Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction (Hardcover)

Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction By Shira Hassan, Adrienne Maree Brown (Foreword by), Tourmaline (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Shira Hassan, Adrienne Maree Brown (Foreword by), Tourmaline (Introduction by)


Harm reduction is one of the most important movements of the 20th century, and yet a compilation of its critical stories and voices was, until now, seemingly nowhere to be found. Saving Our Own Lives, an anthology of essays from long-time organizer Shira Hassan, fills this gap by telling the stories of how sex workers, people of color, queer folks, and trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people are building systems of change and support outside the societal frameworks of oppression and exploitation. This is a collective story of Bad Date sheets passed between sex workers in Portland, leading to the identification of a serial killer. It is the story of clean syringes, "liberated" from empathetic doctors offices and passed between punks in squats in the East Village by women of color, and the early AIDS activists who made sure that everyone knew how to use them. It is the story of transwomen of color, street-based sex workers, who created shared housing to ensure that young people had safe places to sleep. It is the story of Black Panthers creating a free breakfast program to feed a revolution and the Young Lords taking over Lincoln Park Hospital in the Bronx to demand and ultimately create community-accessible drug treatment programs.

At a political moment when Liberatory Harm Reduction and mutual aid are more important than ever, this book serves as an inspiration and a catalyst for radical transformation of our world.

About the Author

Shira Hassan is the former executive director of the Young Women's Empowerment Project, an organizing and grassroots-movement building project led by and for young people of color that have current or former experience in the sex trade and street economies. A lifelong harm reductionist and prison abolitionist, Shira has been working on community accountability for nearly 25 years and has helped young people of color start their own organizing projects across the country. Shira's work has been discussed on National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Nation, In These Times, Bill Moyers, Scarleteen, Everyday Feminism, Bitch Media, TruthOut and Colorlines.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781642598810
ISBN-10: 164259881X
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication Date: October 25th, 2022
Pages: 408
Language: English