Here, Better, Now Collection - Better: What We Need to Be Well

When and Where

Thursday, April 20, 2023 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Jackman Humanities Building
170 St. George Street, 1st floor


Rhiannon Carruthers
Brianna Olson-Pitawanakwat
Carlyn Zwarenstein


Panel discussion with Rhiannon Carruthers, Brianna Olson-Pitawanakwat, Carlyn Zwarenstein, moderated by Erica Cardwell.

Attendees are asked to wear face masks at this event.

In this panel discussion, local contributors will discuss the impacts of the toxic drug supply, criminalization, and stigma across varied contexts in the GTHA: Brianna Olson-Pitawanakwat of Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction describes her experience working in parks and shelters; Rhiannon Carruthers shares their expertise working on safer drug use and partying with students and youth; and Carlyn Zwarenstein discusses the personal and political stakes of the overdose crisis and its connections to the proliferation of prescription opioids. Moderated by writer and educator Erica Cardwell.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided at 5pm.

Accessibility: Jackman Humanities Building is a physically accessible venue. Accessible single-gender washrooms are available.

Part of Here, Better, Now, a four-part program that details forms of solidarity, art, activism, and policy change emerging from the overdose crisis. See additional details about this event on the Blackwood website.


Here, Better, Now

Opening: April 19, virtual panel discussion with livestream on UTM campus
Here, Better, Now: April 20, University of Toronto St. George campus

Register to attend all events on Eventbrite.

Here, Better, Now is a four-part program that details forms of solidarity, art, activism, and policy change emerging from the overdose crisis.

Over two days on University of Toronto campuses in Mississauga and Toronto, Here, Better, Now serves as a concluding chapter of WISH YOU WERE HERE, WISH HERE WAS BETTER, a mobile program held by the Blackwood in October 2022. Through a screening, keynote speaker and panel discussions, contributors to Here, Better, Now share wide-ranging perspectives on the overdose crisis, informed by its differential effects across local sites and their histories.

Here, Better, Now also serves to launch ORGANIZING OUR GRIEF: A Collaboration in Response to the Overdose Crisis. This publication, part of the Blackwood’s Working with Concepts series, circulates strategies, reflections, and organizing principles that emerged from WISH YOU WERE HERE, WISH HERE WAS BETTER.

Free copies of ORGANIZING OUR GRIEF will be available at all events.

Contributors: Erica Cardwell, Rhiannon Carruthers, Theodore (ted) Kerr, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, Brianna Olson-Pitawanakwat, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Darien Taylor, Jarrett Zigon, Carlyn Zwarenstein  

Programmed by Fraser McCallum

WISH YOU WERE HERE, WISH HERE WAS BETTER was organized by Zoë Dodd, Theodore (ted) Kerr, and Ellyn Walker

Contributing Artists: Les Harper, Dionne Brand, Cedar-Eve, Abdi Osman

Community Partners: Moyo Health & Community Services, Peel Drug Users Network, Regeneration Brampton

Contact Information


Blackwood Gallery, Jackman Humanities Institute


170 St. George Street, 1st floor