HEAL Food Alliance

2022 School of Political Leadership 

Together Honoring Earth's Mycelia (T.H.E.M.)

Ren Encinas


Organizing Steward,
Advocates for Urban Agriculture

All over the world, working class Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities have been facing the brunt of the multiple ongoing global crises, from the COVID pandemic, climate catastrophes, and expansion of violent policing and militarism at the expense of public welfare and resources. Instead of investing in the healing, care, and protection of our communities’ and the air, water, and land that sustains us, the people in power have continued to act solely in the interests of imperialist wars and corporate profit. I deeply believe that the radical structural change that our communities need to live, let alone thrive, will only flourish through organizing for collective power, nurturing local communities anchored in deep care for one another, and building and sustaining grassroots movements led by working class BIPOC communities on the frontlines.

Meet Ren

Ren is a queer, nonbinary, Filipino organizer, educator, and farmer based in Chicago. They are originally from the California Central Valley and descend from farmers in the Philippines. Deeply rooted in their ancestral relationship with the land and food, Ren has grown in Chicago with Catatumbo Cooperative Farm, Lightly Farmed and UIC’s Heritage Garden. As the Advocacy Steward for the Advocates for Urban Agriculture, Ren supports and builds capacity for local farms and land, food, and environmental justice campaigns. As a community organizer, they are deeply committed to fighting alongside global anti-imperialist and anti-militarist struggles with their political home Anakbayan. They are also passionate about facilitating popular education grounded in radical imagination, storytelling and working-class BIPOC legacies of resistance to help guide strategies and pathways towards a free future.