Forum to address addiction recovery for minorities Oct. 4

A community forum, “Minorities & Addiction Recovery: A Call to Action,” will be held at RIC on Monday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Student Union Ballroom. The forum is presented by the Institute for Addiction Recovery at Rhode Island College and the RIC Department of Psychology’s Chemical Dependency/Addiction Studies program.

Haner Hernandez, who holds a PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has worked in the human service field for over 20 years, will provide the keynote presentation. He is a noted authority on the development, implementation and evaluation of peer education and leadership programs for addiction and recovery services to minority populations.

Hernandez will focus on the addiction recovery issues faced by minority populations in the United States, with special emphasis on those living in Rhode Island.

He will examine how minorities are disproportionately impacted by addiction, are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, and confront many barriers to accessing culturally competent addiction treatment, as well as housing, employment, and other services that make recovery possible.

He will also describe the need to plan, develop, implement and evaluate addiction recovery services, which are culturally and linguistically competent in partnership and collaboration with minority communities.

The presentation will review the staffing and credentialing needs of people working with minority populations and the opportunities for developing and implementing policies that can encourage and support addiction recovery.

Following the keynote will be a panel discussion with individuals in recovery. A taskforce will then develop a plan of action to address identified concerns.

The event is free and open to the public. CEUs are available for MSW and chemical dependency professionals. To register, contact Sandra Del Sesto by Sept. 29 at