The Nowak Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit whose mission is to support people and communities in developing safe, informed, empowering relationships with self, others, and the medicines and drugs we interact with.
Our work is guided by commitment to the following values:
Relationship: Good relationships are the cornerstone of a good life. We are in relationship to all people and things around us. Understanding this, we value building and maintaining expansive relationships with all things we interact with, internal and external to our organization.
Empowerment: Authentic empowerment happens when we are aligned with our internal sources of power or knowing, enabling us to make choices that most reflect our true desires and preferences for a fulfilling life. We value authentic empowerment of ourselves and others, and support one another in our individual and collective efforts to achieving it.
Showing up: Community can only exist when we show up for each other. We value witnessing each other with compassion, empathy, and respect, and showing up in support of community.
Autonomy and Consent: We honor interactions based on consent and shared agreement. We value and respect the autonomy of individuals to have their own experiences and to decide what is best for them at any given time. With this, we hold one another accountable for following through on consent-based interactions and shared agreements.
Anti-oppression: We acknowledge that our liberation is tied to others' individual and collective liberation from the myriad forms of obvious and hidden oppression that exist. We aspire to identify and dissolve oppression towards ourselves, our community, and beyond, beginning with our personal interactions and extending to public action and alliances with other anti-oppression movements.
We believe in the power of grassroots community to support individuals to grow, heal, and expand beyond what's possible in our isolated, disconnected worlds. The Nowak Society strives to make its education, training, and workshops accessible to all; offering information and skill sets as open source, belonging to everyone.
Our Paradigm Shift
Harm reduction is a tried and true public health model for responding to the simple reality that people like taking drugs. Harm reduction adopts the practical perspective, "How can we make this less harmful for people?" At the Nowak Society, we're pushing this edge because we believe in the potential of right relationship with medicines and drugs to elevate ourselves to lead intentional, connected lives. Therefore, we ask "How can we support ourselves and our community in maximizing the benefit of this medicine/drug?"
Re-claiming Knowledge and Narrative
For generations we've been bombarded with confused and disempowering messages about "bad drugs" and "good medicine" as they relate to altering our mental and emotional lives. This stems from various sources of information we come across in our lives, including from doctors, teachers, government, media, and corporate messaging, all making it difficult to find accurate, non-biased information. We believe in empowering people to connect deeply with their own sense of right relationship with medicines and drugs that are used to change, remedy, explore, open up, or repress different aspects of our lives. We believe that people, at their core, are intelligent, resourceful and resilient, and with the support of relationships in community, will tend towards a path of empowerment.
We strive to create visually and energetically inviting spaces for dialogue, self-reflection, intention-setting and integration, self-expression, ceremony, and peer support.
We value diversity and know that it is a necessary ingredient in any healthy system. This is one reason why we work to redefine mental health care through anti-oppressive models. Peer support groups, embodiment techniques, grounding practices – each of these is a step in an alternate direction, away from disempowering models and towards models that emphasize autonomy and consent. The Nowak Society aims to support those who willingly entered or who have been coerced into tumultuous relationships with drugs, medicines and substances. We try to help slow down this process, to bring awareness to the relationships we have, and to purposefully create new ways for us to encounter the world.