Cate Graziani, Co-Executive Director
Cate is thrilled to be working with an all-star team at THRA to prevent overdoses, decriminalize public health issues, and fight to end the racist War on Drugs. Before joining THRA, Cate was a member of the criminal justice team at Grassroots Leadership for four years, where she led work to fight private prison companies' foray into mental health hospitals, instead calling for divestments from the criminal legal system and reinvestments in community health. Her advocacy lies at the intersections of prison abolition, the "behavioral health" system, and racial justice, fighting for non-punitive & non-coercive public health strategies for drug use.
Originally from CA by way of NC, Cate moved to Austin in 2011. After earning her MPAff/MSSW from the University of Texas, Cate worked for Mental Health America of Texas during the 2015 legislative session. That year, she helped pass SB 1462, the bill that expanded access to naloxone across Texas. Her work that year shAfter seeing the power of Harm Reduction as an abolitionist alternative to the criminalization of people who use drugs, Cate threw herself into She was awarded a Fulbright research award to study Portugal’s world-renowned drug decriminalization policy in 2016. Over nine months, she interviewed policymakers, academics, outreach workers, and people who inject drugs, learning from their public health approach to drug use so she could become a stronger advocate at home. Since then, Cate has been building a Harm Reduction movement in Austin and across Texas.
Joe Martinez, Outreach Worker/Recovery Coach
Joe is a lifelong resident of Austin, Texas where he was raised by a single parent - his beautiful mother Juana - with his two younger sisters. Joe graduated from Johnson High and his hobbies include artwork, sports and playing bingo.
"I am very excited to be part of the great team here at THRA, to be able to give back to our community, and to help save lives because your life matters. I enjoy going out to the field and reaching out to anyone that I can help and listen to. I watched the destruction that drugs have caused in our community and want to be someone that brings hope to those that often feel hopeless, and to be able to put a smile on y'alls faces and heart. It's a pleasure to do outreach work and make a difference in someone's life. God bless y'all!"
Shanice Brim, Communications Manager
Shanice Brim is a native of New York City. She has been involved in social justice work since her days at University of the Pacific where she began raising money for and volunteered at women’s shelters.
In 2015, she began organizing in the Movement For Black Lives as an NYC Chapter member of abolitionist group BYP100. She went on to work for BYP100 as an Internal Communications Specialist, at Flatbush Tenant Coalition as a housing organizer, and at Austin Women Health Center as an abortion care provider.
Shanice is a Black feminist and police and prison abolitionist who believes that we can take care of our communities through education equity, universal healthcare, investing in people over profits, and effective community problem solving/conflict resolution!
Santiago Alcala, Outreach Worker/Recovery Coach
Santiago grew up in the U.S. - Mexico border in south Texas and northern Mexico. In college at UTSA, Santiago served as the Vice President for Students for Recovery and volunteered at the Center for Collegiate Recovery, where he led recovery meetings and advocated for people who use drugs.
Santiago is excited to be part of an organization that works to understand and address harm related to drug use.
Queen Austin, Outreach Worker/Recovery Coach
Native Austinite, Queen, is a community organizer, advocate, and Trans activist. She is passionate about engaging with and uplifting the needs of her communities in every space she enters. She founded the Austin Queer Cultural Center to increase access to joy and community for LGBTQ+ people, and to provide a space for counseling and case management for individuals as needed. Queen is also became a co-founder of Black Trans Leadership of Austin (BTLA) in 2020. Though harm reduction and outreach is a facet of her personal life, she has been a volunteer with Sex Workers Outreach Project of Austin (SWOP ATX) since 2019, which has provided her a way to engage with and support individuals in the sex trade industry. She feels fortunate to have these lived experiences to inform her work as a Commissioner on the Austin Public Safety Commission since February of 2021, where she advises on budget concerns and makes sure the needs of sex working, BIPOC, and trans communities are at the forefront of all conversations related to safety in the City of Austin. She looks forward to continuing advocacy and harm reduction work through Texas Harm Reduction Alliance
Eli Cortez, Organizer and Training Coordinator
Eli grew up in Austin, Texas before attending the University of Texas where he received his BSW. Eli has been engaged primarily in campus advocacy with other queer students of color to create supportive spaces on campus for otherwise marginalized populations. He hopes to refine his advocacy skills to challenge the carceral state that criminalizes poverty and substance use by targeting PWUD.
Eli is excited to partner with a harm reduction organization that centralizes community outreach and support to reduce overdoses in Texas. He hopes to one day implement alternatives to incarceration, contribute to the abolition of prisons, and fight to end the war on drugs that has disproportionately harmed BIPOC communities.
Gaby Libretti, Drop-In Center Coordinator
Gaby is a New Jersey native who has planted her roots in Austin, Texas. She attended The University of Texas and graduated with a Bachelor's in Radio-Television-Film. After a powerful personal experience with recovery, Gaby turned her passion towards working with others on their own journey. She worked at Integral Care as a peer specialist and qualified mental health professional, focused on serving the unhoused community in Austin. While working in mental health, she became involved in community harm reduction efforts as a part of Austin Harm Reduction Coalition. She is a certified Mental Health Peer Specialist and continuing education towards becoming a licensed chemical dependency counselor.
Gaby believes in radically changing mental healthcare and substance use systems to better address issues of trauma and inequity. She believes in the importance of community healing and is excited to be a part of the THRA team.