NEXT’s BIPOC Workplan

The purpose of this workplan is to solidify the vision and intention of NEXT Harm Reduction “NEXT” and its associated platforms (NEXT Distro, NEXT Naloxone) to center and support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who use drugs. This work plan underscores our commitment to prioritizing resources and services in communities that have been most affected by the violence and devastation associated with health disparities, economic exploitation, and the drug war; and outlines the way that we will address BIPOC harm reduction needs through our work.

Our strategies to achieve a harm reduction platform that actively dismantles white supremacy in the field of harm reduction will be achieved by focusing on a) Leadership & Culture, b) Representation & Support Systems, and c) Infrastructure & Resource Allocation. 

This is a working document that we expect to evolve and grow. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to be involved in this work.

 Leadership & Culture

●      NEXT will be actively transparent about our goals and vision for centering BIPOC through our platform. This will be communicated in a straightforward manner through our website, contractual agreements (MOU, LOI), grant proposals, and to BIPOC future and current participants.

●      NEXT will not compete for or accept funding that puts participant safety or privacy at risk or deprioirtizes the self-identified needs of the people we serve.

●      NEXT will prioritize a diverse applicant pool including applicants from the communities we serve, applicants from communities disproportionately impacted by the drug war are heavily encouraged. hiring BIPOC staff and provide opportunities for BIPOC involvement through volunteer and internship opportunities. Our commitment to BIPOC fulfillment as NEXT team members will be recognized through opportunities for leadership and growth within the organization.

●      As part of the recruitment and hiring process, NEXT will include interview questions that assess individuals’ racial equity lens. A candidate’s ability to demonstrate an advanced understanding of social determinants of health and racial equity will be prioritized in hiring.

●      As part of the recruitment and hiring process, NEXT will emphasize the importance of lived experience and hiring communities most impacted by the drug war, and work experience/ability over educational attainment or institutional credentials

●      The orientation process for new team members will emphasize NEXT’s commitment to racial equity in our practice and will outline an ongoing racial equity workplan for each individual team member based on their experience in racial equity and their growth areas/interests.

●      Identify and dismantle racism head-on by addressing it through our communication and education.


Representation & Support Systems

●      Prioritize the harm reduction needs of BIPOC by creating accountable measurements of success and working to address them.

●      Develop measurable goals to ensure NEXT is a place of wellness and support for BIPOC.

●      Visual representations of BIPOC in NEXT videos, publications, social media, and all other materials

●      NEXT will highlight BIPOC, Spanish-speaking, and immigrant centered drug user health resources. NEXT will develop a system by which participants can provide feedback if a resource is lacking in cultural competence for the purpose of improving our resource descriptions.

●      Content creation by BIPOC people who use drugs for BIPOC people who use drugs is prioritized and resourced financially when lacking.

●      Both publicly facing and infrastructure systems within NEXT are staffed by BIPOC including but not limited to board members, advisory members, participant support staff including nurses, and system technologists.

●      NEXT will prioritize community-run care and support, and provide resources to empower community-run care and support as we are able.

●      NEXT will actively seek out BIPOC harm reduction partnerships, affiliates, and leadership. NEXT will provide infrastructure and support for outside groups to be involved in NEXT leadership and to incorporate their own work within the NEXT platform.


Infrastructure & Resource Allocation

●      NEXT will focus resource distribution within BIPOC communities. This includes ongoing assessments of if NEXT is holistically reaching BIPOC communities, and if those people who are being served believe they are being centered, resourced, and supported through our platform.

●      NEXT incorporates an ongoing process of evaluation to assess if we are succeeding in supporting BIPOC that use drugs. The process is intended to regularly evolve and focus on emerging needs. Generation for measures of improvement will be solicited from all NEXT stakeholders on a rolling basis. The evaluation process will include steps for goal attainment.

●      NEXT will prioritize racial equity infrastructure and practice including training, supervision, accountability exercises, evaluation measures, and outreach activities.

●      Evaluation measures will include internal, external, and participant level assessments, BIPOC communities will be prioritized in the evaluation process and financially resourced if necessary.

●      NEXT infrastructure will recognize and adapt our system and practices for communities with low technological literacy and inadequate high-speed internet.