Undoing the Harmful Legacy of the War on Drugs:  A Focus on Communities of Color

Please Register to Join Us!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

1:00PM - 4:00PM Eastern Standard Time



Town Hall Moderator: Alex Elswick, PhD

A Personal Story : Shelton McElroy 

The History of the War on Drugs and the Impact on Communities of Color: Claire Clark, PhD, MP

Barriers to Recovery for BIPOC: 

 - Avik Chatterjee, MD, MPH

  -Amanda Hall

  -Shameka Parrish-Wright

  -Phil Rutherford
Recovery Advocacy IS Anti-racism Work:  Jeremy Byard


1. Identify the harmful consequences of the War on Drugs on people who use drugs and BIPOC

2. Describe the barriers to care, wellness, and recovery for BIPOC that are exacerbated by the War on Drugs 

3. Discuss the intersection between recovery advocacy and anti-racism activism


Alex Elswick, PhD

Dr. Alex Elswick is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Voices of Hope, a person in long-term recovery from an opioid addiction, and a tireless advocate for people who use drugs and people in recovery.  Alex is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for Use Prevention & Recovery.  

Shelton McElroy

Shelton McElroy is the former National Director of Strategic Partnerships of the Bail Project.  As a formerly incarcerated individual who was a ward of the state in foster care for over 15 years, Shelton works daily to dismantle dehumanizing systems of oppression. 

Claire Clark, PhD, MP

Dr. Claire Clark is a medical historian and an Associate Professor in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Behavioral Science. Claire is the author of Recovery Revolution, which describes the history of treatment activists’ influence on the development of American drug policy.

Avik Chatterjee, MD, MPH

Dr. Avik Chatterjee is an addiction medicine physician at several shelter-based clinics through the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. He teaches Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, with a particular interest in institutional and structural racism in medicine.  

Amanda Hall

Amanda Hall is a policy strategist for the Kentucky branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. Amanda was a leader in the establishment of Kentucky’s Smart on Crime initiative, which is a broad-based coalition working for criminal
justice reform. Amanda is also a certified peer support specialist and the former Director
of the Women’s Healing Place. She has lived experience with addiction and involvement
with the criminal justice system.

Shameka Parrish-Wright

Shameka Parrish-Wright is an Operations Manager for The Bail Project. She has also worked as a community and voter empowerment organizer. As the child of an incarcerated parent and a formerly incarcerated person herself, Shameka spends weekends doing art activities with families during visitation with The Special Project, a project of the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Phillip Rutherford

Phil is the Chief Operating Officer at Faces & Voices of Recovery and passionate member of the recovery community. Phil has prior experience as the Director of Operations at a Recovery Community Organization and extensive expertise in substance use disorder, recovery, and re-entry.

Jeremy Byard

Jeremy Byard is a Co-Founder and Director of the Louisville Recovery Community Connection and a leader in the US recovery advocacy movement.  Jeremy has lived experience with addiction and involvement with the criminal justice system.