Later this month, more than one thousand drug policy reformers will gather in Denver, Colorado for The International Drug Policy Reform Conference. The Reform Conference is a biennial event, hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) that brings together people and activists from around the world who believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. More than 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries are expected.
This year attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days interacting with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions given by leading experts from around the world. SSDP is an exhibitor at the conference and will have several ways our students, supporters and alumni can participate in SSDP related activities throughout the entirety of the event. In addition, SSDP students, alumni, and staff will be speaking and participating in panel discussions during the event. No matter what your involvement in SSDP, or the movement to reform drug policy, there are ways to participate in the discussion through SSDP and our partner organizations.Young People Challenging the Drug War (Roundtable) Thursday, Oct. 24, 11:30-1:00pm Governor’s Square 14
Young people are taking the lead on policy reform efforts for many pressing issues – especially drug policy reform – yet their contributions are often overlooked. How can young organizers make their voices heard in policy reform conversations? Too often young organizers fight for reforms that will not affect them unless they are at least 18 or 21 years old – so how does this affect young organizers? How can we include young people in the development of drug education policies? And how can youth working on related issues cross-pollinate and share strategies? (Spanish translation available.)
Facilitator: Kassandra Frederique, Policy Coordinator, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
•Aram Barra, Drug Policy Program Director, Espolea Condesa, Mexico
•Stacia Cosner, Interim Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington, DC
•Chino Hardin, Field Coordinator, Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, Brooklyn, NY
•Tanay Lynn Harris, Community Organizer, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, New York, NY
•Eduardo “LaLo” Montoya, Independent Associate, LegalShield, Denver, CO
•Jared Moffat, Director of Outreach and Planning, Protect Families First, Providence, RI
•Missi Wooldridge, Board President and Denver Director, DanceSafe, Denver, COVictory Walk and Reform Thursday, Oct. 24, 1:00-3:00pm To celebrate the unprecedented momentum of the drug policy reform movement, conference attendees will participate in a “victory walk” and block party to celebrate the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay, as well as recent harm reduction and sentencing reform victories in Colorado. The victory walk and rally will take place on Thursday, October 24 at 1 p.m., starting at the 16th Street Mall from the Downtown Sheraton to Skyline Park (between 15th and 16th).
SSDP Student Congress
Two thirds of SSDP’s board of directors are students who are elected by SSDP’s chapters each year during our national conference. The remaining third is appointed by the board in order to bring outside expertise and experience to the organization. This year, we are hosting Congress at the Reform Conference. More information related to the process, voting procedures, and student eligibility to run for the board can be found here. For any questions or to inquire about running or registering your chapter to vote, please contact your Outreach Director or Brandon Levey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- SSDP Congress- Part 1 Friday October 25, 11:45-1:30pm Governor’s Square 15
- SSDP Congress- Part 2 Saturday, Oct. 26, 1:30-3:00pm Governor’s Square 15
Open Discussion: Diversity in Our Movement Friday, Oct. 25, 8:30-9:30am Plaza Court 1
Join members of SSDP’s Outreach, Recruitment & Diversity Committee for an open conversation about broadening perspectives in the drug policy reform movement. All are welcome. Organized by SSDP’s Outreach, Recruitment & Diversity Committee.
Gender and Drugs in Africa (Community Session) Friday, Oct. 25, 11:30-12:30 Plaza D
This meeting will focus on how drugs affect women in Africa. Organized by Students for Sensible Drug Policy Nigeria
Strategic Communication & Information Skills Through New Media (Community Session) Friday, Oct. 25, 5:30pm – 6:30pm Plaza D
This meeting is a platform to strengthen information and communication strategies for people working on youth-related issues. Organized by Students For Sensible Drug Policy Nigeria.
Eric Sterling’s Birthday Party Fundraiser Friday, Oct. 25, 9pm-2am Sherman Street Event Center
Eric Sterling, SSDP Board Member and drug policy reform extraordinaire, will be celebrating his birthday during the conference, and hosting a Birthday Party Fundraiser to benefit SSDP and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). This party will have live music performed by Jon Perri, The Wets, and other SSDP alumni. There will be a donation cover charge. This venue is 21+ only.
SSDP Alumni Happy Hour Saturday, Oct. 26, 6pm- Celebrate the election of the new student Board Members and appointment of new Executive Director. Mingle with like-minded individuals and help bring a close to a successful conference. We will meet at Katie Mullen’s Irish Pub (located inside the hotel where the conference is) at 6:00 and go as long as people want to hang out. Everyone is welcome to join! Please invite others!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1391301017771831/
If you received a scholarship from SSDP, you can pick up your reimbursement check from your Outreach Director any time on Friday in the Exhibitor Hall. Please call your Outreach Director if you have questions, or to coordinate picking up your check.