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Decolonizing Care: The Opioid Crisis and the Role of Trauma-Informed Storytelling

Event Date:

June 1, 2024 | 11:00 AM EDT TO 12:00 PM EDT


Adams Street Library
Multipurpose Room
9 Adams Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Clouds enshroud a green mountain, with a river at its base

Judith Surber—whose grandchild and children struggle with addiction—writes about her life on a...

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Multiple Authors

Join the Pulitzer Center, photographer Justin Maxon, and writer Judith Surber for a conversation about the opioid crisis and its impacts on Indigenous communities. The discussion will cover trauma-informed storytelling and how the process of collaborating with and centering community voices can reframe preconceived narratives about complex topics such as substance abuse. 

This event will mark the opening of the Decolonizing Care exhibition at Photoville Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park beginning on June 1, which shares the story of Judith Surber, an Indigenous woman in Hoopa Valley, California, whose family has been devastated by opioid addiction. Native populations experience some of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Through the story, originally published in The New York Times, Surber gives a firsthand perspective of a mother fighting to keep her family together, while Justin Maxon’s photographs are candid yet compassionate. Together, their written and visual storytelling weave a personal narrative of struggle, fear, and pain, but most of all, of unconditional love.

Join us for a conversation with Justin and Judith highlighting intentional decisions in representation and raising awareness, followed by a Q&A. Afterward, we invite all attendees to join us in a 0.3-mile walk to Brooklyn Bridge Park to view the exhibit.


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