Photos by John Ochira

Amran Osman, executive director of Generational Noor, a new organization she founded to fight opioid addiction and substance use dependency, particularly in BIPOC communities, was pleasantly surprised when an overflow crowd turned out for the launch party at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston. Since then, Generational Noor has held community roundtables in Lewiston and Portland that have attracted youth as well as older people from many different communities. Osman founded the organization because she knew that many people were struggling with opioid addiction and substance use dependency, yet there was not a lot of open conversation in the community about their struggles. She wondered how those in trouble could get help if no one was communicating. And she knew that those suffering felt ostracized. She began to envision safe spaces for dialogue, where addiction could be destigmatized. Generational Noor offers three projects: Community Connect; Community Round Table; Road to Recovery. The organization is new, but all the projects share common aims – to teach the community that people make mistakes; that trauma is something real that creates symptoms; that parents can learn to recognize signs of substance abuse in their children; that people can be helped; that youth who have been through crisis have options for re-entering society. Osman explained that Generational Noor is focused primarily – but not exclusively – on the BIPOC community. While there are a lot of resources in Maine to help people who suffer from opioid addiction and substance use dependency, she said, these are generally white centered, and white based. The result is that help often doesn’t reach Black and brown people. “People get turned away from help … no one welcomes them. People from the community want to talk to someone who has walked in their shoes and understands them.”

Sitey, Shukri,
Musa, Amran, Deq, Libar
Pious Ali, Melissa Hue, Fatuma Hussien, Daud Osman, Francisco Luemb
Istahil Mohammed and Qamar
Ali Ali