To measure our progression, we commit to:
- Circulating and initiating research, analyses, data, etc., to inform the work of the group.
- Posting this document on our sites/distributing among membership.
- Incorporating explicit anti-racism language into proposals, materials, deliverables, etc.
- Convening quarterly meetings of the participating organizations.
- Developing and sharing model anti-discrimination policies that serve as a targeted response to anti-Black racism at the organizational level and influencing state/federal policy through our national advocacy work.
- Assessing the changes to leadership of this group/others in our organizations over the coming months/years.
- Issuing quarterly progress updates among the participating organizations.
i. In 1847, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass published the first issue of the North Star newspaper, named after the star escaping enslaved people followed to reach the Northern United States & Canada. We therefore use this phrase as a deliberate through-line between the anti-slavery advocacy of Douglass and his contemporaries to today’s Black Lives Matter Movement and other racial justice causes. For though time has passed, the issues of anti-black racism in America persist – including within recovery spaces and our organizations. In this titling, we seek to honor that history and stay the course.
For more information, see The Fredrick Douglass Newspapers (1841 to 1874) Collection (Library of Congress, online.)
ii. Throughout this document we use the terms Black, Indigenous, and Black & Indigenous, but this is not done interchangeably. We must be intentional and specific when setting equity commitments, especially in our language. Terms like People of Color (POC) or Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) can quickly lose their impact due to improper usage in documents such as this – namely, saying POC when an issue predominantly affects Black or Indigenous people. This language trend obscures who is most impacted by what practices. We submit that if we center Black and Indigenous peoples and address the structural inequities they face, then this work may be used as a guide to effect systemic change for all People of Color with adjustments for each populations’ unique needs.
We use these terms as a linguistic reminder that Black and Indigenous peoples across the United States—through criminalization and other injustices—most frequently and severely experience the biased impacts of our white supremacist structures’ approach to substance use and substance use disorder. We do our best not to sacrifice nuance and specificity for a “one size fits all” approach to inclusivity. Doing so robs us of our valuable differences and lessens the impact of the work.
See Why the term “BIPOC” is so complicated, explained by linguists & BIPOC: What Does It Mean?
iii. Association of Alternative Peer Groups, Association of Recovery Schools, Faces & Voices of Recovery, National Alliance for Recovery Residences, the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, White Bison, and Young People in Recovery.
iv. See White Dominant Culture and Something Else Worksheet from CA
v. Cultural imperialism refers to “the idea of the culture of one powerful civilization, country, or institution having great unreciprocated influence on that of another, less powerful, entity” to a degree that the less powerful entity is expected to reject their own culture and embrace that of the dominant power. See Cultural Imperialism & Communication.
vi. also referred to as the School-to-Prison Pipeline