Wanda Stewart is an African American urban farmer, educator and comrade to many in the movement to teach and inspire others to grow themselves, their food and their communities.
Wanda believes that cultivating food and medicine, maintaining a healthy being, and living cooperatively are essential skills for our collective survival. To support that learning, growth and healing, she revisits our shared history and trauma, reframing and reclaiming cultural knowledge and heritage while tending the land.
Wanda owns and nurtures Obsidian Farm, her home in Berkeley, CA. With an edible landscaping featuring perennials, fruit trees, chickens, and annual crops, it is a community hub and prototype for what’s possible in an urban environment. Her resume follows an arc that bridges cultures – ethnic, academic, economic, and environmental.
From public school administration to elite private school admissions, community engagement to program development, classroom to garden, Wanda knows how school communities work and gardens grow. She is the current executive director of Common Vision – a nonprofit that organizes school orchards and gardens as places of scholarship, health and equity.
As the last executive director of People’s Grocery, she learned lessons about harnessing the ability of food to ignite social change and justice. However, Wanda is most proud of her work installing the Hoover Hawks’ Victory Garden with elementary school students in West Oakland. It lives as a stellar example of the potential for nature to inspire individual, cultural and environmental transformation through earth stewardship.
As a certified permaculture designer, community master gardener, and garden/life educator, what Wanda specializes in and values most is garden-centered wellness and courageous conversations about race and our environment.
Today, Wanda aspires to be a model catalyst in the new world blooming. She knows in her heart – most especially now – that we must all “grow the power,” together.