Issues at the Intersections

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Black Lives Matter

Urban Survivor’s Union officially endorses Black Lives Matter.  There is no denying that the drug war plays a central role in the conflict between the police and the black community.  Black people make up about 13% of the population, but 30% of all drug arrests; blacks account for nearly 90% of all federal crack cocaine prosecutions.  Americas War on Crack Cocaine created a situation that looks very much like the racist drug war rhetoric of  the past created a situation where federal crack offenders were sentenced to far more prison time that white powder cocaine offenders.  We know that these arrests are not respective to the number of people who use the drugs. People of color are disproportionately targeted in traffic stop and stop-and-frisks even though whites are more likely to be using and carrying drugs.  (


USU Gender Group: Piedmont USU’s most recent addition was organized for and by our LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgendered, Queer, Intersex and A-sexual ) USU members and their guests. This combined organizing and support group originated due to a paucity of culturally competent health services for people at all stages of drug use from recreation to chaotic use. The recent passing of HB 2 rescinds LGBT nondiscrimination protections passed by Charlotte, NC and several other North Carolina cities, bans them from passing future protections, and requires all government facilities in the state, including schools, to bar transgender people from using restrooms in accordance with their gender identities. After the passing of HB 2 it was reported that calls to the state trans lifeline doubled. Our members in chapters across the country and in the Piedmont area saw it as our duty to organize, advocate and most importantly create a space where people can share their truths and tell their stories.

Even in places wherein you do not see these issues in the news to quite the extent seen in North Carolina, LGBTQIA persons are at great risk. The rate of homelessness among trans and queer persons is higher than any other at risk group. We call on all USU groups to support your LGBTQIA brethren, a statistically significant amount of whom are active or former drug users and sex workers in their own right.