SUGAR FREEDOM PROJECT engages East Oakland communities

communities in dialogue and action about the role of

of sugar in communities of color, and lifts the experiences

experiences and priorities of the most affected in the implementation of the Soda Tax.

most affected in the implementation of the Soda Tax.





East Oakland has the highest diabetes and obesity (“diabesity”) rates in Alameda County. The passage of Measure HH (“Soda Tax”) by Oakland voters during the November 2016 elections can significantly address this epidemic in low-income Black and Brown communities. However, if families most affected by diabesity are not consulted on the most effective ways to reduce the consumption of soda and help address the health impacts of sugar, then the promise of the Soda Tax will not be realized.


Sugar Freedom Project encourages decision-makers to recognize and commit to the priorities promoted by communities most impacted by sugar-sweetened drinks– low income communities of color whose rates of diabetes and obesity can arguably be described as a health epidemic. Following this strategy doesn’t only adhere to the directive and spirit of the Soda Tax Ordinance, i.e. “to prevent or reduce the health consequences …especially of those most affected by health disparities”, but it can also facilitate the empowerment of communities in the process. For communities like East Oakland, the resources that the Soda Tax provide is our best chance to break the historical grip of sugar–from the sugar plantations to the seductive marketing of Big Soda–where residents can choose freedom and a healthier future for their families and communities.


Sugar Freedom Project’s mission is to holistically engage East Oakland communities in empowerment and resiliency, through health and policy education, arts and culture, and grassroots organizing.


Follow us on #sugarfreedomproject and at


A Collaborative Project between the East Oakland Building Healthy Communities, Oakland Food Policy Council, Roots Community Health Clinic, and the Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action (TIGRA), through the generous support of The California Endowment.

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