Contact: Rebecca Martinez
New BIPOC Collective Seeks To Shift Psilocybin Therapy Movement Towards Inclusion
Two Local Women Are Bridging The Gap Between Psychedelic Insiders and the Curious Public
Fruiting Bodies is launching their online community on March 13th, in tandem with Tokeativity’s online Psychedelics & Plant Medicine Social.
Fruiting Bodies Collective is on a mission to ensure that Oregon’s psilocybin (mushroom) therapy program is affordable, equitable, and culturally relevant to Oregonians from all backgrounds. Founded in 2020 by Elan Hagens and Rebecca Martinez, this women-run social enterprise and online community creates free and low-cost educational materials for those eager to learn about psilocybin therapy, especially people from marginalized groups who might otherwise lack access. Podcast episodes, educational e-books, and free informational downloads will be available on FruitingBodiesCollective.com in an effort to make previously exclusive and hard-to-find information readily accessible to the public.
Their launch on March 13th coincides with a fundraising effort to raise $20,000 to support this endeavor.
The past year has seen public interest in psilocybin explode as the passage of measure 109 landed Oregon in the national spotlight. 1.2 million Oregonians (55% of voters) voted Yes on the bill, which legalized the therapeutic use of mushrooms and will create a licensing framework for the program. The required two-year development phase has begun. Along with public curiosity comes hesitation, assumption, and guesswork.
When the bill passed, the Fruiting Bodies founders saw an opportunity to avoid the mistakes of the cannabis industry and ensure that Oregonians who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color see a program on day one that is explicitly designed with their interests in mind. Both Hagens and Martinez found themselves inundated with questions from the public due to Martinez’ involvement with the campaign and Hagens’ mycology background. Questions such as: Are mushrooms safe? Is micro-dosing legal now? Will this actually help with depression? When can I try this for myself?
This outpouring of interest demonstrated a clear need for accurate, inviting, and highly shareable information regarding psilocybin therapy, mushroom science, and future opportunities in the space. The founders’ experience in communications and community organizing led them online. With a time-sensitive message and an ambition of growing to 100,000 active monthly members, they’re focusing on the platforms where people spend their time.
Until recently, the psychedelic healing community has been predominantly white, and due to the lasting impact of the war on drugs, communities of color may be unlikely to seek out these promising therapies.
“I’m a Black woman and I care about making these treatments relevant to my community. I want to change the face of psychedelics so people from my neighborhood, people from my family’s church, can see that this medicine is safe and can improve our quality of life. I want to make sure treatment is affordable, education is widespread, and we are not left behind in the rollout of this program.” -Elan Hagens, Co-founder & CEO of Fruiting Bodies
In early 2023, when the Oregon Health Authority begins accepting applications for clinics, therapists, and mushroom producers, there will be a diverse network of tens of thousands of Oregonians who need to understand the principles of psilocybin therapy, feel informed and prepared for involvement, and have ample access to need-based funding for licensing and therapy fees. Fruiting Bodies is helping drive these efforts.
Fruiting Bodies Collective launches March 13th. Hagens and Martinez have particular focus on women, communities of color and their allies. Their current online audience exceeds 5,000 people across social media platforms. Supporters can join an affordable monthly membership with special access to news, Oregon Health Authority program updates, and an inner circle of leaders, learners, and collaborators.
Through widespread crowdfunding, sales of educational materials, and enrollment in their online community, Fruiting Bodies is setting out to raise $20,000 in Spring of 2021 to advance their effort and build upon existing momentum and community support. Like-minded groups and individuals wishing to sponsor Fruiting Bodies or make a tax-exempt gift can reach out via the contact form on their website.
About the founders: Rebecca Martinez, a Mexican author and community organizer, served on staff as volunteer and event coordinator at the Yes on IP 109 campaign. Her book, Edge Play, details her personal experiences with psychedelic healing. Elan Hagens is best known for her beloved gourmet mushroom company, Temptress Truffles. A decade ago, she was the first Black vendor in the Portland Farmers Market community and has been a community leader and educator ever since.