HEAL Food Alliance

2022 School of Political Leadership 

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

Viviana Okakpu


Co-Operations Steward,
Advocates for Urban Agriculture

We have an enormous opportunity right now to shift our food system as the pandemic has laid bare the long-felt inequities of how we access food and medicine. There are more of us who want to see our loved ones thrive and eat well than die of preventable disease in our bodies and on our planet. Through HEAL’s SoPL I look forward to learning new tools to speak our truths into existence and gain skills and comrades to work towards the world we know is possible.

Meet Viviana

Viviana is a mixed Chicana urban farmer, herbalist, animal keeper, and mycoremediator in occupied Kiikaapoi, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Kaskaskia, and Myammia territories. For 5 generations their family has lived in the unique biome now known as the Southside of Chicago. As an immunocompromised person with a food-related illness who grew up in an area experiencing environmental injustice and food apartheid, for them this work in our food system is for survival. They have had the privilege to learn from movement ancestors and elders on issues of im/migration rights, Indigenous land and water defense, abolition, labor rights, and health equity. They’ve co-founded a cooperative community garden, a land stewardship initiative and an indoor mushroom growing business. They’re inspired to co-create spaces of mutual support for Earthworkers and fellow transformers of our communities. They ground their work in reverence to the land, water, air to honor and regain food and medicine sovereignty.