She has been active for over 10 years in her local LGBTQ organization.
Asia is active with the VOCAL-NY Users Union and volunteers regularly with Brave as a supporter taking calls on The Brave App. Through Asia's own lived experience she has been able to gain strength through helping others, always with a non-judgmental approach. There is no such thing as "cannot" if one wants it, and there is nothing that cannot be achieved.
AmandaLynn has dedicated her career to creating positive change in her community. Her expertise in harm reduction, policy advocacy, program management, and nonprofit leadership has made a tangible impact. She is skilled in naloxone training, distribution, relationship building, and developing effective programs to meet unique needs. She is passionate about building strong partnerships and collaborations to make a lasting difference in the lives of those she serves.
Michael (they/them) is a Philly-based designer, programmer and harm reductionist.
Our first year was pretty stellar, and we couldn't have asked for a better team of speakers and presenters to start us off. You can read more about who they were and what they shared in Brave's 2022 Tech and Harm Reduction Symposium: A Synthesis of the Day.
In addition to reading a summary of our first year, you can also view the filmed sessions.