The AHG Award for Notable Work Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Justice in Herbalism

The AHG Award for Notable Work Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Justice in Herbalism is an annual award from the American Herbalists Guild to recognize outstanding accomplishments in herbal medicine that address health care needs, and strengthen herbal traditions, heritage, and wisdom within diverse communities.  Above all, this award recognizes communities speaking with their own voices and on their own behalf.

Nominations are now being accepted for 2018. Read more here.

Appropriate candidates for the award are making outstanding and ongoing contributions in one or more of the following areas:

● Community-rooted initiatives that support the practice of herbalism within historically marginalized or oppressed  groups, including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, diverse physical and psychological capabilities, or any under-represented cultural or religious groups.

● Actively serving, empowering, and otherwise building the capacity of marginalized and oppressed groups as described above, including offering clinical services and honoring the traditions and skills of these groups.

● Increasing  individual and collective awareness of the wisdom, skills, and traditions contributed by historically marginalized and oppressed groups to the practice of herbalism.

About the 2017 Award Winner: 

Atava Garcia Swiecicki, MA, RH (AHG) and Ancestral Apothecary

The AHG Award in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion went to Atava Garcia Swiecicki, MA, RH (AHG) and Ancestral Apothecary.  Atava is inspired by the healing traditions of her Mexican, Polish, Navajo and Hungarian ancestors.  She is an herbalist, healer, and teacher who received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and graduate degree in Indigenous Mind from Naropa University.  She has been studying and practicing the healing arts since 1992 and has been trained in acupressure, Jin Shin Jyutsu®, herbal medicine and curanderismo.  Atava has been mentored by western herbalists, Mexican curanderas and traditional indigenous healers. 

Atava is dedicated to honoring and keeping alive folk and indigenous healing traditions.  She has researched extensively the indigenous healing traditions of both her Mexican ancestors as well as her Polish Slavic ancestors.  Her clinical practice includes herbal medicine, flower essences, dream work, curanderismo and deep genealogy coaching.  She founded Ancestral Apothecary School of Herbal, Folk and Indigenous Medicine and also produces a hand-crafted herbal product line.   She is also a core member of the Healing Clinic Collective, which has been offering free clinics to underserved populations in the Bay Area since 2013.  Her website is:

Ancestral Apothecary is a school in Oakland, California dedicated to herbal, folk and indigenous medicine.   We are committed to creating a multi-cultural learning community for the study of herbal medicine which honors the diverse cultural traditions in the Bay Area.

We have been offering short term classes on herbalism and curanderismo for over ten years.  In 2016 we launched Cecemmana, a nine-month training program in herbal medicine.  Cecemmana is a Nahuatl (indigenous language of Mexico) word that means to sprinkle and sow seeds on the earth.  Cecemmana is dedicated to planting seeds in our diverse Bay Area communities for future herbalists.  We are dedicated to cultivating diversity of both students and teachers at our school.  Our website is:

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