Harm Reduction at the Intersection Digital Conference

A Collaboration Conference from the Iowa and Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalitions 

During this unprecedented time, the Iowa and Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalitions are joining forces to offer a dynamic learning experience for advocates, professionals, and individuals in our states, across the nation, and around the world. Our organizations have a shared mission of centering the health, wellness, and human rights of individuals who use drugs. In October 2020, we will present our shared vision in an engaging, dynamic, online conference that offers networking, learning opportunities, and opportunities for political engagement across various platforms. Moving beyond the tired space of online webinars and zoom meetings, this one of a kind conference offers an innovative opportunity for the drug policy, criminal justice, harm reduction, substance use, and public health fields to intersect around our shared values and goals.

Our partnership for this conference was born from an existing working relationship with our executive directors, Sarah Ziegenhorn from Iowa and Devin Reaves from Pennsylvania. But we also recognize similarities in our circumstances and our fight for harm reduction in our respective states. We believe this is an opportunity to share in those similarities while also learning from each other to best impact change. We are delighted to collaborate to present a conference as a way for professionals from Iowa and Pennsylvania to apply learnings from each other’s initiatives to programs and policies in our own states, as well as share our experiences and strategies with other communities.


  • Bodily autonomy
  • Building power
  • Centering those most affected
  • Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice


  • Collaborate with people whose work impacts individuals who use drugs in order to foster the use of harm reduction strategies in policy development, program implementation, and direct service
  • Strategically advance the opportunities for the following priorities in Iowa and Pennsylvania by fostering dialogue between elected officials, law enforcement officers, subject matter experts, and those with lived experience
    • Syringe access legalization and expansion
    • Law enforcement assisted diversion
    • Expansion of evidence-based practices inside correctional settings
    • Implementation of policies that center the needs and safety of those engaged in sex work
  • Engage new stakeholder groups and individuals in efforts to end the overdose crisis and address the harms of the racialized war on drugs
  • Build connections with individuals who apply multiple areas of inquiry in their work to the development of innovative solutions


  • This conference will take place over 5 days (October 26-30th) across multiple digital platforms including Zoom keynotes, breakout sessions, live streams, chat rooms, and more. Registrants will receive a master schedule for the week filled with plenty of opportunities to engage, learn, and network among participants.
  • All video content will be recorded and available for archival viewing to all registrants
  • Registration is $50 for access to the full week of live digital activities and all the recordings to watch at your convenience


Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition

Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition (IHRC) is a community based nonprofit organization (501c3) that provides compassion-based services for and advocates with people who use drugs. Founded in 2016, IHRC’s mission is “to create health equity in Iowa communities through advocacy, education, and drug user health services. IHRC works to build power among people impacted by the war on drugs, including people who use drugs and communities of color; is committed to the acceptance of stigmatized and minoritized peoples, people who use drugs, and people who engage in sex work; and is committed to dismantling systems of race, class, and gender-based privilege.” IHRC’s current programming is divided across three domains: health and social services; advocacy and community organizing; and training and education.

Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition

The mission of PAHRC is to promote the health, dignity, and human rights of individuals who use drugs and communities impacted by drug use. We carry out our mission by increasing knowledge and capacity of those impacted by social inequity, criminalization, and stigma; educating key decision-makers on effective policy and advocating for its implementation; building community power and leadership through training, outreach, and engagement. PAHRC is dedicated to advocating for, and with, individuals who are currently using substances to receive competent care and comprehensive services. Our immediate goal is to expand access to sterile injection equipment, naloxone, and other harm reduction oriented services throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


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