Jalal grew up in Greenburgh, New York. He led the Black Student Union at Purchase College, SUNY and organized students to distribute clothes and food to homeless people in NYC. As part of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), Jalal co-created the Potential 2 Power project in East New York, Brooklyn, where he taught young people gardening, cooking, nutrition and know-your-rights skills.
In 2011 at South Bronx’s Wassaic Community Farm, Jalal started growing produce to sell at farmers markets. He also ran a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and a gleaning project. While at Wassaic, Jalal co-founded the Freedom Food Alliance, VROOM Cooperative and the Victory Bus Project.
The Freedom Food Alliance is a collective of small rural and urban farmers, activists, artists, community folks and political prisoners who use food as an organizing tool. Based at a farm in Millerton, New York, they offer opportunities to minority groups inordinately impacted by systemic mass incarceration.
The VROOM Cooperative and Victory Bus Project connect urban and rural communities and support families of prisoners while transporting them to visit family members in prison in the Hudson Valley. Each passenger receives political education and a box of farm fresh food.
Jalal continues the work of the Alliance, while also having co-founded the Sweet Freedom Farm in Germantown, New York, where he conducts farm education, a maple syrup operation and is helping to build the Farms Not Prisons movement.