Mission, Vision, & Values

Who we are matters, not what drugs we use

“We come into harm reduction work and the Harm Reduction movement from different places: our own personal experiences with drug use, our love or grief for family members and friends, our professional experiences and commitments, our exposure to justice. Whatever the pathway, it moves us to look through the veils of stigma and criminalization to see the full humanity and potential of people - including ourselves - that society has deemed deviant, dangerous, and disposable.”

National Harm Reduction Coalition

Mission

We work in coalition (which we define as “coming together for combined action”) to create a New Jersey that values the safety and dignity of all people who use drugs, and to make evidence-informed harm reduction public health resources widely available to everyone in our state.

Vision

We are working toward a world where there is no drug war or stigma against people who use drugs. We imagine a world where people who use drugs — and all people, regardless of their drug use status — have all the resources needed to stay alive and thrive.

Values

We do our work holding the following values:

Every person’s life and wellbeing are inherently valuable. We want to center the perspectives of the individuals in front of us. We recognize the wisdom all individuals have as experts in our own lives, and the power all people have together.

Every person has a right to do with their body what they want to or must, free from judgment, shame, and criminalization and with full access to the resources needed to exercise this autonomy with as much safety and choice as possible.

The U.S. legacy of enslavement and exclusionary policies are the root cause of harms we are collectively undoing. We seek to recognize, name, and work to dismantle the ways that anti-Black and anti-immigrant racism manifests in our work and in public health and drug policies.

We prioritize sharing power and minimizing the expected one-way relationship of traditional social service settings. We are here to dismantle the structures that keep people who use drugs marginalized using the power we as individuals already have, and building power to transform systemic determinants of health.
In the spirit of harm reduction, we celebrate any positive change made in an individual’s life or in pursuit of transformative policy change. As an organization, we value joy as a tool to sustain us in harm reduction work.
We prioritize sharing leadership and power, and organizational leadership that does not reinforce patriarchal and individualistic organizational structures.
NJHRC Team

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Harm reduction is essential. A harm reduction approach to drug use is the best strategy we have to end the overdose crisis, reduce risks associated with drug use, and affirm the dignity and bodily autonomy of every New Jerseyan.

Naloxone Hands