Catalyst is an international programme for young people and their teachers that addresses the War on Drugs in the Americas. It combines several months of online collaboration with an intense summer camp and thereby tries to really enable the participants to return to their communities, make a difference and develop their own voice in shaping drug policy. In this conversation, I speak with Theo di Castri, Catalyst's co-founder and with Diana Rodriguez Gomez, their director of education, to understand their programme and the reasons for this unique design.
As always, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions for guests, I'd be happy to hear from you. Email me at [email protected]
Theo and Diana suggested quite a few resources for anyone who wants to learn more about the War on Drugs and the many problems that come with it. For starters, this brief and free History of Drug Policy by David Courtwright is revealing, while the following books go further:
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander emphasizes the links between racism and the war on drugs in the US
Plan Colombia by John Lindsay-Poland offers a stark example of the impact of the War on Drugs in South AmericaDrug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley highlights the financial flows and economic incentives that fuel the War on Drugs and much violence beyond it