Mackenzie Phillips to Kick Off APM’s 50th Anniversary Speaker Series

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Actress and author to speak to APM community about experiences with substance abuse

PHILADELPHIA — (Feb. 5) — Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (Association of Puerto Ricans on the March or APM) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a four-part Speaker Series, bringing together thought leaders, experts and activists to discuss issues central to the organization. The first event in the series will feature actress, author and survivor of substance abuse Mackenzie Phillips on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at WHYY, Inc. (150 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106). Tickets are available at:

Phillips will deliver a keynote address about her journey of overcoming substance abuse. Speaking from her own experiences, she will share her wisdom about the approaches available to help those on their way to recovery and other practical treatments. Other topics to be discussed during the evening include access to medical treatments and opportunities for mental health services, increases in suicide rates, substance abuse and addiction.

Following Phillips’ speech, APM Medical Director Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera will moderate a panel discussion involving professionals from health care and public policy as well as other community stakeholders. Among them will be Derrick Pelletier, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs; Robert Torres, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez; and Michael Cram, Staff Inspector at the Philadelphia Police Department.

“APM strives to show the humanity behind the struggles that come with securing basic and necessary community needs,” said Nilda Ruiz, president and CEO of APM. “Bringing together Mackenzie Phillips and other behavioral health leaders will empower those we serve to take ownership over their health-related care.”

Phillips, who rose to fame in the 1973 film “American Graffiti” and the ‘70s sitcom “One Day at a Time,” has been open about her drug addiction battle. More recently, she played the role of Barb in “Orange is the New Black” and is the Program Director of Referral Relations and a substance use disorder counselor at Breathe Life Healing Center in Los Angeles, specializing in trauma and treatment and recovery for drug and alcohol addiction. She has detailed her personal journey in the New York Times bestselling memoir, “High on Arrival,” and another book, “Hopeful Healing: Essays on Managing Recovery and Surviving Addiction.”

In its 50 years serving Philadelphians, APM has become a leader in providing behavioral health and support services, drug and alcohol treatment, and family therapy. With two mental health clinics and multiple locations for individual assessments, behavioral therapy and recovery support, APM works to help those who need it most. The 50th Anniversary Speaker Series is a means to merge the good APM does in Philadelphia communities with a closer look at the larger societal issues at-hand. Sonia Manzano, John Quiñones and Elizabeth Smart will join APM for future Speaker Series events.


About APM
APM is a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents in the Greater Philadelphia Area through direct services and outreach. APM’s vision: A community where all families are self-reliant, children are protected and nurtured to become future leaders and residents are engaged in their community. We offer a full spectrum of bilingual and culturally sensitive services related to education, health, human services and community and economic development.

To learn more, visit and follow the hashtag #APMTurns50 and @APMForEveryone on Twitter and Instagram.

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