Naropa Partners with Fireside Project’s Equity Initiative to Increase Diversity in Psychedelic Support

BOULDER, CO (February 15, 2022) Fireside Project, a leading provider of psychedelic peer support, announced on Monday the launch of its new Equity Initiative. Naropa is honored to be one of the academic institutions partnering in this initiative, which will radically expand the organization’s capacity to provide culturally responsive service for people seeking help processing past psychedelic experiences.

“Fireside Project is committed to creating pathways and alliances that create an equitable and liberated psychedelic field,” says Fireside Project co-founder Hanifa Nayo Washington. “Across the health care sector, innumerable studies have been done about the importance of workforce diversity. Most importantly, representation offers those who come from historically marginalized communities safety in self-expression and in exploring vulnerability. For those of us in the mental health sector, the ultimate impact of this representation is saved lives.”

Naropa has committed two full scholarships to its Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies Certificate Program for Fireside volunteers from underrepresented communities. Naropa is also proud to share plans to update the curriculum to include training materials from Fireside Project on anti-racism practices, peer support, and the impacts of the war on drugs on marginalized communities.

“We are delighted to offer financial support to two Fireside Project volunteers for our inaugural cohort of the psychedelic-assisted therapies certificate program,” says Sara Lewis, PhD, Faculty/Co-Director, Naropa University Center for Psychedelic Studies. “These trainees bring with them a richness and depth of experience that will enhance the vibrancy of this diverse cohort. We deeply celebrate and honor Fireside Project, not only for how they are enriching the psychedelic space in their dedicated work on harm reduction, safety, and peer-support, but also for their leadership in anti-oppression work, equity, and justice.”

Starting February 15th, Fireside Project is accepting applications for 40 new peer support volunteers from BIPOC, transgender, and military veteran communities, who will begin serving on the organization’s Psychedelic Peer Support Line—accessible via phone or text—in June. The program will ensure that support line users who align with or come from these communities can be connected with a volunteer who is more likely to relate to their background, needs, and struggles.

  • The new initiative will enable callers seeking support processing past psychedelic experiences to connect with trained volunteers from their own communities
  • Volunteers will have opportunities for free access to psychedelic education and training through Naropa University, MAPS PBC, Fluence, Psychedelic.
  • Naropa has committed two full scholarships to its psychedelic-assisted therapies certificate program for Fireside volunteers from underrepresented communities.
  • Naropa has also announced plans to update the curriculum to include training materials from Fireside Project on anti-racism practices, peer support, and the impacts of the war on drugs on marginalized communities.

(This article is a modification from this press release )


About Naropa University (Naropa.edu): Located in Boulder, Colorado, Naropa University is a private liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. As the “birthplace of the modern mindfulness movement,” Naropa University is a leader in contemplative education, an approach to learning and teaching that integrates Eastern wisdom studies with traditional Western scholarship. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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