Support the Mobilize Recovery Initiative in 2020

by The Voices Project
Support the Mobilize Recovery Initiative in 2020

This year’s Mobilize Recovery (August 18-20, 2020) event showed, once again, that the recovery advocacy community is diverse, dedicated, and resilient. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national advocacy event was hosted virtually by the Recovery Advocacy Project and the Voices Project, making it the largest and most accessible training to date. Advocates from across America attended to network, learn new skills, and share tactics to improve recovery outcomes during the national drug epidemic.

The event included a star-studded lineup of speakers such as Elton John, Macklemore, former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and President Bill Clinton. They spoke about their personal experiences with recovery and why they remain passionate about policy change that saves lives, creates infrastructure, and eliminate the stigma of addiction. Leaders from organizations such as Foundation for Recovery, Shatterproof, The Voices Project, Recovery Advocacy Project, Partnership to End Addiction, the McShin Foundation, and Young People in Recovery also delivered remarks and insights into their work building a national recovery coalition. With the support of Serve You Rx, Google, the Sandgaard Foundation, and others—the emphasis this year was on inclusivity, diversity, and civic engagement. Mobilize Recovery brought together hundreds of participants from different backgrounds and beliefs, showing that recovery is not a partisan issue, but one that unites diverse advocates.

“It’s amazing what we’ve accomplished in just a few short years,” said Ryan Hampton, founder of the Voices Project. “With the support of our partners and sponsors, we’re able to build a bigger platform so that recovery leadership is actually representative of the people we serve. I learned so much from our presenters and I know that, especially in an election year, that those tools are vital to share. If we’re going to unite recovery voters, this is the time to do it, and these are the strategies we need.”

Inclusivity and mutual support were major themes, with special breakout sessions and panels specifically addressing racial justice, dismantling white supremacy, LGBTQ-specific recovery needs, and more. Mobilize Recovery worked to center marginalized voices from many communities, including Native and Indigenous communities; Black and African-American communities; LGBTQ communities; Latinx communities; faith leadership; and a wide range of recovery pathways. Participants learned to challenge their prejudices and preconceived notions in trainings that addressed privilege, as they apply to recovery advocacy. Other events included interactive trainings from the Harvard Kennedy School, social media training with Facebook, tech tools with Google, and effective storytelling with bestselling author Anna David, and a stand-up comedy show.

More than 300 people attended Mobilize, connected with one another, and added to their advocacy toolboxes. Although the event was virtual, the excitement and enthusiasm was palpable. Mobilize Recovery 2020 succeeded in bringing many people together on one platform and uplifting the recovery advocacy community, while training the next generation of advocates and leaders. With exemplary guests including a former U.S. President and iconic entertainers, as well as knowledgeable and insightful presenters, this event was one for the books. Planning for the next Mobilize Recovery has already begun, with organizers preparing to make 2021 even more inclusive, informative, and inspiring. Registration opportunities will be announced early next year.


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After a highly competitive review process, our 2020-2021 class of Mobilize Recovery was selected on June 20, 2020. This year, hundreds of recovery advocates were selected to attend Mobilize Recovery, an annual convening to learn innovative strategies and tactics for grassroots organizing. They'll connect with other recovery leaders and gain access to new tools to streamline their organizing and advocacy work.

Mobilize Recovery is an initiative of The Voices Project & Recovery Advocacy Project. Together, we partner with leading advocacy organizations and thought leaders to invest in emerging recovery leaders. We’re incredibly excited about this year’s convening which will include workshops and plenary sessions with the best and brightest in community organizing from around the country. We’re also excited to be partnering this year with Harvard’s Kennedy School to bring valuable learning and training around the development of public narrative.

What you need to know:

Due to circumstances out of our control, Mobilize Recovery will be moving to a hybrid digital/in-person event this year. While we had hoped the phased re-opening in Nevada would be complete by August, it’s now clear that COVID data is trending in a different direction and in-person “convention style” gatherings of more than 100 people will be impossible until later in 2020—possibly even 2021.

Our team has been working closely with the Southern Nevada Health District tracking the new data and working with them throughout this difficult decision making process. We all agree that this decision is the right decision—and with the help from our partners at Google and other phenomenal sponsors, we’re committed to providing a hybrid digital experience for our diverse community leaders across all 50 states (+ D.C. and Puerto Rico) that will create connection, community building, and learning.

Thanks to our sponsors, we have teamed up with CreatorUp to fully produce this year’s digital convening that will include workshops from some of the best and brightest in community organizing—including a full day’s workshop facilitated by Harvard’s Kennedy School.

The community building component to Mobilize is essential—and that’s why we’ve committed to convening this year’s event in two parts. The August 18-20th event and workshop sessions will go forward as an interactive online experience. And once we’ve received the green light from the health district to bring our community leaders to Las Vegas (likely in early 2021), we will convene an in-person weekend leadership retreat. More details on part two will be forthcoming during the August event.

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Mobilize Recovery 2020 is off to a running start! Thanks to the end-of-year giving campaign, we have confirmed our dates for the 2020 convening. We're excited to announce that Mobilize Recovery 2020 will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 30-August 2, 2020. 

Our Mobilize Recovery site will go live on March 16, 2020 with details on the application process and 2020 convening logistics. Throughout the months of January and February 2020, we surveyed members of the recovery community nationally to gauge interest in attending in-person or via livestream--and have received well over 3,000 individuals interested in participating this year.

We will be launching the application phase on March 16, 2020 for 45 days. Following the close of the application process, this year's advocacy and leadership tracks--along with our facilitators--will be announced.

While planning the Mobilize Recovery 2020 launch, we've been hard at work to support our Mobilize leaders in multiple states. During the last quarter, our team has:

  • Identified core state advocates.

  • Built digital action pages for state leads to create state specific campaigns, and to build out the advocacy base for future campaigns.

  • Organized Recovery Community Listening Forums in 3 pilots states in order to get input from people in recovery.

  • Developed a HOW TO document for anyone that wants to host a Recovery Community Listening Forum.

  • (Ongoing) Identify Unifying Campaigns to attract county leaders and organizations working in precention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction.

  • (Ongoing) Identify initial gaps for Recovery Resources and Overdose Response Initiatives. We developed a HOW TO document to help advocates create a Recovery Asset Resource Map. 


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Organization Information

The Voices Project

Location: Las Vegas, NV - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ryan Hampton
Las Vegas, NV United States

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