Washington, D.C. — Faces & Voices of Recovery today released the Community Listening Forum Toolkit, a new resource for organizing events in cities and towns across the United States to fight discrimination facing people with addiction. Grassroots organizations and community leaders are using this new tool to strategize and take action on issues of concern to the recovery community.
“One way to build public and policy maker support for effective policies is to identify solutions based on the challenges facing real people,” said Stephen Gumbley, Faces & Voices board chair. “We are building the capacity of people in and seeking recovery to speak out, and of the community as a whole to listen. We no longer have to feel that our thoughts and experiences don’t matter to people in positions of power, or that we are struggling alone,” he said. “This is another set of tools to empower us to become a constituency of consequence.”
Community Listening Forums add a twist to traditional town hall meetings. The focus is on the lived experience of community members. A Listening Panel of policymakers, community leaders and state agency administrators hear and respond to the testimony provided by the recovery community—people in recovery, their families, friends and allies.
The Toolkit details 14 simple steps to put together a successful Forum including a timeline, sample invitations and other resources. The Community Listening Forum Toolkit was developed after Faces & Voices held forums in four communities around the country. It is now available as a free download on the Faces & Voices of Recovery website at www.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org, and recovery community organizations and allies can use it to plan their own Forums.
Faces & Voices of Recovery is a Washington, DC based non-profit organization working to organize and mobilize the over 20 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families, friends and allies. For more information, please visit www.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org.