‘This is not a webinar’ workshop series – Call for applications

The ‘This is not a webinar’ workshop series seeks to create space for sharing knowledge, experiences and learning with fellow campaigners.

Over the last 8 years, thousands of Support. Don’t Punish campaigners have mobilised in favour of drug policies and narratives that promote the wellbeing of our communities.

Rejecting stigma, criminalisation and killings, we campaign for responses to drug-related challenges that are rights-affirming, value the preciousness of life, put people first and leave no one behind.

While the COVID-19 pandemic might have limited our capacity to meet in person, the success of the 2020 Global Day of Action shows our dedication to making change and our sense of solidarity are undeterred.

With that in mind, the ‘This is not a webinar’ workshop series seeks to create space for sharing knowledge, experiences and learning with fellow campaigners.

The series gravitates around three themes, selected in consultation with Support. Don’t Punish campaigners worldwide:


Format

In case this wasn’t clear, this is not a webinar. We love and acknowledge the value of the wide range of webinars organised over the last few months (including the 40+ organised for the Global Day of Action). That said, we also miss spaces for open exchanges that pandemic restrictions have made less possible. While very brief orientating presentations are expected and a small pre-reading list will be shared in advance, these workshops will be highly participatory, inspired by the concepts of open space technology and hackathons. Please, come with your most beautiful thinking caps!!!

Each workshop is expected to last between 1.5 – 3 hours. For many of us, maintaining concentration on online platforms is more difficult than at on-site events, so the calls for applications for each webinar invite you to consider different options in this regard.

This series of workshops will take place remotely, online. Joining and participating in each workshop will require a good internet connection. We realise this poses challenges for a lot of people, which is why the call for applications invites you to let us know if there are any ways we could support you in this regard.

Each workshop will be joined by 12-15 participants. We expect a very high volume of applications and, while we would love to accommodate all requests, limited resources means we will have to make incredibly difficult decisions. So, feel free to apply to more than one, but be mindful of these constraints.

This workshop series will be in English. While we realise this is far from ideal and speaks volumes of the enduring impact of cultural imperialism, our consultation suggested English was, by far, the most common shared language among campaigners of all continents. We aim to produce graphic summary reports for each workshop and to translate them into the other two most-commonly spoken languages identified by the consultation (Spanish and French).


“In their best interests”? – Making drug policy work for young people

Week of 2-6 November [Final date TBC depending on applicants’ availabilities]

Government responses to drug-related challenges are often discussed as a means to ‘protect our youth’. But the participation of young people in the development, implementation and evaluation of drug policies is often symbolic at best or even nonexistent.

The Support. Don’t Punish campaign has been energised by the courage, dedication and vision of youth-led organisations and collectives from across the globe. We believe that the concept of nothing about us without us cannot be suspended when it comes to drug policy reform that responds to the needs of young people.

As such, this workshop seeks to create space to amplify the wealth of experience, expertise and concrete solutions that young people bring to our global effort.

Facilitators

  • Ailish Brennan (Youth RISE)
  • Clement Boffa Oppong (Students for Sensible Drug Policy)
  • Jorge Herrera Valderrábano (Instituto RIA)

Application & selection process – Timeframes

  • Application period: Friday, 25 September to Sunday, 11 October.
  • Notification to successful applicants: Monday, 26 October.

 


Don’t Punish – Prison abolition & drug policy reform

Week of 16-20 November [Final date TBC depending on applicants’ availabilities]

The idea that policing, incarceration and surveillance create safe societies for all appears at best deceptive to any campaigner for fairer drug policies.

Increasing media attention on police brutality and the impact of pandemics in prisons, be it in the US, Brazil or the Philippines, have brought into sharp relief what we already knew: Those who suffer the hammer of punishment are, by far, people pushed into vulnerability by poverty, racism, patriarchal violence, ableism, and other forms of oppression.

Some responses to this tragic state of affairs have focused on tweaking policing procedures or building “better” prisons. Prison abolition provides a different perspective, where the focus is not on “refining” criminal responses but rather building caring communities that respond to the underlying drivers of harm and violence in society.

This workshop will provide space to discuss how our mobilisation can contribute to creating conditions for sustainable alternatives to punishment and imprisonment.

Facilitators

  • Ernesto Cortés (Asociación Costarricense para el Estudio e Intervención en Drogas – ACEID)
  • Juan Fernández Ochoa (International Drug Policy Consortium – IDPC)

Application & selection process – Timeframes

  • Application period: Friday, 25 September to Monday, 19 October.
  • Notification to successful applicants: Wednesday, 28 October.

Apply here.


Strategic, effective and genuine messaging – Communicating reform

Week of 7-11 December [Final date TBC depending on applicants’ availabilities]

Changing drug policies and narratives is challenging. Over the last decades, governments around the world (particularly from the Global North) have invested trillions into promoting tough-on-drugs strategies that have been abysmally costly in human terms. What’s more, these have been enshrined into international and domestic law, creating a robust edifice that has only recently begun to crumble.

While our movement is stronger than ever, the supportive evidence-base continues to grow, and public authorities are becoming more vocal, communicating the need for change remains fundamental to build momentum for reform.

This workshop will serve as a platform to discuss how our campaign messages can be strategic and persuasive whilst firmly anchored in our movement’s values and sense of solidarity.

Facilitators

  • Dania Putri (Persepsi)
  • Juan Fernández Ochoa (International Drug Policy Consortium – IDPC)
  • Ruod Ariete (NoBox Philippines)

Application & selection process – Timeframes

  • Application period: Friday, 25 September to Monday, 2 November.
  • Notification to successful applicants: Wednesday, 11 November.

Apply here.