Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
Ongoing Salons

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Salon #19 - August 28, 2021

August 28, 2021 - 4:00PM-6:00PM GMT / 11:00AM-1:00PM US CT

Starhawk and Wanda Stewart

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Presentation title: The Gift of Permaculture


“Permaculture is a system of ecological design that works with nature to meet human needs while regenerating the environment around us. It’s about designing interactive systems where energy cycles, based on reciprocity and nature’s inherent generosity. Starhawk and Wanda will share some of the ethics, principles and practices that guide their work. Permaculture also offers solutions to climate change, which we can see as massive ecosystem degradation—by providing tools for regenerating land and community in both rural and urban environments.

Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher, and a prominent voice in modern earth-based spirituality and ecofeminism. She is the author or co-author of thirteen books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess and the ecotopian novel The Fifth Sacred Thing, and its sequel City of Refuge.

Starhawk teaches permaculture through Earth Activist Training, with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism.

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Wanda Stewart

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. She 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 (ED) of Common Vision – a non-profit organizing school orchards and gardens as places of scholarship, health and equity. As the last ED 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 she 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.

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