Dear Friends,

Hello again, and happy November! We’re about two weeks past Sober October and moving into the holiday season. As you make plans for time spent with loved ones, consider pausing to consider the role that alcohol traditionally plays in our holiday celebrations. For the newly sober, or for individuals who are just trying to cut back for a healthier lifestyle, alcohol’s
presence at these events can feel overwhelming. The holidays may not be a joyful time for everyone, yet there can be pressure to maintain “holiday cheer” throughout the season. For those who don’t feel “happy,” this sense of being an outsider can exacerbate feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and so on. This holiday season, I ask you to consider the
ways you can show up for others, honor them where they are, and share your gratitude for their presence in your life. I know I am grateful for each and every one of you and your commitment to this work, and we cannot do this work without you.

We have a few Alliance updates to share:

  • The Alliance secured funding through the Department of Behavioral Health at the end of September.
  • We’re delighted to report that six of our regional co-chairs will be returning to work with us at the start of the fiscal year.
  • Three workgroup weavers were selected to help facilitate the work being done by the Communications/Social Norms workgroup, the Strategic Design workgroup, and the Data + Learning workgroup.

We also have a few announcements and upcoming event reminders:

  • The Alliance is currently hiring for a Wellness Coalition/Program Coordinator to join our staff. This position will work alongside Marlene to organize the group, and clarify our mission. 
  • We’re back in session! The Alliance will meet bi-monthly through the fall and winter. 
  • Alliance Open Space sessions (formerly known as in sessions) are hosted on a bi-monthly basis. The next one is scheduled for November 16th, from 1:30-3:00 p.m.
  • We’re currently preparing for our strategic planning session. This session will be hosted as a hybrid event during the first week in March. We hope to have more details for the next newsletter.
As always, please reach out to us with any questions. Thank you, each of you, for your work to heal our families, communities, and systems. You are seen, and you are needed! Feel free to send us your news and updates for next month's newsletter via the submission link below.

Be well,
We will always do our best to publish upcoming events in a timely, regular manner for our newsletter subscribers. We also keep an event calendar through the Recover Alaska website that allows our partners a secondary means of sharing their event news with our community. We welcome your submissions!
Recover Creatively: A Writing Group

Together we are recovering creatively. Bring your pain, suffering and soul wounds to be salved, and almost like magic your worries will be halved. Grab a pen and paper, in a place you've never been safer. Allow your heart and spirit to shine. Can you feel the peace, love and calm fill your heart. Isn't it divine?
— Abby Twyman

Join Alaska Rural Health and Education at their weekly writing group, Recover Creatively. This writing group is funded through a Changemaker Grant through Recover Alaska. As implied in the poem shared above (authored by a group participant writer!) the writing group focuses on processing lived experiences, finding acceptance, and building community.

The group meets virtually from 9:00-9:30 a.m. at:

See below for a list of upcoming sessions:

  • 11/13/23
  • 11/20/23
  • 11/27/23
  • 12/4/23
  • 12/11/23
  • 12/18/23
Nominations for Spirit of Youth Open Through December 31st

Do you know a teen or youth group doing something positive in your community? Nominate them for Spirit of Youth Recognition! Award categories include: Role Model, Innovator, Phoenix, Life Saver, Humanitarian, Discovery, Dreamer and Visionary.
Spirit of Youth knows that there are good things happening in our state and young people are often at the heart of them. For 26 years, Spirit of Youth has empowered Alaska’s youth through statewide, media-based youth recognition programs.

Spirit of Youth relies on community members to let youth know they matter by making a nomination for recognition. Nominations help create opportunities for youth leadership and allow teens to share their voices and get recognized for their contributions.
Of the nominees, eight youth or youth groups and eight runners-up are selected to receive Spirit of Youth Awards—including a scholarship. All Alaskan youth ages 12-19 are eligible.

The deadline to nominate youth is December 31. For more information, email:
A Dinner to Make a Difference

Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence (USAFV) held their “Make A Difference” Dinner for Suicide Prevention and Awareness on the night of September 29th, at the Unalaska High School small gym. USAFV, along with many community partners, engaged with attendees of all ages through activities designed to:

  • Promote community connections and hope,
  • Educate on healthy coping mechanisms and the importance of self-care and care for others,
  • Improve awareness of available resources, and
  • Provide an opportunity for thoughtful conversations about challenging topics.

The goal of this event is to de-stigmatize the discussion of mental health issues, increase awareness of available resources, and create safe spaces for people, especially young people, to talk about these things and ask for help when they need it.

More than 120 people attended the dinner, and USAFV and their partners hope that folks came away with skills and knowledge that will serve them in the future as we all learn to take better care of ourselves and each other. Mental health is just health, we all need a little help sometimes, support is available, and it’s okay to talk about hard things.
Evaluating Alliance’s Activities

Greetings from the Evaluation and Learning Workgroup! Last fiscal year, members engaged in a peer interview process to reflect on the Alliance’s activities and their experiences as part of the annual network evaluation. Thank you to everyone who participated! If you missed our presentation on the evaluation findings and recommendations during last Open Session, you can find the slides HERE. You can also access the full report and executive summary on the Alliance website HERE. Evaluation is impactful when it is utilized to inform ongoing work, and we encourage everyone to take a moment and reflect on the rich feedback members shared.

Gearing up for this year’s evaluation: Evaluation is most useful when network members are active participants. If you are interested in learning more about evaluation or want to help shape the Alliance’s evaluation, we invite you to join the Evaluation and Learning Workgroup. This workgroup is open to all members – your experience as an Alliance member is your expertise!

You can also grow your evaluation skills through the STIPENDED Evaluation Liaison role. The Evaluation Liaison assists in collecting quarterly data and connecting the work of the Evaluation and Learning Workgroup with other workgroups. You can learn more about the Evaluation Liaison role HERE.

If you are interested in joining the group or being an Evaluation Liaison, please reach out to Hanna (
About The Alliance

The Alliance is a collaborative effort of multiple and diverse partners across Alaska who recognize the impacts of alcohol misuse on individuals and communities. We are personally and professionally committed to working together to address this complex problem in our state.

Our primary goal is to connect and engage communities as partners — increasing protective factors, reducing risk factors, and changing social norms — to prevent underage alcohol use and eliminate adult misuse in Alaska.

Alliance Materials

Get Involved

Between starting new work and sustaining our progress, there are many opportunities to participate in The Alliance! All current workgroups are open to any member who would like to join. You can always read more about our workgroups and their purpose on the Get Involved page of our website. Our network practices an emergent strategy, and we update information based on our network's needs.

  • The Communications/Social Norms Workgroup will be supporting the social norms campaign and The Alliance's various other internal and external communications needs.
  • The Data and Learning Workgroup will be supporting data equity conversations and practices.
  • The Evaluation and Learning Workgroup is building out quarterly measures for the network to support grant reporting but also to increase real-time evaluation across the network so we can track and respond to improvement needs more frequently.
  • The Strategy and Design Workgroup builds structures and processes for the network to work in alignment with our values and theory of change.

You are welcome to reach out with questions about those workgroups or to ask to join any of them.
We hold monthly newsletter meetings at 11 AM on the Wednesday one week before month's end. Contact Marlene at if you would like more information about this meeting/to be added to the calendar invite for the meeting. Feel free to send us your news and updates for next month's newsletter via the submission link below.