Now Enrolling: Chacruna’s Diversity, Culture and Social Justice in Psychedelics Course

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Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, in partnership with the University of Ottawa, School of Psychology, is offering a spring course, Diversity, Culture and Social Justice in Psychedelics, part of its Psychedelic Justice Curriculum. Over nine sessions beginning February 6, participants will gain a deep understanding of historical context, contemporary topics and future opportunities within the psychedelic world. Registration is open now.

"The level of expertise was exceptional, along with how kind, supportive, and approachable it was to interact with them personally and with their content." - Tahlia Harrison, MA, MFTA, LMT, Therapist, Doctoral Student, and graduate of our last Diversity course.

The first of its kind in the psychedelic field, the course is interdisciplinary, experiential, personal and intellectual. Classes will introduce students to critical topics in cultural, historical, scientific and socioeconomic contexts that have shaped – and continue to influence – the psychedelic renaissance. The course will have a special focus on providing foundational knowledge in psychedelics and justice, diversity, equity and inclusion (JEDI). Students will explore implicit bias, queer aspects, intersectionality, cultural humility, social identity, healing the racial divide, uses of Indigenous plant medicines and challenges around the mainstreaming and globalization of psychedelics.

Each class is taught by international experts in the field, whose perspectives shed light on how psychedelics influence and are influenced by social justice, privilege, and diversity. Faculty include Dr. Bia Labate, Dr. Monnica Williams, Dr. Sonya Faber, Dr. Joseph McCowen, Dr. Clancy Cavnar, Dr. Alex Belser, Dr. Darron Smith and Lígia Platero.

According to Chacruna’s Executive Director, Bia Labate, PhD, the program presents a unique opportunity for students of psychedelic science and culture to gain a deep understanding of historical context, contemporary topics, and future opportunities within the psychedelic world. “Many people are not aware of both the potential pitfalls of psychedelics, and the fact that this movement did not start in the counterculture or in the labs of white male scientists,” she shares. “It’s important to have an understanding of the field to move forward in mindful ways.”

These classes are “essential as we move into the new psychedelic renaissance,” says Dr. NiCole Buchanan, Ph.D., who is part of Chacruna’s Board of Directors: “This course will help all of us improve our competence working with diverse communities, and will expand knowledge of the challenges that might arise when working with those from different backgrounds,” she adds.

Dr. Clancy Cavnar will dive into the diverse history of the field in her class, ”Queer Aspects of Psychedelic Experience.” “The study of queer people’s past histories with psychedelics will help inform clinicians of the sensitivity of the subject for this population, especially in regard to ‘conversion therapy,’” she says.

“The joy of the exploration of alternate states of reality has long been a secret of outsiders in our culture, queer people being among the most creative and prolific users of these substances,” she continues. “The culture that arose around this and its influence on popular culture is fascinating.”

Courses are open to students from all professional backgrounds, including those who want to pursue deeper knowledge of psychedelic culture and science. Since its inception, Chacruna Institute has been an inspiration and reference for the many institutions that have begun offering psychedelic trainings and studies, including Stanford University, Naropa University, CIIS, Vital, Psychiatry Institute, Psychedelic Support, Synthesis Institute, UC Berkeley, InnerTreck, Synaptic Institute, University of Ottawa, and many others. Chacruna students and team members have worked as professors, advisors and consultants in these and other organizations across the world. Through this course, Chacruna will “continue to promote and nourish the creation of a new generation of psychedelic therapists and practitioners, who are more needed than ever as we move forward with this psychedelic renaissance,” says Labate.

Get more information and register here. CE credits are available, and students have an option to receive a Certificate of Completion from Chacruna. Classes start February 6.

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Lorien Chavez