Tambra Raye Stevenson
Tambra Raye Stevenson

Tambra Raye Stevenson, M.P.H., M.A.

Title: Contributing Writer

Location: Washington, D.C.

Education: B.S. in Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University
M.P.H. in Health Communication, Tufts University School of Medicine
M.A. in Media, Technology and Democracy, American University School of Communication

Expertise: African diaspora cuisine, nutrition security, women food leadership, food policy, food equity
- Invited to the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in 2022
- Gave a TEDx talk on how women are reclaiming their food as medicine

Experience

Tambra Raye Stevenson is an award-winning nutrition advocate, author and food policymaker. With a flair for African fabrics, food traditions and travel, Tambra has set her culinary destination to the motherland in reclaiming her heritage through food. She enjoys sharing the gastronomic and cultural contributions of women and the food from the African diaspora. Tambra has devoted her career to championing an inclusive food system and preserving the nutrition and food of the African diaspora. She has given many talks on African nutrition, food as medicine, Black women in the food system, and food equity in the U.S., Europe and Africa, including the World Food Prize, Food Tank Summit, U.S. Library of Congress and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, African Union, Uppsala University in Sweden, Cape Coast Medical School in Ghana, Hawassa University in Ethiopia, and Kano Teaching Hospital in Nigeria.

Tambra is the founder of WANDA, Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture, a pipeline and platform for women and girls as "food sheroes" in Africa and the diaspora to lead in building better food systems for healthier communities. As a champion for foods of the African diaspora for health and identity, Tambra is also the founder of NATIVSOL Kitchen, which provides Pan-African nutrition education.

She is passionate about expanding access to healthy food and nutrition services and serves on several committees and boards working toward comprehensive nutrition policy reform. The Agriculture Secretary appointed her to serve on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. Washington, D.C.'s mayor appointed her to the D.C. Food Policy Council, co-chairing the nutrition and health working group. She also serves on the National Food Museum's Advisory Board. She co-chairs the Nutrition Security working group for the Tufts Food and Nutrition Innovation Council and serves on the Food as Medicine Advisory Board for the Milken Institute.

Tambra's leadership in advocating for nutrition and health equity resulted in her being named the 2021 Science Defender by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 2021 Changemaker by Clean Eating Magazine, 2022 Black Women in Food by Dine Diaspora, 2020 Changemaker in the Food System by Washington City Paper, Nutrition Hero by Food and Nutrition Magazine, Community Hero Award by NBC4, Women's Environmental Leadership Fellow by Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, and the 2017 NAACP Dr. William Montague Cobb Award recipient for food justice and health advocacy.

Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR's All Things Considered, Forbes, Food Tank, Food & Beverage Insider, U.S. News & World Report, Clean Eating, Healthline, Cuisine Noir, Discovery Education, NBC Nightly News, NBC4, National Geographic Traveler, Black Enterprise, The Tavis Smiley Show, HuffPost, The Oklahoman and Voice of America. She also has served as a contributor to U.S. News Consumer Health. Also, she was featured in the recent award-winning "Food for the People" exhibit curated by the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. She has curated African food programming at the National Geographic Museum's Global Kitchen exhibit.

Tambra serves as the first-ever regional representative to North America for the African Nutrition Society to advance African nutrition in the diaspora. As a 2014 National Geographic Traveler of the Year, she has traveled across Africa learning about her African food roots as medicine, starting with her Fulani roots in northern Nigeria. She is a member of the Les Dames d'Escoffier Washington, D.C. regional chapter.
We've been conditioned to think that traditional Black food is not nutritious, but that couldn't be further from the truth. History and food are a source of empowerment to change the narrative regarding nutrition and health across the African diaspora.
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