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Compassionate Communities
& Cognitive Liberty 

Giving Power to People Who Use Drugs
Tuesday, November 9th 3:00 - 4:30 pm EST

Hanifa Nayo Washington (she/her)

is an award-winning cultural artivist, joining art and activism to create a more liberated world. For 20+ years Hanifa has worked leading and developing community serving initiatives. Hanifa is the Principal Organizer & Co-Founding Practitioner of One Village Healing, a Connecticut-based wellness and resilience initiative dedicated to creating spaces, gatherings, and programming, rooted in the values of the healing justice movement so all people can heal from the emotional, physical and spiritual impacts of systems of oppression. Hanifa is a certified Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Master Practitioner. Hanifa has 8 years as a heart-led equity and belonging facilitator and has worked and trained with Beyond Diversity 101 and Co-creating Effective & Inclusive Organizations. As Fireside Project’s Cultivator of Beloved Community, Hanifa supports staff and volunteers in the co-creation of a culture of belonging as the psychedelic movement matures. Learn more about Hanifa @

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Kyle Jespersen (he/him)

PHS Community Services Society, Vancouver Canada


is a program manager at Insite, a clean & safe environment for people to consume illicit drugs, and the first government-sanctioned supervised injection site (SIS) in North America. Opening its doors in 2003, this harm reduction facility has seen thousands of overdoses reversed and lives recovered, as well as millions of healthcare dollars saved. The staff and peer workers at Insite create non-judgmental relationships with individuals who are chronically marginalized and resistant to health care.

Insite participants may avail themselves of a variety of services, including clean equipment to reduce the spread of infectious diseases and bacteria; wound care; STI tests; vaccinations; supported referrals to further health & community services; spectrometer testing of their substance to determine actual drug contents; access to detox services & a transitional housing program (Onsite, above Insite); and a post-injection chill-out lounge to hang out with other people with lived experience and share needs, ideas, stories, and knowledge. 

This summer Kyle & the Insite leadership team will have the honour and challenge of introducing participants to a new opioid replacement program to reduce their reliance on the tainted illicit drug supply. Options will include oral, injectable, and transdermal opioid agonists such as morphine, hydromorphone, and fentanyl patches. Kyle is very happy to contribute to The Cognitive Liberty Project with his passion for dismantling misconceived drug policy, listening to those with lived experience, and affording dignity and full human rights to all. 

Tanagra M. Melgarejo (ella/she)


was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is the proud daughter of Mexican and Cuban immigrants. She joined the National Harm Reduction Coalition in 2017 and is their National Learning and Engaging Strategist, overseeing NHRC’s national capacity building and learning and engagement portfolios. She holds an MSW from the University of Puerto Rico, where she was also a lecturer for their graduate school of social work. Tanagra is an intersectional feminist who believes in decolonization as the way towards liberation. Her most overused (but still pertinent phrase) is “we gotta burn it* down”. 

*imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist heterosexist patriarchy.

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