It is a philosophy and set of practices that can assist individuals be safer and be applied to make organizations/systems less harmful. For individuals, harm reduction expands choices, increases access, and promotes opportunities to assist people be safer particularly when engaging in culturally stigmatized behaviors—such as drug use and sex.
Harm reduction is engaged with on two levels–the individual (where we change our routines, share suggestions, and gather and distribute tools for increasing safety) and the institutional (where we change policy and systems to support safety and decrease violence and marginalization).
At the INDIVIDUAL LEVEL:
harm reduction expands choices, increases access, and promotes opportunities to assist people be safer when engaged in stigmatized and criminalized behaviors—such as drug use and trading sex.
At the INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL:
harm reduction aims to shift organizations/systems (and our broader culture) to be safer for both individuals and communities. Society, and the systems within it, have historically increased harm to people who use drugs or engage in sex work through oppressive policy and stigmatizing culture.
Harm reduction is about:
- meeting people where they’re at, but not leaving them there
- avoiding placing judgment on individuals
- acknowledging the significance of any positive change
- engaging in radical love
HONORING OUR HISTORY
Maryland and Baltimore are not new spaces of resistance to unjust laws. From enslavement to racist drug policies, Marylanders have been surviving and fighting injustice for a long time.
We, at BHRC, are inspired by a long history of resistance and survival in Maryland in the face of laws and systems designed to oppress. By learning this history and lifting up current justice movements we become stronger. We are also inspired by each other’s resilience today. We endeavour to spend our time, energy, and resources to advance justice–in and outside of our work with BHRC.