Activists Brooke Feldman and Evan Figueroa-Vargas came to speak with our class on Tuesday to share their own personal stories and to discuss current events related to addiction and recovery in the city. I was touched by both of their personal stories, and I thought it was interesting to see how the system helped Brooke, but failed Evan. This clearly demonstrates that there are some existing solutions to addiction that work, but these solutions cannot claim to be one size fits all. They need to be criticized so improvements can be made.
It was also interesting to hear Brooke’s and Evan’s takes on diversity within the recovery movement. It was helpful to see Brooke model how to step back when it’s not your place to talk as a white person. It was also inspiring to hear Evan speak about how he tries to serve as a good role model for Latinos in the recovery community. It was enlightening to hear about the struggles he has faced while advocating for this community — specifically how he encountered barriers to simply getting information translated to Spanish. I think potentially pursuing a story about addiction and recovery within the Latino community and the idea of “machismo” could be a possible pitch I pursue for the class.