MAPS Canada Diversity Vision Statement:
MAPS Canada is committed to collective liberation. This means that we work with diligence and focus towards the prescription use of psychedelics, and for broader access in a licensed legalization context. We seek to create a future where psychedelic experiences are widely accessible, in accordance with principles of the JEDI model (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion). We are especially concerned now with systemic racism. The disconnection from “others” that rationalizes and enables racism, is also a disconnection from nature/climate and one’s own self. Psychedelic healing and spiritual experiences help people feel connected to everything, and this experience can be a potential vaccine for genocide and ecocide. Our organizational contribution and challenge is focusing on legalizing psychedelics in an anti-racist manner.
We understand that the Diversity and Inclusion aspects of this approach is where we have the most immediate ability to create change. We need to increase our connections to other cultures and groups who have not normally been supportive of legalizing psychedelics and also those who have not had the privilege to experience the healing potential of these substances. Increasing diversity and inclusion in our organizations is a vital part of our growth. To do this work we need to do four things: 1) identify specific groups who would like to be part of our movement to legalize psychedelics, 2) Identify how the drug war has impacted communities of color and indigenous groups who could then be afraid to participate in psychedelic research and drug legalization initiatives. We must work to change our culture to feel more naturally inviting to these communities. 3) develop culturally literate materials exploring the benefits of psychedelic legalization (i.e. break cycles of trauma, insurance coverage for equitable access, create well paid medical and therapy jobs, catalyze spiritual experiences), 4) identify and train spokespersons and therapists who can reach out and form connections in the communities we have identified or who have contacted us so that they may inform us on how to deliver this care in a culturally sensitive manner. Empower these therapists to bring this work into the communities that they serve. Diversity and inclusion includes reaching out to a variety of cultures, communities and professions including indigenous communities, people of colour, first responders and the military. We know we will have succeeded in increasing diversity and inclusion if we see a wide range of ethnic and cultural representations presenting and participating in future conferences and in our therapists, subjects in research and patients in treatment.
In summary, we can do better, and are committed to evolving as a community. We acknowledge the immense, urgent importance of ending racism. Increasing diversity and inclusion in our organizations is a vital part of achieving our goal of legalizing psychedelics for healing, spiritual and celebratory experiences.