HEAL Food Alliance

School of Political Leadership

Building Political Power for Food & Farm Systems Transformation

The HEAL School of Political Leadership (SoPL) supports talented, passionate, food and farm justice leaders who are advocating for policies and solutions that will reimagine how our food and farm systems function. Over the course of a year, SoPL will equip a cohort of 10 leaders with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to run for office, work on campaigns, and drive political change. Together we are creating a blueprint for inclusive, democratic food and farm systems that are accountable to all of our communities. We believe these renewed systems should prioritize:
Community
Community needs over corporate profits
Sustainability
Long-term environmental sustainability over short-sighted mass production
Dignified Work
Safe and dignified working conditions that include living wages & democratic decision-making
Real Food
Healthy, accessible, and affordable food for all people

Why SoPL? Why Now?

 poor representation

Our elected decision-makers are failing our communities. For too long the politicians who determine our food and farm policies  have been placing profit over people.  

our Communities Drive Change

The best advocates for driving solutions to transform our food and farm systems are the leaders who share the values, hopes and experiences of the people most burdened by those systems. 

The Time is Right

Across the country we are seeing a new wave of political energy.

to Transform the System

The HEAL SoPL will equip participants with the tools, skills and knowledge to grow grassroots political leadership in their communities. It is time for new leadership and governance that truly works by and for the people.  

Our Inaugural SoPL Cohort

The 2018 HEAL SoPL leaders are farmers, fishers, community activists, organizers, educators, and advocates working in diverse communities across the United States. Their work is creating pathways for a reimagined food and farm system - one in which every community has the right and the means to produce, procure, prepare, share, and eat nutritionally and culturally appropriate food free from exploitation of themselves, any other people, or the rest of the natural world.

Meet the 10 leaders from across the U.S. who are working to transform our food and farm systems

Sonia Galiber

Director of Operations, Urban Creators
& Farmer

Philadelphia, PA

"I want to bring about sustainable social change - as opposed to feeding a non-profit culture that operates as its own form of capitalistic exploitation."

Kayla Koether

Food Systems Specialist
& Farmer

Northeast Iowa

"SoPL will aid me in supporting the livelihoods of rural farmers, building diversified markets, and strengthening the agricultural economy of Northeast Iowa.”

Miah Ulysse

Northside Fresh Coordinator
& Policy Manager,
Appetite for Change

Minneapolis, MN

"I'm excited to explore ways to radically queer the systems we have been bound to, and am interested in building my skills in municipal and statewide food policy campaign development."

Rebekah Williams

Youth Education Director, Mass Ave Project

Buffalo, NY

“I look forward to connecting with organizers, and farm and food systems workers nationwide. I am especially excited that SoPL can be a catapult for bringing the Good Food Purchasing Program to Buffalo.”

Hunter Scott 

Leadership Team Member, National Black Food and Justice Alliance

Cleveland, OH

"SoPL will provide me with new expertise, valuable resources, and connect me with consummate leaders. Together, we can recreate our food-system."

Ángel García  

Tulare County Community Organizer,
Californians for Pesticide Reform

Lindsay, CA

"Through SoPL, I will learn how to leverage the power of California's farm working communities--a collective power that is based on lived experiences."

Brett Tolley

Community Organizer, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance & Fisherman

Chatham, MA

“My hope is to deepen my commitment toward helping build an equitable and fair food system.”

Emmaline Bigongiari

Student Organizer, Real Food Challenge

Bellingham, WA

"I'm looking forward to gaining tools to be a more effective organizer for food justice."

Neftali Duran

Founder, I-Collective

Holyoke, MA

" I see SoPL as an opportunity to achieve a better understanding of the political systems that effect my community work. To understand bureaucratic systems is to understand systems of power, which are often the challenges that community work faces."

Victoria Quevedo

Coordinator for Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County,
La Semilla/Empowerment Congress

Anthony, NM & El Paso, TX

"I look forward to sharing the strategies I learn with my community so we can organize and train new leaders with a deeper understanding of local economies, food justice, and policy advocacy.” 
Your tax-deductible donation will support diverse leaders from across the country who are committed to developing solutions to reimagine our food and farm systems. Donate now to support the HEAL School of Political Leadership!