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Robert “Roman” Haferd
Washington, D.C.

As a restorative justice practitioner, my approach to psychedelic plant medicines and all of my work is rooted in nurturing strong, accountable relationships. I am part of a new medicine community that is implementing the first two North Star principles this year — Study the Traditions and Build Trust and Act with Integrity. Our first project together, which informs who we are, has been to seek out the local community members and elders around us to listen to their stories and get their feedback. We have created opportunities for ourselves and students to research the local community history and draw lessons and next steps from that research. We have invited indigenous community members into our community, asked them what they need, whether and how they wish to build community, and listened to their stories and feedback about our plans. We place a priority on regularly meeting to integrate the feedback and what we have learned from these sources and relatives. We share what we are learning, harvesting and planning with these sources and relatives. We have made it a priority in 2022 to show up for the requests made of us by these sources and relatives, and we are mindful to be deferential to their desires when it comes to how we communicate and participate. We are embarking on this chapter of community not with an attachment to particular outcomes, but a commitment to be in caring relationship with each other and others we impact, and be accountable to their needs as they are revealed to us.