This March, during Women’s History Month, we are highlighting four Community Superstars. These incredible women are local leaders in North Carolina who have been doing amazing work in their communities and with the North Carolina Council of Churches.
For this final week of Women’s History Month, we want to lift up our fourth Community Superstar: Louise Vincent, Executive Director of NC Survivors Union and PHW friend and ally.
Louise is the executive director of NC Survivors Union, a community-led, statewide organization made up of people who are directly impacted by drug use. A harm reduction consultant and educator, she was the inaugural recipient of the Any Positive Change award established in honor of Dan Bigg at the 2018 National Harm Reduction Conference. Louise is also on the Leadership Team of the National Drug User Union, an organization of former and active drug users who have come together to provide services for a community that is under-represented and underserved.
Louise has first-hand knowledge of the communities that sell and use drugs and works to educate the community regarding harm reduction. She is passionate about the need for drug user networks and unions to engage with policymakers at state and national levels to correct misconceptions about people who use drugs (PWUD). She provides valuable insight on policies that both help and hinder engagement and retention of PWUD in harm reduction services and the impact that inequity of services between states has on this community. In particular, Louise provides advice and insights on effective models of care and the role community organizations and community services have in achieving HCV elimination while maintaining the rights, dignity, and lives of PWUD.
Louise has dedicated most of her life to support people who are impacted by drug use. We are grateful to highlight her work in educating, mobilizing, and advocating for policies and programs grounded in harm reduction.