By Melissa Franqui

Tatiana Nobels has a powerful story. Smart, young, talented and committed, Tatiana dedicates her life to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the drug war and mass incarceration.

Tatiana works for VOCAL, one of DPA’s most important allies in New York, where she brings to her work personal experiences that have shaped her and drive her to do what she does.

She says very matter-of-factly, “I go to work every day so nobody else has to die.”

Tatiana began using drugs in college, both recreationally and to self-medicate. Her drug use reached a point where she wanted to find treatment – and with public health interventions and support from her family, she was able to get to a place where she was healthy and safe. Since joining VOCAL, Tatiana graduated from Manhattanville College and has helped to build an effective and strong organization. She comes from a Puerto Rican family in the Bronx, and is proud to be working on issues that will help people that come from communities like hers.

Voices Of Community Advocates & Leaders (VOCAL) is a grassroots organization building power among low-income people in New York affected by HIV/AIDS, the drug war and mass incarceration through community organizing, leadership development, public education, direct services, participatory research and direct action.

The Drug Policy Alliance works to end the drug war in cities and states all around the U.S. by supporting organizations like VOCAL. Tatiana’s video is the fourth installment of a new video series, Voices from the Front Lines of the Drug War, chronicling the people and organizations righting the worst wrongs of the drug war and creating new policies based in science, compassion, health and human rights. The video series, produced in partnership with Luceo Images, profiles the stories and work of organizations that DPA funds through our Advocacy Grants Program, which advances drug policy reform at the local, state and national levels.

Last month, we released the first three videos – powerful and poignant portraits of Lorenzo Jones, executive director of A Better Way Foundation; Susan Burton, founder and executive director of A New Way of Life; and Denise Cullen, founder and executive director of GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) and Broken No More. You can learn about their stories and share them on DPA’s Facebook page.

Melissa Franqui is the communications coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance.

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Author: Melissa Franqui
Date Published: July 16, 2015
Published by Drug Policy Alliance

Via:: Ddrug Policy Alliance