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Pregnancy and Substance Use: Reckoning with the Drug War: a Healing Circle


Nov 18, 2020 03:42 PM

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Dinah Ortiz-Adames
Dinah Ortiz-Adames is an afrolatinx community activist who has fought for over 13 years for black and brown people who look like me. A Harm Reductionist who has no issues sharing my story of past chaotic substance use nationally and a fierce advocate for parents in the child welfare system. I've worked for several non for profit organizations and developed my advocacy skills along the way. From working with formerly incarcerated women to women with a history of domestic violence. Ms Ortiz-Adames has tried to give voice to the unheard. Participating in various platforms speaking out on issues affecting parents particularly mothers targeted due to substance use disorder. There’s a feeling of neglect when it comes to us marginalized people. We are not seen nor heard and I’m working diligently to make sure that our voices are heard and our faces are seen because in 2020 we should not still be treated like it was 1960. We are here and here to stay.
Marilyn Reyes
Born and Raised in the Bronx (Bronxdale Projects) is a mother, a grandmother, an activist, a public health worker, and so much more.Fueled by her experiences and her desire to improve job prospects for people coming home from incarceration, Marilyn joined VOCAL-NY, working on campaigns and bringing new members into the organization, canvassing at parole offices and court houses, and educating people. Marilyn also became a core leader in VOCAL-NY's efforts to pass THE FAIR CHANCE ACT, city legislation that prevents employers from asking about conviction histories until after a conditional job offer. Marilyn was Peer Educator with New York Harm Reduction Educators for 4 years. She is also Co-Chair for the Peer Network of New York. Marilyn's advocacy uplifts her own experiences but also the experiences of so many women who have had their lives upending by the failed drug war and mass incarceration. Marilyn fights for the rights of drug users, former drug users, people living with HIV,
Megan McKenzie
Megan McKenzie is the mother of three beautiful children and a former nurse. She has experience as a sexual assault advocate, public speaker, parent advocate, and continuing education specialist. She has been featured by the BBC and in The Amsterdam Daily News, speaking about her work the past 12 years advocating for pregnant women who use substances. In her free time she enjoys rescuing animals, helping restore hot rods, the outdoors, and comedy shows.