The Nowak Society was originally named as an honorarium to a good friend who passed away. The name “Nowak” is also a common Polish name that refers to newcomers to a profession. The Nowak Society is an organization committed to stewarding new professionals and communities into the emerging possibilities associated with psychedelic education, healing and advocacy. A society of Nowaks! Newcomers full of curiosity, interest, and a desire to explore this new and burgeoning field.
The Nowak Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to connect and organize psychedelic communities, and give voice to the essential values and pressing issues of the psychedelic movement.
Our work is guided by commitment to the following values:
Showing up: Community can only exist when we continuously show up for each other and the issues we care about. We value witnessing each other with compassion, empathy, and respect, and showing up in support of cultivating community.
Honoring Diverse Cultural Ecologies: We respect the multiplicity of paths that bring us all to the psychedelic space. With openness and humility, we strive to honor diverse knowledges, approaches, and contexts for working with drugs and medicines, and support one another in walking our paths, whatever they may be, with integrity. Healing does not only happen in clinical spaces guided by health professionals; myriad contexts exist within which growth and healing using the tools of psychedelic medicines can occur. We further value and respect the autonomy of individuals to have their own experiences and to decide what is best for them at any given time.
Open and Community-Sourced Education: 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 creates energetically inviting spaces for dialogue, self-reflection, activism and reform, and information-sharing. In bringing people together, our intention is to build and strengthen communities that can take concrete actions toward meeting our collective needs and reform goals. When informed and supported, communities can hold the healing potential of psychoactive substances with and for themselves. The Nowak Society strives to create platforms to highlight knowledge and practices held within the community. We aim to counter-balance capitalist tendencies to concentrate knowledge in hierarchical structures, designating certain authorities as necessary gatekeepers to access public goods or knowledge. To this end, The Nowak Society makes its education and outreach accessible to all, offering information and skill sets as open source, belonging to everyone, and held in community.
Intuition and Inspiration: We value the role of intuition and inspired action to guide us through each moment as we co-create the projects and initiatives that make up The Nowak Society. We believe our work is about the journey more than it is to reach a particular destination, and with this understanding, we strive to move forward step-by-step in a way that is grounded, responsive to the moment, and inspired.
Anti-oppression: We acknowledge that our healing is tied to others' individual and collective healing from the myriad forms of overt and hidden oppression that exist. We recognize how colonialist legacies of white supremacy, patriarchy, and exploitation are replicated in psychedelic spaces. We aspire to identify and disrupt forms of oppression within ourselves, our community, and beyond, beginning with our personal interactions and extending to public action and alliances with other anti-oppression movements. We seek to leverage any positions of privilege we may hold in allyship with anti-oppression movements, and to continuously refine our relationships to the earth, each other, and our collective healing.
Right Relationship: 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 their lives. While harm reduction approaches adopt the practical perspective, "How can we make this less harmful for people?," at the Nowak Society we're pushing this edge to ask "How can we support ourselves and our community in maximizing the benefit of this medicine/drug?"
The Nowak Society believes that psychoactive drugs are not inherently “good” or “bad,” but rather it’s the nature of our relationships with drugs that can open up or repress aspects of our lives. Right relationship encompasses all psychoactive drugs and medicines, whether prescribed or illicit, or used in clinical, ceremonial or recreational contexts. For some, this means adopting a critical perspective toward prescribed psychopharmaceuticals often given to suppress or shut down unwanted thoughts, feelings, or extreme states. For others, this involves letting go of shame and guilt around their exploration with politically or culturally stigmatized drugs. We strive to unpack the socio-cultural baggage and coercive practices around how and why we use drugs to alter ourselves. We believe in the potential of right relationship with medicines and drugs to elevate ourselves to lead intentional, connected lives.
At The Nowak Society, we strive to find our own sense of right relationship with ourselves, others, and the drugs and medicines we interact with. Understanding that we are in relationship to all people and things around us, we value building and maintaining expansive relationships internal and external to our organization and serving as a catalyst for bringing community together.