The HEAL Messaging Guide: Rooted, Ready & Resilient – Uplifting a BIPOC-led Vision for Crisis Proof Food Systems

When we are all in for all of us, we can create the world in which each and every one of us can thrive.

HEAL Messaging Guide Cover Photo


When faced with calamity, we are forced — as people, communities, and countries — to go beyond the realms of what we thought (or were told) was possible. Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and various climate shocks demand that we change our behaviors, realign our priorities, and even adopt new value systems. As a result, moments of crisis are moments of transition. And all of us, no matter what we look like or where we come from, play a critical role in stewarding this transition. Right now, as people’s faith in the status quo waivers, ideas that previously only existed in the fringes are starting to capture public imagination. This is how powerful new narratives emerge.

When the HEAL Food Alliance began developing the Platform for Real Food — our north star and political compass — in 2014, we knew that many of the solutions we put forth were not yet politically possible. We understood that realizing this vision for reimagined food and farm systems required a
disruption of the status quo. COVID-19 has done just that.

The pause that the pandemic is giving our economy is an opportunity to reimagine how we approach it: is profit still more important than people’s health? Is it more important than life on our planet?

We’ve created Rooted & Ready, our values-based messaging guide with HEAL members and allies to invite more people to reimagine and reinvent our world together. We’re finding that ideas and policies that we have been fighting for, but were politically impossible a few months ago — those that divest from systems rooted in white supremacy and capitalism and invest in the wisdom of BIPOC leadership — are now coming to fruition. So where do we go from here?

The values and solutions we uplift in this guide center the knowledge, wisdom, and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who have been on the frontlines of the fights for food sovereignty, racial justice, climate justice, food security, worker justice, land justice, and environmental justice. This wisdom is the very core of who we are as people. It’s a wisdom that’s rooted in community, in care for each other, and in the understanding that life, and all that sustains it, is sacred.

It’s time to write our new story. A story where all people, and our planet, can thrive.