New research released:
Engaging Black Women with Lived Experience

We are a collaborative of professionals focused on promoting recovery and wellness in Black communities across the nation.


To amplify Black humanity, recovery, and well-being with collective lived experience.


We envision Black communities where barrier-free and equitable access to all resources is a reality.


Phil Rutherford is a seasoned leader with a professional background spanning nearly 30 years of marketing, data science, operations, public relations, and growth management.  For the past 15 years, he has engaged in the nonprofit space, focused on substance use disorder treatment and recovery. He has a demonstrated track record of organizational development, systems implementation, financial/risk oversight, and strategic planning.  Given his proficiency with change management, he has overseen multiple iterations of organizational transformation and process improvement initiatives.  With deep roots in in the realm of health equity, he has facilitated transformative organizational equity projects and awareness campaigns.

Dr. Dietra Hawkins is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who holds a faculty appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, Program for Recovery and Community Health. She has spent nearly two decades helping individuals, communities, and organizations apply research-based approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a published author and frequent speaker for workshops addressing Appreciative approaches toward system change, Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC), Asset-Based Community Development and Inclusion, and the Healing of Racism.

Joe Powell is the CEO of Association of Persons Affected by Addictions, Dallas Texas. He is nationally renowned as one of the premier experts on peer recovery coaching. In 2010 he received the Vernon Johnson Award, which honors individuals who are standard bearers for putting a face and voice on recovery. According to Bill Moyers, "Joe is just as well known on the streets of Dallas by individuals in recovery that he has personally helped as he is in the hallways of state and federal government. Joe is a national advocate for reducing the stigma of addiction and the promotion of recovery.” He is author of Recovery Coaching with Homeless African Americans with Substance Use Disorders and Multiple Pathways of Recovery For African American Men.

Dawn Tyus is the Director and Principle Investigator of Southeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center and The African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence at Morehouse School of Medicine. The latter organization is geared to help strengthen the behavioral health workforce's ability to service African Americans seeking behavioral health services more effectively. Dr. Tyus also actively works with faith communities to build their skill set in working with individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. She is a member of the ATTC National CLAS Standards Workgroup and the Morehouse School of Medicine National Center for Primary Care Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup.

Laurie Johnson-Wade is a 1993 graduate of Newport Business Institute with a degree in Health Administration. Laurie has a strength and passion for learning, as such, she has become trained as a National Certified Behavioral Specialist, a Pennsylvania Certified Board (PCB) Recovery Specialist (CRS), a PCB Certified Family Recovery Specialist (CFRS) , a Recovery Support Supervisor (RSS); a trainer of the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy & Ethics for Peer Providers; a Certified NAADAC Recovery Coach; a trained Forensic Peer Specialist; a trained facilitator of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) Recovering Families Program; a trainer of PRO-ACTS Family Education Series, a Naloxone Trainer for Westmoreland County Drug & Alcohol Commission; a trainer of the Addiction Policy Forum’s “What is Addiction” Community Education Project; an intern for Arise™ Invitational Interventions & Continuing Care for Families; and the Founder & President of Western PA GAP (Grandparent’s As Parents).


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