Psychedelics Today

PT485 – Ayize Jama-Everett, M.Div, M.A., M.F.A. – Meeting People Where They Are: Why the Underground Will Always Thrive


In this episode, Joe interviews Ayize Jama-Everett: author, educator, filmmaker, and therapist with a long history of work in substance use and mental health services.

When Jama-Everett was last on the show, “A Table of Our Own” – a film focusing on healing, psychedelics, and bonds within the Black community – was still in its infancy. It’s now complete, and he and others behind the film are touring with it, with showings coming up in Detroit, LA, and Boston. A free follow-up discussion hosted by CIIS’ Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research is happening Feb. 15, and, from February 15-16 only, the film is available to rent online.

He gives his full origin story: growing up around substance use, how he got into therapy and healing people through journeys, how “A Table of Our Own” came about, and how it was influenced by mushrooms. Then he discusses a lot more, with a much-needed critical eye:

  • His experiences with some notorious bad actors in the facilitation space
  • Decriminalization and how we celebrate small wins while ignoring steps back
  • Drug exceptionalism, the Drug War, and the demonization of crack
  • Power dynamics and the dangerous concept of letting go
  • Why the Black community is so skeptical of psychedelics

And he talks about why it’s so important to meet people where they are – that what works for one person or one community won’t necessarily work for another, and the above-ground, corporatized, overly medicalized model will never work for everyone. Click here to head to the show notes page

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