Learning the Language of the Community

2:15 PM
3:30 PM
Chesapeake J-L


Starting a drug free coalition is difficult work. Now imagine doing so in a close-knit, immigrant community experiencing high levels of substance use disorder stigma. After facing one closed door after the other, this coalition shares its story on how it overcame the barriers to doing this work. These real-life experiences will help you understand how and why resistance comes up in communities and how to work through them. You will receive effective strategies for listening to the community’s needs and the importance of bringing the right people to the table when doing this work that goes beyond the required sector representatives. It is often the communities with the most resistance that need it the most.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Recognize the barriers to starting a coalition while considering the characteristics of the community

2. Identify culturally sensitive prevention and intervention approaches to reducing barriers and resist

3. Modify current approaches to accommodate the cultural characteristics of all community members.


Hala Mallah
Public Health Coordinator
Mona Abdallah-Hijazi
Community Engagement Manager
Ahmad Ballout
Public Health Coordinator