Monnica T. Williams


Monnica T. Williams is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa.[1]



In Psychedelic Justice: Toward a Diverse and Equitable Psychedelic Culture (2021)

  • As an African American clinical psychologist and researcher, it has become evident that we have not been meaningfully included as research participants or researchers in scientific studies, and our voices have not been part of the conversation as these medicines move into mainstream mental health care.
  • Many have heard of the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis, but few know about the facility dubbed the "Narco Farm."
  • There were over 500 published studies that came out of ARC from 1935-1975, testing the limits of human tolerance for psychedelics, opiates, and amphetamines on prisoners.' Dr. Isbell's studies included dangerously high and prolonged doses of LSD on his subjects.
  • I hope that somewhere in the recesses of our cultural consciousness, there still exists some memory of the valuable psychedelic traditions cultivated by our African ancestors and nature's many gifts that have been lost somewhere between North America and the Middle Passage.
  • There has been much written about the Indigenous use of plant medicines from Mexico and South America, but psychedelics have been used across cultures and eras. Psychedelics were used in Biblical times to anoint priests and kings, and they have also been used for thousands of years in African cultures. During slavery, Yoruba women from West Africa performed healing roles using their knowledge of plant medicines derived from Africa. During current times in Ethiopia, all plants are believed to possess some degree of medicinal usefulness, and medicinal plants occupy a central place in their traditional healthcare system. Many plants are bred and conserved in sacred community gardens, and families also keep small home gardens. This includes an array of flora for medicinal purposes and important psychoactive plant medicines for psychological and even spiritual problems.
  • In southern Africa, there is widespread reliance on ubulawu as psychoactive spiritual medicine used by Indigenous people groups, such as the Xhosa and Zulu, to communicate with their ancestors and treat mental disturbances. Ubulawu, an ancient African plant medicine, is composed of the roots of several potent plants that are ground and made into a cold water infusion, churned to produce a healing foam.
  • There is such a rich tradition of plant medicines in Africa that it is clear Black people have benefited from psychedelic plant medicines for a very long time.
  • It is true that it has not always been safe for us, but I hope we can come together as a people, create our own safe spaces, and become empowered to reclaim psychedelic healing for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.