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Safe and Equitable SF: Community Driven Responses to the Drug Crisis

Join GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice and GLIDE Memorial Church in honoring Overdose Awareness Day with lunch and discussion with experts in the field of substance use treatment, overdose prevention, and community health. We will focus our conversation on an exploration of the best and promising practices and deepen our understanding of current community-based strategies.

We would love to have you join us for good food and powerful conversation on Sunday, August 27 at 12:30 PM at GLIDE’s Freedom Hall (330 Ellis St, San Francisco).

Please register to attend this free event via Eventbrite.

You are welcome to join us for the 11am Sunday Celebration beforehand in GLIDE Church. GLIDE is hosting this event in partnership with the Safer Inside and Treatment on Demand Coalitions.

Hosted by Sam Rivera
Sam Rivera has 31 years of progressive experience in social services. His primary focus of expertise lies in Criminal Justice/Reentry, HIV/AIDS, Harm Reduction, Addiction/Recovery, and Mental Health. He currently serves as the Executive Director of OnPoint NYC, a long-standing harm reduction organization that provides services to active drug users and sex workers in Northern Manhattan and The South Bronx, many of whom are low-income or homeless as well as of color and LGBTQ. As an Afro-Taino, he brings to this role his several decades of cutting-edge service provision experience and a commitment to social justice. He has dedicated his professional career to ameliorating the harms associated with the War on Drug Users, racism/sexism, structural inequality, and mass incarceration and will continue to work to end systemic as well as systematic barriers to populations that are most vulnerable. Due to his dedication to this work, Sam Rivera was recently recognized as one of Time100’s Most Influential People of 2023.

Panelists include:
Dr. Leslie Suen
Dr. Suen, MD, MAS (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, where she works as a primary care and addiction medicine physician and health services/policy researcher. She completed medical school, Primary Care Internal Medicine (UCPC) residency training, and the National Clinician Scholars Program research fellowship at UCSF.

Rebecca Jackson
Rebecca Jackson is CJCJ’s Director of Cameo House.  She oversees and leads all Cameo house programming, operations, and services. Rebecca is a powerful advocate for formerly incarcerated women and their children in San Francisco who are experiencing homelessness and looking for the opportunity to change their lives. Her personal experiences with domestic violence, racism, addiction, and incarceration inform her work and fuel her desire to be a positive example and role model of change for others.

Lydia Bransten
Lydia Bransten is a dedicated activist and the Executive Director of The Gubbio Project, a respected daytime shelter located in San Francisco’s Mission district. With a strong commitment to addressing homelessness, Lydia and her team provide essential services such as Sacred Sleep, community building, and pathways to stability for individuals in need of support.

Mike Discepola
Mike Discepola, MA, directs the work of the Harm Reduction team at GLIDE, which focuses its efforts in the areas of evidence-based interventions to reduce disease burden, improve health circumstances, and improve health access. For more than 20 years, Mike has provided leadership to HIV prevention, harm reduction and community-based substance health and mental health programs. Mike currently serves as the Vice Chair to the Department of Public Health’s Health Care for Homeless Advisory Body and is a member of the SF Human Rights Commission’s LGBTQI+ Advisory Board. In 2017, Mike provided leadership as a member of San Francisco Mayor’s Safe Injection Services Task Force and contributed to comprehensive recommendations to implement overdose prevention centers in San Francisco. Mike maintains an active role as a thought leader and is committed to effective public health responses and strategies to reduce the negative impact of substance use and misuse to our loved ones and communities.