“America’s Trusted Partner for African Giving”
Featured in Forbes, Tambra Raye Stevenson is the founder/CEO of WANDA: Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics and Agriculture inspiring a new generation of women and girls to become 'food sheroes' in Africa and Diaspora. As a mom and nutritionist, she is on a mission to inspire girls like her daughter Ruby to become healthy eaters, readers and leaders with” Where’s WANDA?” a bilingual book series introducing Little WANDA, the first girl character from the Diaspora promoting nutrition, who travels across Africa finding the foods to heal her community with the help of female farmers. In 2016 she was named a Champion for children’s wellbeing by ASHOKA and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Building a 'sisterhood of the soil,' Tambra believes more women and girls deserve a pipeline and platform to educate, advocate, innovate and celebrate their diverse representation and leadership in the food system. As a former Future Farmers of America card-carrying member, Tambra’s roots in agriculture and nutrition were planted as fourth-generation Oklahoman. There her family still owns land, livestock and competes in rodeos. As an African Diasporan who traced her heritage back home to the Fulani people in Nigeria and Niger, she is committed to Africa's future and has served as mentor and reviewer in the Young African Leaders Initiative's Mandela Washington Fellowship, a program of the U.S. Department of State. Appointed by Mayor Bowser to the D.C. Food Policy Council, Tambra’s work has been highlighted by the Washington Post, Technical.ly, Voice of America, Food Tank, and National Geographic Traveler Magazine. She is a member of the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is a contributing writer to the highly acclaimed book: "Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South." In June 2018 she co-authored a research publication with colleagues from Johns Hopkin University and George Washington University in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics examining caregivers navigating “food desserts” to feed children. Named as Top 50 Women in Tech to Watch for 2018 by Innov8tiv, she has spoken on role of edutainment and ICT to promote African food ways and role of women and girls at Women Who Tech Summit, Georgetown University's Africa Business Conference, UN Commission on the Status for Women’s NGO Forum, U.S. Library of Congress, African Union, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the World Bank. She has given traveled and given remarks in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Sweden on childhood obesity, nutrition related-NCDs and role of Western foods on African diet and health.
In 2017 she was awarded the Dr. William Montague Cobb award for health advocacy and food justice at the 2017 NAACP National Convention, Tambra serves as the Health Committee Chair for the NAACP DC Branch where she kicked off a 12-month “Health is the New Wealth” program for women and girls to improve their life through gardening, yoga, meditation, juicing, fitness and overall lifestyle improvement. More than 400 participants from Maryland and DC have registered to join the program and 75 women attended the orientation in Washington, DC.
In Boston, Tambra spent her time assisting the Boston Black Women’s Health Institute in crafting campaigns to support women and girls of African descent with their signature sister circles. Fast forward 10 years later she made a pledge as part of a young leader delegation to the African Union in Ethiopia to make an impact in her sector around youth development and employment in keeping with the AU 2063 Agenda. These transformative experiences would plant the seeds in creating WANDA. The Boren National Security Education scholar holds degree in nutrition and public health from Tufts Medical School and Oklahoma State University. She formerly held posts in the US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Commerce. She currently resides in Washington, DC when not traveling. Bringing her federal experience from HHS and Commerce, she helped to set the agenda on women’s health and economic empowerment. She secured federal funding for the first-ever Washington Women and Girls Wellness Conference with 250 leaders to set an agenda to improve the health of 50% of our residents. She also led the development of the first Young Women’s Advisory Committee to support the D.C. Commission for Women. In addition she holds certificates in social marketing and global health communication from New York University-World Health Organization and University of South Florida School of Public Health. Learn more at tambraraye.com.