I started working at The Psychedelic Society in January 2020, and first met Stephen during an interview for the role I was applying for.
I write this statement as a Black British man (POC) who grew up in a non-privileged area of London. I think this is important to note as my upbringing, and way of life, is a world apart from the Oxbridge educated.
Although I’m well versed in Psychedelics themselves, I have not previously been a part of any spiritual or wellbeing communities (other than attending Burning Man once in the US) and only knew one other person involved in the UK Psychedelic scene before I entered this community.
Throughout my time at the Psychedelic Society I have always felt mutually supported and respected working with the collective, and by Stephen Reid specifically. I have never felt my participation in the collective was tokenistic (I was actually over qualified for the role), nor have I ever felt singled out or silenced because of the colour of my skin. I have never been asked to participate in any schemes relating to POC funding. I have never felt like an outsider. I have felt consistently supported, emboldened and welcomed into the organisation in a number of ways.
In relation to Stephen Reid, from the get-go we worked very closely together as I was one of the only other technically versed members of the team. In our work I have always felt like he is someone whom I could go to for support if needed, but would also leave me to my own devices and let me do my work in a decentralised and autonomous fashion.
Our relationship has evolved over the past year and I now consider him somewhat as a mentor whom I could go to for advice on personal development and non-work related discussions. There have been a number of positive exchanges that have unfolded between myself and Stephen. Which include but are not limited to:
- Stephen offered and accepted me on a place to one of his courses, and taught me about regenerative health practices.
- On multiple occasions Stephen has offered to teach me how to code.
- Stephen has consistently ensured that my financial remuneration within the collective is fairly rewarded and I am completely and wholeheartedly financially supported in my endeavours at The Psychedelic Society.
Ultimately I got involved with Psychedelics as tools for transformation and change. And hope that we as a community can allow space for individuals to become better than they were yesterday.
— Matt Reid