By Navina Khanna, Director, HEAL Food Alliance
A few weeks ago, I visited northwest Arkansas. Humid, lush, and green, it’s not immediately apparent that this land is home to the headquarters of corporate giants Tyson and Walmart. But Springdale also boasts the Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center (NWAWJC), which is organizing to build power with low-wage workers in the region. NWAWJC invited me to speak at their annual Cesar Chavez Memorial Dinner, and while I hope my words offered some sense of national solidarity with the work they’re doing locally, I left personally inspired. The dinner honored Drew Devenport, a local immigration lawyer who shed a tear describing the fight for sanctuary in an S-Comm (Secure Communities) county. I sat next to a Reverend from the Unitarian Universalist church who rallies alongside workers at company headquarters. And, I talked to a local farmer, who told me that for the first time ever, she is learning to organize with workers – they are strategizing together for implementation of the Good Food Purchasing Program.
HEAL is strengthened through the leadership of Magaly Licolli, NWAWJC’s fierce and warm Executive Director on our Steering Council, and we look forward to building and moving together, locally and nationally. Learn more about the NWAWJC’s work and read their reports at http://nwawjc.org