I AM WANDA: A New Generation of Food Sheros

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Do you run a small business, or have dreams to start one? Each week on The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, we discuss tidbits of knowledge around starting and running a small business with a food and beverage lens. Kim Bryden sits down with guest experts and shares trending new topics on food, business and culture to help best prepare you for your business journey. 

EPISODE 22: A NEW GENERATION OF FOOD SHEROS

A FEW QUOTES

  • Tambra Raye Stevenson is the founder and CEO of WANDA: Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics, and Agriculture, an organization inspiring a new generation of women and girls to become ‘food sheroes’ in Africa and Diaspora.

  • "Globally the state of opportunities for women and girls of African descent in agriculture and nutrition is dismal at best — as a consumer and change-maker. WANDA works to change the next chapter of this story through our innovative educational programs, advocacy and policy and much-needed promotion for women and girls making an impact from farm to fork."

  • We wanted to see imagery and narrative that is not on the forefront to motivate women and girls - to see themselves in dynamic ways, in which they can be and historically have been. Putting them in positions of power. 

  • That food shero story, for me, is multiple layers. My daughter Ruby had a cavity at age 4 [...] the teacher using junk food as rewards. 

  • You don't have to wait to create the change that you want to see. How can a 5 year old advocate and create the change?

  • We know the big companies see youth as a prime market, as brand ambassadors. 

  • Your micro-actions matter - down to rewarding someone with Swedish Fish (or whatever candy) instead of another, more healthy product.

  • How do we create imagery like the Beyoncé of nutrition? What about for Blue Ivy's generation? That is Little Wanda.

  • The local food economies [in Africa] already put women in positions of power. 

  • You are a creator. You are a producer. But with the community, with the resources, that can change. [...] We don't need more diabetic dessert companies, but we do need healthier snacks and food options.

  • There's something within us that keeps biting at us until we complete it - and that is our soul completion project. It really is a culmination of the spirits aligning. 

  • Using edutainment to create a powerful message [...] our audience, 5 year olds and up, there's a focus on literacy and how can parents, teachers use our products to teach young girls to be food sheros.

  • BFF - Best Foodie Friends

  • For millet to grow in northern Nigeria, it is very arid - desert-like. It takes a strong millet to grow there - it is a strong food, for a strong people. Eating it, it is in your DNA.

  • Food is a great way to bridge cross-cultural communications - we need more global citizens.

  • WANDA was an extension of NativSol Kitchen - to have women and girls realize they're a part of a bigger movement. WANDA is a network to bring us together, but to bring girls to the table and learn how to create and sell their products. Perhaps they're creating products around the characters that we have. 

  • Kid entrepreneurs - giving them a platform and space for them to use the framework/mission of WANDA.
     

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Kim Brydentidbit