The first ever speakers bureau dedicated exclusively to the topics of addiction, prevention, recovery and advocacy has recently opened in New Jersey.
Speakers For Change will offer professional services and speakers on topics of addiction to bring more awareness, understanding, education, and training into communities located along the East Coast. Its founder is Tracy Smith, a former sales executive with American Express and the mother of a daughter in recovery from addiction.
Smith, who started speaking about addiction shortly after her daughter attained sobriety, found out that there were few speakers available for less than $10,000. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Smith encountered speakers who were “fee free” and booked through word-of-mouth, but regrettably were often presenting old, outdated information to audiences.
She explains, “It is way too important of a topic to risk misinformation. We believe that there is great value in getting the right information from an interesting speaker at an affordable cost.” It was vital to Smith to be able to offer quality informed speakers at price points that communities could afford. Fees for Speakers For Change start at just $350.
Smith explains, “Many of our speakers are passionate about educating others and reducing the stigma that is prevalent today, so they are committed to speaking at affordable price points. Our speakers truly care about these issues and desire to be part of a change process in this country which is gaining momentum. Addiction is a complex topic to understand, so each of our speakers is properly vetted to ensure they are qualified to present.”
Smith makes sure speakers are up to date in stigma training and recognizing addiction as a disease, in line with policy set from both the US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and U.S. Director of National Drug Control Michael Botticelli.
Currently, Speakers for Change offers well known advocates like Greg Williams, who produced the award-winning documentary The Anonymous People and is co-founder of Facing Addiction. There are also school prevention presenters, recovery speakers, bestselling authors, former prosecutors, lobbyists, medical health professionals, criminal justice reform experts, and stigma and addiction educators. Additional consulting services are offered to large corporations, health care systems, organizations, and unions.
Smith states, “We are a socially responsible company, with a mission to inspire change. Our hope is that more of mainstream America will follow our lead and also develop a social conscience and an open mind to learn more about addiction, prevention, and different pathways to recovery.”