On June 8th 2020, following several weeks of protests across the United States and world against the brutal and senseless murder of George Floyd specifically and the violence of systemic racism broadly, NADA issued a statement of solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives in which we stated: “Structural change cannot happen without the individual components engaging in their own transformation and evolution of undoing racism. NADA pledges to do its piece in this learning and transformation, and to share its process with the community.”

This is our first follow-up update in sharing our process and progress with the NADA community.

As we stated in our commemoration of Truthsgiving, we recognize that our work has roots in this continent’s radical social movements, movements that ask us to look at the systemic origins behind present conditions. Since June, NADA has been engaging in its own process of self-assessment and change beginning with its leadership.

TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES

June

NADA elected a new president, treasurer and secretary at its 2020 annual meeting, forming a new executive committee with the existing vice president; this committee is 100% BIPOC. Read more about the new board members.

July

After learning that Mutulu Shakur, one of the founders of ear acupuncture services at Lincoln Detox and currently incarcerated, is battling bone marrow cancer, the NADA board drafted and submitted a letter supporting his compassionate release. In early November we learned his release was denied.

Coinciding with the release of the documentary Dope is Death, our July Membership Café featured Carlos Alvarez (the first NADA trainer, Lincoln Recovery Center) and Juan Cortez (current New York-based NADA trainer) as special guests to discuss the radical history of Lincoln Detox and the NADA protocol.

August

The full NADA board gathered for three online retreat sessions. The outcome from these three sessions is now culminating in an organizational level work plan which centers antiracism in all of NADA’s projects.

The August Membership Café featured NADA’s Grassroots Committee. Its members took turns sharing about outreach efforts to highly vulnerable groups and a discussion of racial inequity in health. At our August Membership Check-in, our community dialogue focused on the Guidepoints article: Decarcerate Our Prisons.

October

Our first virtual regional meeting with sliding scale fees helped us host the most professionally and demographically diverse meeting of the last 15 years. Read more.

The NADA staff team began a study of articles from The Revolution Will not be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, looking at NADA’s history in relationship to the development of the non-profit industry in the United States. It has prompted questions about the future of our organizational structure and funding strategies, to keep us accountable to the communities we serve.

November

NADA honored the November 10, 1970 takeover of Lincoln Hospital by members of the Young Lords, Black Panthers, Health Revolutionary Unity Movement and a South Bronx anti-drug coalition. On that day we shared the plan to kick off a NADA history series in February 2021, #ReclaimingNADAOrigins.

December

Based on the summer retreat meetings, president Ken “Khensu” Carter initiated a revision of the NADA mission statement. The revised statement will be available to the community in January, 2021. Additionally, each board committee is tasked to draft its charter, to make explicit the committee’s purpose and responsibilities, and how it centers antiracism in its activities.

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