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Meet the Women of Keeping Six

March 7, 2022

From the top left: Jammy Pierre, Marcie McIlveen, Dani Deloitinville, Tara Smith, Dee Furman and Kelly Wolf.

This year for International Women’s Day we want to celebrate the achievements of women and those who have broken down gender barriers for women in harm reduction. We will be spotlighting those who have been working in harm reduction and celebrating their successes and achievements. As part of this year’s #BreakTheBias campaign we invite you to learn more about these wonderful achievements and reach out to those you may want to work with!

Meet the Women of Keeping Six: 

Women are the backbone of Keeping Six, a community-based organization that defends the rights, dignity and humanity of people who use drugs. K6 was formed in 2018 in response to the ravages of the opioid crisis, by people who use drugs and those who love and care for them, for purposes of mutual protection and cooperation. Since then, we have hosted public forums and discussions on harm reduction, convened a weekly drop in for PWUD which we converted to outreach during the COVID 19 pandemic.  K6 is a go to in the community for expertise on the opioid crisis, homelessness and their intersection.

Dani Deloitinville is a founding member of K6 and embodies our spirit of fighting against stigma in defense of people’s dignity.  Dani is a peer worker who has worked with HAMSMaRT’s Safer Supply clinic since its start.  Dani has an amazing ability to help people feel at ease and we all learn from her every day.  Marcie McIlveen joined K6 in 2020 to coordinate our newly formed outreach program and has been with us ever since. Marcie brings years of lived experience to the work and she is a fierce advocate for the philosophy, not just the practice, of harm reduction and meeting people where they are at.  Jammy Pierre and Kelly Wolf are the artistic heart beat of our organization.  They bring to life the humanity part of our mandate through the arts, offering people so dehumanized by the health and social services sector an opportunity to express themselves and be seen as whole people, not “service users”. Dee Furman is the steady hand in our group.  She is always there, strong and (mostly) silent, listening and contributing in quiet but insightful ways. Tara Smith joined our team in December of 2021, and we couldn’t be happier to have her.  She brings a wealth of lived experience to the role of outreach coordinator, working with a team of peers and McMaster students to stay connected to our community.  She is passionate about the importance of meeting people where they are at and works to fight stigma against those who use drugs.

For more on our work, visit keepingsix.org.  Happy International Women’s Day!

 

For more awesome profiles of Women in Harm Reduction, visit www.aidsnetwork.ca/iwd