Frameworks & Approaches

MILPA uses healing-informed, relationship-centered approaches that incubate next-generation leadership while re-thinking accountability and striving for racial justice to end mass incarceration.

MILPA Frameworks and Approaches:

  • Are culturally relevant, asset-oriented, strength-based, and solution-focused.
  • Use storytelling and popular education modalities to spread and scale our learning, healing, workshops, and leadership capacity building to unpack and unlearn harmful narratives and behaviors.
  • Are interpersonal and challenge dominant white normative paradigms of collaboration, partnership, alliedship and success.
  • Centers our joy, health, values, and liberation while pursuing reparations and reconciliation.
  • Build kinship, providing cultural healing, and creating opportunities for social, emotional wellness.

Our Philosophy

MILPA is derived from the Uto-Aztecan Nahuatl word “milli” and is an agricultural process that describes the Las Tres Hermanas (3 sisters) planting system. Traditionally, the sisters were corn, beans, and squash, yet they are interchangeable with various other vegetables and fruits. The three crops grow interdependently to support each other. We at MILPA metaphorically use that process to create a working philosophy rooted in anti-colonial and anti-racist ideology. At MILPA, Las Tres Hermanas is metaphorically referenced as culture, consciousness, and movement building. Our philosophy also integrates:

  • A sacred bond of Palabra which allows us to evolve interpersonally and  collectively through an interconnected analysis of Faith, Hope, Love, and Charity
  • A values-based framework grounded in indigenous thought, narrative, and symbolism.
  • An on-going analysis of how the intersection of race, power, economics, and whiteness negatively impact communities of color.
  • An appreciation to the ancestors and elders who came before us, whose cultural healing practices to this day root us in love.


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