U.S. Accelerator Program Designer + Wisdom Keeper
Oakland, California, USA
Affiliations & Roles
Pandora Thomas has served on WEA’s Leadership Board since its inception and was a Global Peer for WEA’s Women and Water Training in Ghana in 2010. Pandora has played an instrumental role in shaping WEA’s curriculum, practices, and programs and now co-leads the U.S. Grassroots Accelerator for Women Environmental Leaders.
Pandora is a passionate global citizen who works as a caregiver, teacher, writer, designer and speaker. Her work emphasizes the benefits of applying ecological principles to social design. As a presenter both domestically and internationally, she has given keynotes and lectures on topics ranging from designing mutually beneficially diversity strategies, collaborative design, social justice, youth and women's leadership, social entrepreneurship, permaculture and sustainability. She has designed curriculum for and taught groups all over the world as diverse as Iraqi and Indonesian youth to men serving in San Quentin to people returning home from incarceration.
Pandora's most recent passions include being a carepartner for her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimers, co-founding the Black Permaculture Network, working for 6 years with Toyota to design and serving as a coalition member of the Toyota Green Initiative, which supported African Americans in understanding the benefits of adopting sustainable lifestyles; co-designing, teaching with and directing Pathways to Resilience—a permaculture and social entrepreneur training program that worked with men and women returning home after incarceration, and working with the Urban Permaculture Institute in Marin City supporting a People’s Planning Process, which supports community members to assess and design strategies for their own resilience.
Pandora is a fellow for Movement Strategy Centers National Association of Climate Resiliency Planners, where she focuses on supporting Community Driven Resiliency Planning.
Thomas has studied four languages and lived and worked in over twelve countries and her other achievements include being featured in the films The Future of Energy and Inhabit, presenting at Tedx Denver and SF, and being awarded internships and fellowships to the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, Green For All, the Bronx Zoo and the Applied Research Center.
Her writing includes a children’s book, various curricula and a manual entitled "Shades of Green" for individuals wanting to teach green building to youth. Pandora studied at Columbia and Tufts University and with several permaculture and ecological design programs.
When she is not working you can find her spending time with her beloved mother and cats or in the redwoods.