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WANDA Pushes for Representation at the White House Conference

SIgn the Petition for the Food Bill of Rights

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One of the most central challenges in tackling food insecurity and diet-related diseases, which are both goals of the forthcoming White House conference, is addressing deep and persistent racial disparities. It’s a theme that’s coming up again and again as I’m sifting through the comments you all have sent me (keep them coming, by the way). To dig deeper into these concerns, Food Fix recently caught up with Tambra Raye Stevenson, founder and CEO of Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture, known as WANDA, about her work to elevate equity and representation in the run-up to the food summit.

“I’m a history buff, so I’m very much aware of the history of the White House conference,” Stevenson said. “I am super mindful of that time around 1969 – of who has had a seat at the table and who has not. How has that shaped our policy over the past 50 years? And which communities were most impacted because they did not have a seat at the table of food democracy?”

WANDA has recently been hosting “kitchen table” conversations about how to change food policy across the country, from LA to Boston to DC to Oklahoma City and Dallas, she said. This input also helped inform the group’s report to the White House.

“It really is an opportunity to say ‘no more’ to being hidden figures in the food system, as Black women and women of color,” Stevenson said. “If we were actually leading this agenda, how would it be shaped differently?”

About: WANDA’s mission is focused on “reaching, teaching, and advocating for women and girls of African descent in the nutrition, dietetics, and agricultural space.” More on WANDA here.

Written by Helena Bottemiller Evich of Food Fix

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