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I’m Logan Ward ’17, Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s HBCU Outreach Intern, and I’m organizing SSDP’s first Black Caucus as part of our antiracism initiative.

Race caucusing provides a space to commune with, heal with, and create alongside other self-identified people of color. My model for a Black Caucus comes out of a desire to center Africana ways of knowing and organizing — recognizing that my ancestors have a lot to say about resistance, healing, community, and transformation. The focus of the Caucus will be for Black students, alumni, and organizers to learn how to be together as a force rather than to do together.

The mission statement is as follows: The SSDP Black Caucus aims to harvest an intentional and fervent community of Black students in SSDP’s network. We understand that it is by connection that we counteract the stigmatization, anti-eroticism (i.e. the systemic repression of intimacy and feminine power), and isolation caused by the War on Drugs. We organize in full consciousness of how the War on Drugs is a mechanism of our specific oppression and impacts dark-skinned, immigrant, queer and trans, and disabled bodies the most; it will not truly end until the same systems that perpetuate racial hierarchy end. Further, we acknowledge that Black students need a space by and for Black students in order to reconcile with self and community, heal from race-based trauma, and mitigate the harmful power-dynamics inherent to white-dominated professional organizations. Finally, we commit ourselves to imagination, healing, and the cultivation of joy in the lives of Black students, particularly in this time of increased race-based violence and policy-making. It is here that we see meaningful change.

All Black members and contributors to SSDP are encouraged to dream and world-build as community members in this caucus. It is my hope that this will be an impetus for the creation of other race and identity caucuses and community work. Anyone interested in participating can reach out to me through my email. I would love the opportunity to introduce myself to prospective community members!