Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition Happy Hour

Friday December 22, 5:00PM

@ Red Emma's

Come out to celebrate all the work of BHRC members and volunteers this past year! Get some yummy snacks and drinks from Red Emma's! Hang out with us, buy a new BHRC t-shirt, grab a button, sign up to volunteer with us next year, and much more! It's a great chance to gather before the end of 2017! ♥

More upcoming events

Public schools are among America’s greatest achievements in modern history, yet from the earliest days of tax-supported education—today a sector with an estimated budget of over half a billion dollars—there have been intractable tensions tied to race and poverty. Now, in an era characterized by levels of school segregation the country has not seen since the mid-twentieth century, cultural critic and American studies professor Noliwe Rooks provides a trenchant analysis of our separate and unequal schools and argues that profiting from our nation’s failure to provide a high-quality education to all children has become a very big business.

@ Red Emma's

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.


In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. 


The US government has a substantial role in building prison and border walls internationally. With more people on the move as a result of global warming and displacement, the business of containing them—border fortification—is booming. Not only that, ever more people are being criminalized and incarcerated around the world. Todd Miller, shows us how the world is preparing for mass displacement by fortifying borders, as he demonstrates in his new book Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security. Nasim Chatha of Alliance for Global Justice will discuss the US role in managing or advising the prison systems of 38 different countries.


@ Red Emma's

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world for us all.

@ Red Emma's

Spanning American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today, Susan Stryker takes us on a chronological journey through major movements, writings, and events in the brand new revised edition of Transgender History. With stories of the transsexual and transvestite communities in the years following World War II; trans radicalism and social change from 1966 through the early 1970s; the mid-'70s to 1990-the era of identity politics; and the gender issues witnessed through the '90s and '00s, this book is essential to understanding the past, present, and future of the struggle for trans liberation.

For more than a century, the city of Atlanta has been associated with black achievement in education, business, politics, media, and music, earning it the nickname “the black Mecca.” Atlanta’s long tradition of black education dates back to Reconstruction, and produced an elite that flourished in spite of Jim Crow, rose to leadership during the civil rights movement, and then took power in the 1970s by building a coalition between white progressives, business interests, and black Atlantans. But as Maurice Hobson demonstrates, Atlanta’s political leadership--from the election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first black mayor, through the city’s hosting of the 1996 Olympic Games--has consistently mishandled the black poor. Drawn from vivid primary sources and unnerving oral histories of working-class city-dwellers and hip hop artists from Atlanta’s underbelly, Hobson argues that Atlanta’s political leadership has governed by bargaining with white business interests to the detriment ordinary black Atlantans.

In telling this history through the prism of the Black New South and Atlanta politics, policy, and pop culture, Hobson portrays a striking schism between the black political elite and poor city-dwellers, complicating the long-held view of Atlanta as a Mecca for black people.

Between 1963 and 1972 America experienced over 750 urban revolts. Considered collectively, they comprise what Peter Levy terms a 'Great Uprising'. Levy examines these uprisings over the arc of the entire decade, in various cities across America. He challenges both conservative and liberal interpretations, emphasizing that these riots must be placed within historical context to be properly understood. By focusing on three specific cities as case studies - Cambridge and Baltimore, Maryland, and York, Pennsylvania - Levy demonstrates the impact which these uprisings had on millions of ordinary Americans. He shows how conservatives profited politically by constructing a misleading narrative of their causes, and also suggests that the riots did not represent a sharp break or rupture from the civil rights movement. Finally, Levy presents a cautionary tale by challenging us to consider if the conditions that produced this 'Great Uprising' are still predominant in American culture today.

@ Red Emma's

Provoked by mass evictions and the onset of gentrification in the 1970s, tenants in Washington D.C. began forming cooperative organizations to collectively purchase and manage their apartment buildings. These tenants were creating a commons, taking a resource- housing- that had been used to extract profit from them, and reshaping it as a resource that was collectively owned and governed by them. In Carving Out the Commons, Amanda Huron theorizes the practice of urban commoning through a close investigation of the city's limited-equity housing cooperatives. Drawing on feminist and anticapitalist perspectives, Huron asks whether a commons can work in a city where land and other resources are scarce, and how strangers who may not share a past or future come together to create an maintain commonly-held spaces in the midst of capitalism. Arguing against the romanticization of the commons, she instead positions the urban commons as a pragmatic practice. Through the practice of commoning, she contends, we can learn to build communities to challenge capitalism's totalizing claims over life. 

In ‘“You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones”: And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education’, three distinguished educators, scholars, and activists flip the script on many enduring and popular myths about teachers, teachers' unions, and education that permeate our culture. By unpacking these myths, and underscoring the necessity of strong and vital public schools as a common good, the authors challenge readers--whether parents, community members, policymakers, union activists, or educators themselves--to rethink their assumptions.

@ Red Emma's

In the tradition of bell hooks, Roxane Gay and Audre Lorde, America’s leading young black feminist celebrates dissent—both personal and public. So what if it’s true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.


Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Eloquent Rage shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less.

@ Red Emma's

In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that sexism relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood. This compelling book shows how the new tropes of womanhood that they created--the “Militant Black Domestic,” the “Revolutionary Black Woman,” and the “Third World Woman,” for instance--spurred debate among activists over the importance of women and gender to Black Power organizing, causing many of the era’s organizations and leaders to critique patriarchy and support gender equality.

@ Red Emma's

Red Emma’s is excited to welcome Alex Vitale to discuss his book The End of Policing! Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression—most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. “Broken windows” practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police’s role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back.


This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.


In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.