Access, Belonging, & Connection Resources

As per the ARHE standards and recommendations, honoring full student identity and experiences is essential in all program development, programming, and student support. Access, Belonging, & Connection programming seeks to explore the implications of varying identities and experiences and to cultivate shared resources with which belonging can be fostered within collegiate recovery.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at

Monthly Book Club

More than your average book club… The Access, Belonging, & Connection Book Club seeks to explore questions of gender, race, class and ability as a community. Each month a book is selected for discussion, targeting a specific question or questions. Discussion questions will be posted here prior to each book club meeting to guide your reading and/or your participation in discussion. The goal of book club is to generate a resource guide to pair with each book. This guide will be built via a survey distributed following each meeting. This means a few things:


  1. If you have read the book but cannot attend the meeting, you can still participate in the month’s exploration and resource development by filling out the surveys. Many of the questions pull from lived experience and personal perspectives. Your participation is valuable to us, regardless of your level of engagement with our programming. When completing the surveys, please answer questions with as little or as much detail as you would like. We encourage you to link other videos or readings in your responses. This will help us to develop further our Equity and Belonging resource hub!
  2. If you have not read the book you can still attend discussion and fill out the survey to participate.
  3. If you are not a reader, you’re still a necessary part of our community, and you will be included in the community-grown resources of this Access, Belonging, and Connection program.
Equity and Justice Book Club Series Graphic

May’s Book Club Information

Friday, May 24 at Noon (12pm) Eastern

Zoom ID: 810 2994 1795

Passcode: 076998

May Book Club Promo: The Fire This Time

What truths must we confront to work toward societal change?

“The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume. The idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a “postracial” society, is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about.” -via GoodReads


Previous Month’s Book Club Discussions

April’s Book Club

For the Love of Men - ABC Book Club Promotional Flyer

How can we use anger for good?
How do we balance equity and belonging work with intersecting identities?

In this collection of 15 essays and speeches, Lorde tackles racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. She suggests that our differences offer a vehicle for social change. Lorde’s message is one of hope for anyone who may feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of work that needs to done for equity and justice. Our emotions are not weakness, they are tools. “Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.”

Discussion was based on two essays in particular: The Uses of Anger and There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions


March’s Book Club

For the Love of Men - ABC Book Club Promotional Flyer

How is patriarchy harmful to men? What is mindful masculinity? How can we work to address harmful gendered expectations? How do gender roles affect substance use and recovery?

“A nonfiction investigation into masculinity, For the Love of Men provides actionable steps for how to be a man in the modern world while also exploring how being a man has evolved. Liz Plank offers a smart, insightful, and deeply researched guide for what we’re all going to do about toxic masculinity. For both women looking to guide the men in their lives and men who want to do better and just don’t know how, For the Love of Men will lead the conversation on men’s issues in a society where so much is changing but gender roles have remained strangely stagnant.” -via GoodReads


February’s Book Club

February's Book Club Promotional Graphic

What is the importance of centering Black voices and creativity?

“In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow south must figure out how to save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.” – via GoodReads


“In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community–and all of us–to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America..” – via GoodReads

Questions for exploration: How has the racial caste system in American been redesigned? How can recovery advocacy affect racial justice?


December’s Book Club

November Book Club

Shrill by Lindy West

“Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible–like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you–writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become selfaware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.” -via GoodReads

Questions for exploration: What is survival in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect?

All About Love by bell hooks

“All About Love offers radical new ways to think about love by showing its interconnectedness in our private and public lives. In eleven concise chapters, hooks explains how our everyday notions of what it means to give and receive love often fail us, and how these ideals are established in early childhood. Moving from the cultural to the intimate, hooks notes the ties between love and loss and challenges the prevailing notion that romantic love is the most important love of all. Visionary and original, hooks shows how love heals the wounds we bear as individuals and as a nation, for it is the cornerstone of compassion and forgiveness and holds the power to overcome shame.” -via GoodReads

Questions for exploration: How is love feminist? How is love anti-racist? What role does love play in recovery?

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem

“In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. My Grandmother’s Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.” – via GoodReads

Questions for exploration: What is racialized trauma and how can we heal?  What part do we play in the healing of others?

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.” -via GoodReads

Question for exploration: How can creative writing and queer story telling provide new perspectives of addiction recovery work?

The ARHE Access, Belonging, and Connection in Collegiate Recovery Speaker Series

Exploring the implications of gender, race, class, and ability on substance use and recovery requires open and vulnerable conversation. The speaker series aims to facilitate this by inviting leaders from diverse communities to engage in discussion around themes of social justice, equity, and belonging. For students in CRP’s, there is often a strong focus on mitigating the damages the college experience may have on their recovery, leaving little focus on creating a place within higher education for this marginalized population. For some seeking the safety of collegiate recovery requires neglect of another, or multiple other, marginalized identities they hold. Each month’s installment in this series will target a specific question to consider when building collegiate recovery programming which can best serve and honor the full identity of each student.

If you are interested in hosting a seminar or presenting as part of our series, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at

Upcoming Sessions

Previous Sessions in the Speaker Series

Dr. Kristine De Jesus of Students Recover joined ARHE to speak about justice and equity implications of CRP’s exclusion of harm reduction.

ABC February Speaker Series Promotional Graphic
ABC February Speaker Series Promotional Graphic

Innovation & Inspiration: What Can We Learn from HBCU’s and Black Leadership in Primarily White Spaces? 

February 9 was part two of this two-part series. Watch the recording of this important conversation with Jarmichael Harris, Dr. Shawnte Elbert, and Santee Ezell!

January’s speaker series will be a panel exploring the question posed by Jarmichael Harris, Director of Scholastic Recovery APNC: “How is it that Collegiate Recovery Programs and Communities are thriving at HBCUs with Black and Brown students in recovery and Black and Brown allies, but our PWI communities are still homogenously white males with only few exceptions?”

January 12 was part one of this two-part series!

January ABC Panel Detailed Promotion

Recovery for the Revolution: The Cost of Upholding Whiteness & Struggles with Substance Use

Carolyn Collado (they/them) is an Afro-Taino, queer, non-binary, neurodiverse writer, decolonial dreamer, and founding steward of Recovery for the Revolution, where they educate and provide support and healing around the impact of colonization and systemic oppression.

This presentation was designed specifically for ARHE and addresses questions such as:

  • What are the systemic, historical forces that pressure us to collude with whiteness and white supremecy?
  • What are the tolls of upholding whiteness on our bodies, our communities, and our planet?
  • How do these pressures and effects connect to struggles with substance use? 


Recovery for the Revolution: Decolonizing Our Recovery in a Predominantly White Institution

Carolyn Collado (they/them) is an Afro-Taino, queer, non-binary, neurodiverse writer, decolonial dreamer, and founding steward of Recovery for the Revolution, where they educate and provide support and healing around the impact of colonization and systemic oppression.

This presentation was designed specifically for ARHE and addresses questions such as:

  • How do students’ intergenerational, ancestral histories and struggles show up in their lives at predominantly white institutions?
  • How does one support students navigating their struggles in scholastic settings?
  • How do challenges on campuses impact BIPOC students’ ability to access support?


Pride After Pride Month

ARHE is joined by a knowledgeable panel of speakers – Kit Emslie, Kat James, Armani Balderas, and Logan Trevino-Fico – to discuss how CRPs can support and celebrate the work and recovery of LGBTQIA+ individuals. 


View previous discussion series videos below:

Navigating Youth in Recovery: Introducing "The Little Book of College Sobriety: Living Happy, Healthy, and Free" Written by Susan Packard

Participant Bios

Susan Packard: Susan is a media entrepreneur and a sober, hope-rich author who has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Refinery 29. This is her third book about emotional fitness and the many shapes it takes in people’s lives, and how it is essential to living with peace and joy. She is a frequent speaker and gave a TEDx talk about emotional fitness at UCLA.

Allison: Alison identifies as a Queer parent to a daughter who has struggled with substances. Alison is a long-term person in recovery and provided insight on being open about her journey with her daughter, and the ups and downs of her personal recovery while navigating parenthood. 

Linden: With personal struggles with substances, Linden is a parent who is in the early stages of navigating youth recovery and provides insightful feedback on what the early signs of struggling were, and how his family has approached supporting their children. 

Dylan: Dylan is an Indigenous parent that represents a valuable perspective that encompasses holistic healing and the impacts of generational trauma on Indigenous youth. Using his own experiences to support his children in recovery, he provides a background of what recovery can look like within the BIPOC community. 

Webinar Description

This webinar encompasses the experiences of parents with youth who are in/or entering recovery. The Little Book of College Sobriety includes exerts of a mother that struggled with a daughter that misused substances. The proceeds from the sale of this book go to The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE). This webinar characterizes parent experiences and emphasizes intersectionality in recovery through age, race, sexuality, and gender.  

Buy the Little Book of College Sobriety

Exploring BIPOC Inclusion and Student Leadership in Collegiate Recovery, An Interview

Presenter Bio:

Asianna Brown (she/her) is an MSW candidate at Hawai’i Pacific University and a student in recovery. She previously served as a Student Ambassador for ARHE, where she seeks to highlight historical, cultural, and anti-racist education. This past spring, Asianna graduated from Baylor University with her BSW, where she also co-founded Black Leaders Moving Social Work (BLMSW). Her organization aims to promote a safe space for Black students to voice their concerns and lift the voices of marginalized students at a predominately white campus. This summer, she participated in a research program through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), focusing on substance use prevention among adolescents. This year, Asianna has the opportunity to continue work in substance use prevention for the local keiki and ʻōpio in Honolulu.

Session Description:

In this interview we will explore Asianna’s experiences as a student leader in the Baylor collegiate recovery program, and discuss the historical and ongoing oppression that informs the field of collegiate recovery. We also hope to engage ways that CRCs can better support BIPOC students and develop more inclusive practices with regards to BIPOC student leadership within CRCs.

For the Ummah: A Panel on Supporting Muslim Students in Collegiate Recovery


Maysa Mohmoud, University of Alabama Birmingham
Ayesha Al-Akdhar, University of Alabama
Dharma Mirza, Oregon State University

Session Description:

This student panel will explore the journeys, obstacles, and success of Muslim students in navigating both collegiate recovery communities and higher education. Muslim students are often left out conversations about equity and justice in higher education and collegiate recovery alike. We will be joined by a panel of Muslim students in recovery who will discuss their stories and explore ways to better support our Muslim peers. We hope to explore the role of both Muslim liberation and islamophobia in recovery, and how we can understand and engage these issues.

Cultural Adaptations of 12 Step Recovery Programs

Download the presentation slides here.

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Jamison has a PhD in counseling psychology with academic and research interests in multicultural counseling. Dr. Jamison joined the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies in 2012 and currently serves as an associate professor and faculty coordinator. She has taught Multicultural Counseling courses for both on campus and online students, and conducts group supervision for students on internship. She served as the clinical placements coordinator for 2.5 years. She is a licensed psychologist with the state of Minnesota and also maintains a small private practice. Dr. Jamison specializes in adolescent addiction, vocational issues for recovering individuals, multicultural counseling, and addiction within the LGBTQ community. Prior to joining the Graduate School, Dr. Jamison was a mental health practitioner at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Plymouth, working with adolescents and adults. She has given numerous lectures and workshops, including at the American Psychological Association annual conference and the National Conference on Addiction Disorders.

Session Description:

We know the original creators of the 12 Step recovery program were largely White, Christian, middle-class men. Since its creation, the program has been adapted for many different populations, including different religions (Buddhism, Islam, atheism) and other marginalized identities (race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, and socioeconomic class). This talk will discuss the different experiences people from marginalized populations encounter when working a 12 Step program designed for a privileged population, and different cultural adaptations that have been utilized to address these different experiences.

For the Culturally Competent: Curating Inclusive Spaces for Black Women in Collegiate Recovery

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Smith is an author and CEO of AMS Consulting, LLC as well as an administrator at the Louisiana Board of Regents. Allison has spent the last 10 years working in the field of substance mis/use prevention and recovery in higher education, by implementing statewide programming and policy initiatives.

Allison is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she received a B.S. in Psychology from Southern University A & M College, and both a Masters of Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Research & Counseling (Higher Education Administration specialization) from Louisiana State University.

A consistent passion for Allison is addressing diversity, equity, inclusion and access in the world of prevention programming and recovery in higher education – on both the student and staff sides. Through her love of conversation and collaboration, Allison enjoys connecting multiple parties to create innovative yet practical solutions and making “hard” or “difficult” conversations empathetic, informative and actionable to create a more just and equitable world.

Session Description:

This session will focus on the roles of family, religiosity and cultural competence as key functions in advancing the collegiate recovery space for Black women in higher education, particularly on the staff side. Tips for retention, recruitment, and inclusion of Black women in the collegiate recovery field will be discussed.

Recovery, HIV/AIDS, and the Origins of Harm Reduction

To view the recaptioned version, click here.

Download the presentation slides here.

Download the SHARP Pledge here.

Presenter Bio:

Dharmakrishna Mirza (she/her) is the 2020-21 ARHE Justice & Equity Fellow. Dharma attends Oregon State University, studying Public Health, Queer Studies and Medical Humanities. Dharma focuses her work and research on harm reduction, sexual health, addiction, public health equity, and the intersections of behavioral health and marginalized health populations. Dharma informs her work through intersectional, feminist, and decolonial frameworks and draws on her own experiences in navigating health/harm reduction services as an HIV-positive, queer, biracial, transgender woman, Khwaja Sira (Pakistani Third Gender), and former survival sex worker and IV drug user.

Session Description:

In this discussion we will explore issues faced by students in recovery living with HIV/AIDS and how we can better support them. Participants will get education on the basics of HIV and the origins of harm reduction as a response to the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 80’s and 90’s. We will discuss ways to promote HIV prevention in collegiate recovery communities, understand the unique role of HIV-stigma in recovery, and participants will take part in the Student HIV Awareness and Reduction Pledge (S.H.A.R.P.). The SHARP pledge will help to prepare participants to take the knowledge gained from the session and apply it to their campuses, collegiate recovery communities, and in their personal lives.

Understanding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Collegiate Recovery Using an Intersectional Lens

To view the recaptioned version, click here.

Download the presentation slides here.

Presenter Bio:

Dr Kristine De Jesus is the Founder of The Wellness Cooperative and the Coordinator of Alcohol and Other Drug Program, Montclair State University.

Dr. De Jesus is an author, entrepreneur, and activist. She is co-host of the Engage Recovery: Meeting at the Intersection Podcast and founder of The Wellness Cooperative, a wellness center dedicated to serving BIPOC folx in recovery from Substance Use Disorder. Dr De Jesus attended Rutgers University where she earned a BA in Psychology and Puerto Rican Studies.

She holds a Masters in Organizational Behavior from Alliant International University, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology where she specialized in Cross Cultural and Health Psychology. Dr De Jesus’s area of expertise is recovery, equity, intersectionality and strategies for reducing health disparities.

Session Description:

The Understanding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Collegiate Recovery Using an Intersectional Lens discussion is focused on creating a working knowledge of how identities, power and privilege inform the development of collegiate recovery programs grounded in equity. This session will use the Wheel of Intersectional Identities ©  tool to help facilitate the discussion and allow participants to begin assessing ways in which their programs could be more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

Including Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Communities in Collegiate Recovery

To view the recaptioned version, click here.

Download the presentation slides here.

Presenter Bio: 

Dharma Mirza (she/her) is the 2020-21 ARHE Justice & Equity Fellow. Dharma attends Oregon State University, studying Public Health, Queer Studies and Medical Humanities. Dharma focuses her work and research on harm reduction, sexual health, addiction, public health equity, and the intersections of behavioral health and marginalized health populations. Dharma informs her work through intersectional, feminist, and decolonial frameworks and draws on her own experiences in navigating health/harm reduction services as an HIV-positive, queer, biracial transgender woman, Khwaja Sira (Pakistani Third Gender), and former survival sex worker and IV drug user. 

Session Description: 

In this session we will explore issues of gender equity and inclusion and ways that folks can work to make their CRC/CRP more inclusive for trans, gender non-conforming, and gender diverse communities.

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