Hanifa Nayo Washington: The Fireside Project Psychedelic Hotline


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Hanifa Nayo Washington, she/her/hers, is an award winning cultural producer and healing justice practitioner with 20 years in nonprofit leadership.

As a co-founder and the Chief Strategy Officer for Fireside Project, Hanifa supports the design, facilitation, and communication of Fireside Project’s mission, vision, strategic initiatives and future goals.

Hanifa is a master facilitator, reiki practitioner, and community organizer who has dedicated her life to creating organizations, gatherings, spaces, and experiences rooted in the values of beloved community.

Hanifa Nayo is also the Co-founder and Organizing Principal of One Village Healing, an online BIPOC centered healing, resilience, and psychedelic wellness space and is in her 4th year as a lead facilitator of the New Haven Community Leadership Program whose mission is to equip, support and inspire the practice of values-based collaborative leadership.

In this episode, Hanifa Nayo Washington and Beth Weinstein discuss …

  • How feeling a sense of belonging in community can impact your wellness
  • Understanding your personal pain points to better discern which medicines to use
  • Broadening the definition of “medicine” to include all forms of nourishment you take in
  • Hanifa’s “Year of Yes” during which she attended Burning Man of the first time and met the founder of The Fireside Project
  • The Fireside Project, a safe, diverse, and equitable organization providing culturally attuned psychedelic care and education
  • The Fireside Project’s psychedelic peer support line, a free national hotline that offers support for people experiencing challenges during a psychedelic experience or who need help integrating past psychedelic experiences
  • The Fireside Project’s collaboration with UCSC on a study exploring whether psychedelic peer support is an effective risk reduction tool
  • Preliminary findings from this study which suggest that the hotline is successfully diverting people from calling emergency services, which saves public funds and helps people in need avoid potentially traumatizing interactions while in a psychedelic experience
  • The Fireside Project's “affinity group” initiative, which offers callers an opportunity to speak to someone with whom they might feel a close affinity, such as a transgender person, a veteran, etc.
  • The Fireside Project’s plan to support the affinity volunteer cohort to start careers in the field after they finish their year of service
  • How there is no requirement for volunteers to have specific training, as the point is for them to be true peers – not doctors, psychotherapists, etc.
  • How systems of oppression at play in the world create biases and blind spots, and what it means to be in community reflecting on these issues
  • The origin of the name “The Fireside Project”, which is rooted in wanting to provide a sense of warmth to people in the psychedelic space who are seeking care and acceptance

Hanifa Nayo Washington’s Links & Resources

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