MDC’s Drug-Free Community Coalition will be hosting a Faith-Based Lunch & Learn to engage the South Knoxville community with MDC’s mission and efforts. The coalition has noticed that many churches in the community are making steps towards prevention and recovery; however, there are others who might not have the resources to do so. This event will be a great opportunity for South Knoxville church leaders to engage with other churches and MDC.

During the event, Karen Pershing, MDC Executive Director, will introduce our organization and what we do. Attendees will also be educated about the substance abuse epidemic we are facing in Knox County. Specifically, church leaders will learn about the science of addiction. Many people consider addiction as a moral failure and not a disease. It is important for churches and other faith based organizations to help our community realize the truth about individuals affected by addiction.

Following Pershing, our Youth Initiatives Director will be talking about how substance abuse has affected young people as well as some of the trends she has seen in our local schools. A representative from Knoxville Police Department will then touch on what they have seen with crime and substance abuse in the community. Lastly, one of the coalition leaders will lead the group in a discussion where they may collaborate as a community and have an opportunity to discuss what they are currently doing with their congregation.

Overall, the goal for this event is to give churches more resources and tools to help their congregations. This event will be held for the South Knoxville community at the South Knoxville Community Center – 522 Maryville Pike, Knoxville, TN 37920 on Thursday, June 23 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. There will be another training in East Knoxville during our next quarter.

Please RSVP by Thursday, June 16 to Aly Taylor at (865) 588-5550, or email