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Join Fellowship Hall & Recovery Communities of North Carolina for a panel discussion

The Art of Self-Advocacy…

Resource Advocacy and Legislative Education Advocacy for Recovery

A Program of Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC)


RCNC believes advocacy is sacred work. At the heart and essence of advocacy lies a connection to issues of importance and as a result, the ability to recommend, support or defend, plead or speak in favor of, or on behalf of a cause or movement. To be an effective advocate, one must not only be passionate but informed, organized and confident.

An RCNC panel of experts will discuss the various types of advocacy, competencies and information needed to excel as an advocate. We’ll cover:

  • how to build influence at the base by organizing
  • the process of educating legislators and the unparalleled power of the citizenry to engage government gatekeepers about the recovery movement with power and authority
  • the importance of gathering research, resources and data to support those who need them
  • how to gain the attention of those who need to hear the message

To be an effective advocate requires the ability to speak with confidence, ask for what you want and expect positive outcomes. This panel discussion will be facilitated in a participatory format. Panelists will speak from their experience and share information from their sphere of expertise. Audience members will then have an opportunity to ask questions. It should be an evening of awareness building and self-empowerment!

About RCNC Panelists

Heather McAllister, MSW, LCSWA, LCASA, CBIS

Heather has been engaged in advocacy efforts at the local and state levels throughout her career as a social worker. She has been involved in statewide initiatives as a consultant to the NC Division of Mental Health and as the State System of Care Coordinator. Currently Heather is a mental health professional in Wake County working with persons with mental health and substance use disorders. Heather is a Recovery Ally with lived experience as a family member of a person in recovery.

Troy Manns, RCNC’s Manager of Advocacy & Education

Troy has spent more than 15 years advocating on behalf of the recovery movement for those with substance use disorder and their families. As a person in long-term recovery, Troy understands the importance of influencing others toward the advocate’s agenda. He is passionate about the recovery movement and the need to identify solutions that impact recovery for those with substance use disorders. 


Dr. Rita Anita Linger, PhD, CPC, CMBP

Dr. Linger is RCNC’s Executive Director and has been a force in advocacy movements across the country including work on behalf of those with substance use disorders for over 30 years. Dr. Linger started one of the first Court watch programs in upstate New York and the first Community Police-Advocacy program in the Finger Lakes of New York after the violence sparked by the Rodney King verdict.


Karen Kranbuehl, MSW, JD

Karen is the Chair of RCNC as well as Chair of the Substance Use Disorder Federation in North Carolina. She is in long-term recovery, an attorney, and licensed social worker. Karen combines her skills as a social worker and attorney to support a foundational edict of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. To address self-determination needs and self-awareness, Karen developed the “SAY IT” Program , a modular curriculum for teaching self-advocacy skills to individuals. Karen’s advocacy vision includes improving access to recovery programs and services through innovative technology efforts.


Karen McKinnon, RCNC  Board Member

Karen’s life represents a life of grace in recovery! She understands well the power of advocacy to impact individual transformation, perceptions, awareness and recovery outcomes. She has been in long-term recovery since 1996. Karen serves as the Women’s Resource Coordinator for Oxford House, Inc, a nonprofit network of 2100 self-help recovery homes across the nation. Today her work in the recovery movement is used as a model across the country.