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Psychedelic Medicine and Racial Justice: Past, Present, and Future

Thu. Oct. 26 12:00 PM - Thu. Oct. 26 01:00 PM
Location: Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Third Floor of Centennial Hall

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Psychedelics have been studied for the treatment of numerous mental health conditions, as an avenue for personal growth, and as a way to enhance well-being. However, studies have been slow to include people of colour, leaving important questions unaddressed for these populations.

UWinnipeg’s 2023 Laird Lecture will shed light on this disparity. Clinical psychologist Dr. Monnica Williams will present Psychedelic Medicine and Racial Justice: Past, Present, and Future on Thursday, October 26 at 12 p.m. in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall.

Dr. Williams, a Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities at the University of Ottawa, works at the intersection of psychedelics, consciousness studies, and social and racial justice.

“Psychedelics have been used for thousands of years around the world for mental health, spiritual growth, insight, and well-being,” Dr. Williams said. “Due to the recent media attention, we can expect to see increasing numbers of people trying these substances looking for cures to their mental health problems or just out of curiosity.”

Dr. Williams will discuss the impact of first-wave drug research abuses, social policies, and stereotypes on communities of colour, and how psychedelic therapies may help or hinder healing for racialized individuals. She will also discuss mental health in communities of colour.

“Dr. Williams’ research reflects a resurgence of academic and community interest in psychedelics today, and addresses topics of study spanning multiple departments and disciplines here at UWinnipeg,” said Kevin Walby, Associate Professor in the and organizer of the Laird Lecture. “I hope people will be interested in this work on psychedelics, healing, and health. I am excited to hear about her research.”