HIT Hot Topics 2022


Phoenix AKA Mohawk

Pronouns: they/them
Phoenix AKA Mohawk “The Rebel Educationist” (they/them: formerly known as Mohawk the Educator) is a black, trans educator and technologist, who leverages vast multimedia and platforms to do advocacy and outreach for people who use drugs. They provide education and alternative, radical perspectives about drugs, drug policy, and related topics through a comedic, restorative lens. They are a harm reductionist, drug policy reform advocate, activist, and community organiser that participates in mutual aid. They are also a skilled technologist, writer, and educator.

Jesse Bernard

Pronouns: he/him
Jesse Bernard is a writer, DJ, music researcher & filmmaker. He is also the Youth and Community Lead on the Y-Stop project, as part of Release. His writing has appeared in print and online in GQ, The FADER, The Guardian, OkayPlayer, Red Bull, NME, Mixmag, Vinyl Factory, Crack Magazine, Esquire and more.

Haven Wheelock

Pronouns: she/her
Haven Wheelock has been advocating for the health and safety of people who use drugs since 2002. She was a Chief Petitioner for ballot measure 110, which was a first in the nation initiative to decriminalize drugs in the state of Oregon.

Colleen Daniels

Pronouns: she/her
Peter brings his own personal experience of public injecting drug use and criminalisation to his work and activism, he opened the first (unsanctioned) drug consumption room in the UK which operated from a decommissioned ambulance in Glasgow at the height of Scotland’s drug death crisis.

Karin Silenzi de Stagni

Karin has worked as sitter and team leader at Boom Festival in Portugal, PsyFi in Holland and is the coordinator of Psycare at Modem in Croatia. She continues to help other events and organisations to create social awareness and safer party environments. Karin is one of the authors of The Manual of Psychedelic Support, she has given talks and workshops at Breaking Convention and through the Psychedelic Society. She has been the seminar leader on topics of psychedelic caring and dance magical power.

Lee Hertel

Pronouns: he/him
Lee Hertel is a harm reduction and HIV activist/advocate living in Minneapolis, in the US. If we want to be technical, he has been a drug-user for 42 years, and an IDU for 18 years. He founded and ran an unfunded syringe exchange, Lee’s Rig Hub. The Hub was a network of drug users, drug suppliers and dope houses acting as secondary exchangers and educators that delivered unlimited syringes and naloxone directly to their peers. In 2014 the Lee’s Rig Hub posse members reduced the overdose death rate in the state of Minnesota by 22 percent.

Peter Furlong

Pronouns: he/him
Peter Furlong is the National Harm Reduction lead for Change Grow Live and has been working in Drug services since the late 1990s. Starting as a volunteer in Merseyside, then working across a range of frontline roles including outreach, needle and syringe exchange, drug worker, services manager and North West regional development lead.

Tracey Kemp

Pronouns: she/her
Tracey Kemp is the National Hepatitis C Strategic Lead at Change Grow Live. Tracey is a harm reductionist at heart, who has a passion and commitment to support people to change the direction of their lives, grow as individuals and to live life to its full potential by creating opportunities for better access to screening and linkage to care for Hepatitis C.

Danny Ahmed

Pronouns: he/him
Danny Ahmed is a registered mental health nurse prescriber and integrative psychotherapist. Danny has worked as a specialist in the substance use field for 22 years and is passionate about supporting people who use drugs to access health focused harm reduction advice, care and treatment.

Mackayla Forde

Pronouns: she/her
Mackayla Forde, aka RED MEDUSA is a UK-born poet and academic who is known for her unapologetic creative modes of expression and commitment to fighting health injustices. She has worked with literary and academic juggernauts Akala, Tolu Agbelusi, Anthony Anaxagorou, Kat François, Dr Jennifer Randal and Dr Eugene Richardson to name a few.


Transform works to educate the public and policymakers on effective drug policy. They develop and promote viable alternatives to prohibition, provide a voice for those directly affected by drug policy failures, and they support policymakers and practitioners in achieving positive change with the aim of having a world where drug policy promotes health, protects the vulnerable and puts safety first.

Magdalena Harris

Magdalena Harris, Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is a sociologist working with qualitative methods in the social science of drug use, health and harm reduction. She works in partnership with community organisations, and through peer research, in the fields of hepatitis C, opioid and crack use, and opioid substitution treatment service delivery.

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