SSDP and SMART to partner on HBCU outreach campaign to increase diversity in drug policy

SSDP and SMART to partner on HBCU outreach campaign to increase diversity in drug policy

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Primary contacts:

Jason Ortiz

Executive Director, SSDP, (860) 639-8101

Nadir Pearson

Founder and CEO, SMART

For Immediate Release:                 

SSDP and SMART to partner on HBCU outreach campaign to increase diversity in drug policy

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Student Marijuana Alliance for Research and Transparency launch co-branded HBCU outreach campaign

February 1st, 2022— Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Student Marijuana Alliance are partnering to create a dedicated outreach effort toward educating and empowering students at our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The effort will align two national chapter-based organizations around engaging youth of color interested in drug policy and the opportunities in the legal cannabis and psychedelic industries.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is the largest global youth-led network dedicated to ending the War on Drugs. Founded in 1998, SSDP is comprised of thousands of members in hundreds of communities around the globe, including 100+ chapters in the United States. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies with a focus on those that directly impact students and youth.

Established in 2017, SMART is a national collegiate network dedicated to providing college students with a trusted source of cannabis education, research, and professional development. SMART was founded at Brown University out of the necessity for trusted cannabis information and industry access that college students can rely on. SMART works with leading cannabis companies and organizations to help students access employment, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Additionally, SMART believes in a transparent approach to learning about cannabis; balancing both the negative & positive sides of research & the industry. SMART has active chapters at Boston University, University of Tuskegee, University of Texas Austin, Cornell University, Stockton University, and a network of over 100 colleges and universities. 

The combined effort will include targeted digital outreach, an ambassador program, and workshops for students to learn more about civic engagement and the legal cannabis industry.  A detailed announcement of the debut program will be hosted February 10, 2022 at 4:20pm EST on a co-hosted Instagram live between SSDP & SMART

“Being purposeful in our outreach to empower young people of color has always been on our agenda, but today we are making it an organized reality,” Luis Montoya, Operations Director of SSDP, said. “This partnership pairs our extensive policy history and alumni network with the on the ground relationships SMART has built over the years to create a pipeline of participation for people of color interested in becoming leaders in the drug policy movement.”

“Because of the war on drugs, cannabis is very political and being able to impact drug policy both locally and nationally is essential to the industry’s growth and development,” said DJ Howard, SMART Project Manager. “Working with SMART and SSDP to create a program that encourages youth of color to get involved at the collegiate level, is the exact work needed to foster future leaders in drug policy that we can cheer on and support for years to come.”

SSDP and SMART will be detailing their HBCU ambassador program on Thursday, February 10, 2022 on their Instagram pages @ssdpofficial and @studentmmjalliance respectively.