Developing Dignity Event
On June 18th, 2017, Dignity for Opiate User’s hosted our first annual Developing Dignity event.
We talked to people about our mission of creating a community of dignity for people who use opiates. Dozens of people participated in a photo petition to express their ideas of dignity. The photos will be used as part of our ongoing educational campaign.
We heard testimony from people who identified as active opiate users, former opiate users, allies and loved ones. Everyone we spoke to agreed that it is time to shift the way of thinking. Negativity in language and action is causing further harm and encourages shame towards active and former opiate users. Everyone we spoke to agreed that we need a huge cultural shift to change the way we view, treat and talk about former and active opiate users. It’s inspiring to see how much work is being done but we are a long way from solving this crisis.
Candlelight Vigil and Silent March
On Mother’s day in 2016, we organized a huge rally in Portland to remember the 272 people who died in 2015 as the result of a substance overdose. Hundreds of people joined us in Monument Square before marching through the city into Deering Oaks Park. We marched with the banner – 272 Remembered
When we reached the park, we gathered in front of a stage to hear from people in recovery, political advocates, and public officials. After the speakers, we lit candles and held a moment of silence for the people we lost to Substance Use Disorder. It was a beautiful and powerful reminder that we can accomplish amazing things when we come together as a community. We marched with a banner that read ‘272 Remembered’.