You’re invited to join a conversation about drug policy and fairness.

Community conversations: how it started, how it’s going, how you can get involved

Sophie Stockman

Unharm’s new Community Conversations program is gaining momentum. If you’re interested in drug policy and fairness, you’re welcome to participate in the next round of discussions. 

Click on the date below that suits you to register or sign up here to stay in the loop for future announcements. 

People who care about drug policy tend to split into different factions and discussions about drug policy often marginalise people who use drugs. These Community Conversations are taking a different approach.

Unharm has teamed up with the Local Community Services Association to run this series of conversations through 2021. Six to eight people participate in each 90-120 minute conversation, via video conference. Conversations are led by community members, including people with lived experience of drugs. 

At the start of this year, we recruited and trained community members to help lead this project. They went – along with me – to a course run by the Harwood Institute, to learn how to apply Harwood’s community conversations method. We learned how to run inclusive conversations, draw out the themes and share the outcomes with the community.

The leadership team has now successfully run the first three conversations which took place online in April. The strong, positive response to the project from the community has been another early win, with sixty five people signing up to take part. We’re seeing some ripple effects already, as people get excited about the project and reach out with offers to help organise further conversations with particular communities.

Those first conversations were full of diversity in terms of participants and issues that have been raised. To do justice to that diversity, we know we are going to need to have a lot more conversations to draw out common themes. 

So our work isn’t done yet. In fact, we’re just getting started. We are now organising the next round of conversations and it would be great to have you join one of them.

We want as many people to be able to take part as possible. That’s why we are running multiple discussions via Zoom over the coming month. Click on the date below that suits you to register or sign up here to stay in the loop for future announcements. 

What we’re trying to achieve together through this project is drug policy that’s fair, by identifying a shared agenda and common language for a powerful movement for change.

We’re looking forward to the next round of conversations, and would love to have you join us!