When we first conceived of HEAL, we recognized the enormity of the task ahead: our current food and agriculture systems are controlled by a handful of powerful corporations whose ethos of extraction and exploitation is rooted in a history of chattel slavery and genocide. By design, the very laws that established the United States excluded Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from power over the decisions that impact our lives.
When 55 organizations came together in February 2017 to ratify HEAL’s Platform for Real Food, and formally launch an alliance, our communities swiftly responded to the call of the moment: it was time to train our leaders to run for office and organize for comprehensive policy in their communities. HEAL needed to launch the School of Political Leadership (SoPL).
True transformation requires the diverse skills, roles, and resources of each of us, working together to build our collective power for change. SoPL is truly a collaborative effort, tapping into the wisdom of long-time organizers in frontline communities and honing the skills of powerful people across generations and communities.
Every one of HEAL’s members, partners, participants, donors, and funders has contributed to making SoPL magic. Thank you to each and every one of you for seeing and adding to the power and potential of our collective effort. As you read this report, we hope you feel as proud as we do of our work to date! Together, we are creating futures where all of us can thrive!