June 3, 2020

We stand in solidarity with everyone expressing their outrage at the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police and demanding accountability. Nate Hurse, NADA’s vice president who lives in the Twin Cities, observed this week that we have crossed a tipping point in this country – “this is the beginning.”

A forty-year echo is reaching us today, from our brothers and sisters who had the courage to step outside of the status quo, and provide care by and for their community, using ear acupuncture to treat an addiction epidemic. These are the origins of the NADA protocol: its development was part of the Black Panthers’ and Young Lords’ demand for justice and health care.

It is time for the nonprofit sector to be political, to take a stand for racial equity and justice, and to do the hard work of root cause community healing. For examples see the Austin Health Commons and Healing by Choice! in Detroit. 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.

The U.S. experience of COVID-19 has shown again the stark racial disparities in health care. We know that COVID-19 disproportionately affects BIPOC communities, see for example the crisis on the Navajo Nation. There is no confusion that the disparity has nothing to do with the nature of the disease, and everything to do with structural and historical racism.

Ken Carter, a NADA trainer and one of NADA’s presidents, reflects:

“Political/economic forces are a central factor in why Lincoln Recovery Center ultimately closed after 40 years of unimpeachable impact on the local community, our country, and our world-at-large – the same professional political/economic forces continue to demonstrate a dearth of interest and support in empowering of us to make the model of what Lincoln accomplished more widely known and accessible to the weakest and the least of us.”

Let us consider how we can make the NADA protocol widely known and accessible, to help heal ourselves and our communities. Black lives matter, today and every day. We invite you to support and amplify the following Black-led movement organizations, which have been on the front lines of demanding divestment from police and investment in community-led care.

Sara Bursać, Executive Director