Everywhere we look, we see beautiful acts of resistance. Hundreds and thousands of people upending their own lives. Saying no genocide, yes to land back.
We see poetry and prayer. Protests and possibility. People making meals for each other, giving each other car rides, creating art – patches, posters, banners, murals, and more. Journalists risking arrest – or their lives – to tell the truth. Community members offering family care, pet care, and after care to those who are on the frontlines.
This is solidarity. Understanding that our humanity, our individual liberation absolutely depends on collective liberation.
At HEAL, we often say that it takes all of us – the diverse skills, resources, relationships, and expertise that each of us brings – to change everything. Five hundred years after the fact, we are transforming a food system that was founded on genocide, displacement and land theft – the very things folks are fighting against today. And we’re doing it in solidarity with each other, across race and place, sector and skillset.
This year, HEAL members came together to turn our values into policy priorities and got to work on the Farm Bill. Our 43 member organizations agreed that workers’ rights, BIPOC producers, climate change, families being fed, and community control all needed to be central to this omnibus legislation that for its almost 100 year existence, has excluded working people, enabled discrimination, and prioritized profit over people and our planet.
HEAL members painted signs and marched, burned sage on Capitol Hill, created t-shirts and postcards, and paid visits to our Congress members and staff on agricultural committees. We made phone calls, wrote letters, and published Op-Eds. We hosted the first congressional briefing on making labor part of the Farm Bill, where working people from three states and sectors testified. 150 organizations from all over signed on in support of our priorities.
This work isn’t over – we know it will go well into 2024. I’m so proud of our team and our members. Six years into our collective journey, HEAL is building momentum for real change even within systems that were never designed to work for us. We are deep in solidarity with each other, and those calling for change around the world.
As you take time to look through our end of year report, please know that we thank you for being part of our collective journey!