Joyce Rivera Latina Trailblazers 2017 Honoree
LatinoJustice PRLDEF chooses a cohort of Latina trailblazers whose groundbreaking accomplishments illuminate new paths for Latinas nationwide. The 2017 honorees fully represent the diversity and achievement of the Latina professional experience. Joyce Rivera; Founding Executive Director of St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) is one of the four Latina Trailblazers for 2017. You can meet the other trailblazers and find out more about the event here.
Joyce A. Rivera, ABD, has over 30 years’ experience working with substance users, conducting action research, program design, implementation and evaluation within grassroots settings. Ms. Rivera has a B. S. in Health Planning/Administration and an M.A. in Political Science. She conducted ethnography on the first (1986-90) national (NIDA) epidemiological study of injection-related HIV/AIDS. While working alongside drug market elites in the South Bronx in 1989, Ms. Rivera helped lay the community and institutional foundation for the future legalization of community-based syringe access in New York City. As the Founding Executive Director of St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) she has developed and tailored behavioral interventions that are culturally appropriate and effective in promoting and sustaining behavior change among stigmatized populations like poor substance users. She has presented her findings at professional for and co-authored “SACHR: An example of an integrated, harm reduction drug treatment program,” published in the Journal of Substance Abuse (2003). Joyce has been a founding board member of the National Harm Reduction Coalition and its parent the Harm Reduction Working Group; the North American Syringe Exchange Network; and the New York Needle Exchange Network. She is former board member and chair of the Latino Commission on AIDS. Ms. Rivera’s work has been recognized by the NYSDOH/AIDS Institute (1993), Chai Project (1994), Drug Policy Foundation (Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action, 1996), the Latino Commission on AIDS (Fuerza Award, 1997) the Puerto Rican Initiative to Develop Empowerment (PRIDE, 2010), by Ruben Diaz, Jr., Bronx Borough President (2011) and named as one of 25 Bronx Influential Women (2016).
Ms. Rivera is a former National Science Foundation Fellow. Since the Fall 2009, she has been Adjunct Lecturer in the Anthropology Department, John Jay College, CUNY teaching a cross-disciplined course on Drug Use/Abuse. Ms. Rivera expects to defend her public policy Ph.D. dissertation this Fall, 2017.