Contemporary racism in the US contributes to health, mental health, and substance use disorder (SUD) disparities among people of color (POC) compared with white individuals. Despite entering into treatment with a greater severity of SUD and related consequences, POC experience more barriers to treatment engagement, completion, and satisfaction than their white counterparts. Join Fordham University Faculty Sara Matsuzaka, LCSW, Ph.D., and Margaret Knapp, LMSW, as they discuss the intersection of racism and substance use treatment, and examine strategies for implementing anti-racism institutionally and in direct practice.
Sara Matsuzaka, LCSW, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the Research on Intersectionality, Sexuality, and Empowerment (RISE) Lab at the University of Virginia. She received a BA from Tufts University, MSW from Florida Atlantic University, and PhD in Social Work from Fordham University. As a clinician, she has worked in outpatient and inpatient addiction treatment settings as well as in private practice. As an academic, she is interested in examining how interlocking hegemonic discourses and policies systematically disempower and sustain mental health and substance use inequities among SGM people. Dr. Matsuzaka is also an Adjunct Instructor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, training master’s students to provide evidence-based culturally-affirmative care to people, families, and communities afflicted by substance use disorder.
Margaret Knapp, L.M.S.W., is an Adjunct Professor and Doctoral Candidate at Fordham Graduate School of Social Service. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master's of Social Work degree with a focus on community based leadership from Fordham University. Meg started working to address structural inequalities that disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities while working toward her bachelor’s at the University of Colorado, Boulder. During her time there, she researched communities affected by the dumping of toxic waste materials in Colorado and discovered that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are disproportionately affected by unhealthy living environments. With the data she gathered, she organized a large community protest calling attention to the corporations responsible for polluting communities where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) reside. Meg continues to be an activist today, and her research continues to focus on addressing institutional racism. In addition, Meg worked with pregnant women and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless for nine years. She served as the Executive Director of Siena House, a residence where women who are pregnant are able to reside with their babies for up to one year after birth. Currently, Meg works at Visiting Nurse Service of New York where serves as Program Coordinator, Brooklyn Mobile Crisis.