Navina has dedicated over 15 years to creating a more just and sustainable world through transforming food systems, and in 2014, her work was recognized with a James Beard Leadership Award. With a background in sustainable agriculture and food justice, she's worked as an educator, community organizer, and policy advocate, organizing across sectors and communities. Based in Oakland, Navina serves on the Board of Richmond's Urban Tilth, advises the Real Food Media Project, and organizes with #Asians4BlackLives. A first-generation South Asian American, Navina's worldview is shaped by growing up - and growing food - in India and the US.
Marla Karina Larrave
Political Education Director
Marla heads up HEAL’s School of Political Leadership (SoPL) and works alongside members to build political education and alignment for a just food and farm system. Having grown up in Los Angeles with deep farming roots in Guatemala, her previous experience includes progressing community-led policy and advocacy initiatives with people of color, migrants and indigenous communities both in the U.S. and abroad. Marla holds an M.A. in International Development from American University and a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is based in Washington, D.C.
With a long history in labor organizing, Jose has served in several leadership positions at Casa Guatemala, Chicago Interfaith Workers’ Center, Interfaith Worker Justice’s National Workers' Centers Network, Center for Community Change, and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United - the national organization of restaurant workers. Jose was the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance a national coalition of food-worker organizations that collectively represents over 350,000 workers. Jose is also a 2017 James Beard Award recipient and a 2018 American Food Hero Awardee.
Real Meals Campaign Coordinator
Kristen builds campaign strategies and organizes HEAL's partners to take collective action towards food systems rooted in racial justice that center people, communities, and climate - not corporate profits. Before joining HEAL, Kristen led campaign and legislative strategies with Public Citizen to advance digital rights in the US, fight junk-food marketing, and expose corporate abuse. Kristen is an artist of various mediums and believes deeply in the power of artivism, has a Master's degree in Public Policy from American University, and is currently based in Oakland, CA on Ohlone land.
Operations & Events Manager
Rosie comes from a lineage of landworkers and is excited to continue radically building a better food system. Her advocacy has taken many forms, including: managing the award-winning Logan Square Farmers Market for four years, producing the annual Chicago Food Policy Summit, organizing young farmers throughout the state of Illinois, and working on farms across the country. When not producing an event, Rosie has her hands weaving between the strings of a loom, color-coding her planner, or working with clay. She's based in Chicago.
Neshani is the Communications Director for the HEAL Food Alliance. Neshani has over a decade of experience working in communications and strategic development at international and domestic non-profits and is excited to use art and narrative to build power with HEAL’s members. Neshani received her BA in Anthropology and Spanish from UC Davis and MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University. She lives, works, and hangs out in Oakland, CA.
Political Leadership Coordinator
Marlene has 11 years of experience supporting community-based initiatives through the non-profit sector and in academia. Born and raised in Sunnyside, a rural agricultural town in Washington state, they spent summers picking cherries with their mother and sisters. As the child of Mexican farmworkers they have witnessed firsthand the challenges many land workers face. They hold a deep respect and connection to the land thanks to their family’s passion for farming, fishing, bee keeping, and gardening. Their commitment to community resiliency and environmental protection is their guiding force for ongoing work with HEAL. Marlene earned their B.A. in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior from the University of Washington. They are based out of Washington, D.C., occupied Piscataway territory.