Vanessa Chakour is an author, visual artist, naturalist, herbalist, former pro-boxer and environmentalist. A fierce advocate of the land, she creates land-based education programs to inspire ecological awareness — from medicinal plant walks in the urban wild to partnerships with the Wolf Conservation Center in New York, The Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica, and Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands. Her teaching and work experience spans herbalism, competitive boxing, nature connection, writing, meditation instruction and visual art. Practices that have helped her heal, peel back layers of conditioning and connect more deeply with her animal nature. Vanessa has been curating and facilitating rewilding retreats, workshops, and classes for over a decade.
Vanessa’s writing and work have been featured in Spirituality & Health, Town Hall Seattle, The Journal of Medicinal Plant Conservation, Aligned Magazine, Ravenous Zine, Culture Trip, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin and more. As a consultant and life-long activist, she has created events & non-profit initiatives on behalf of luminaries such as The Dalai Lama and Hip Hop Legend, KRS One. Vanessa has shared her work as an inspirational speaker at the United Nations, Brown University, the Muhammad Ali Center, and Harvard University, and is on the external advisory committee of the Program For Evolution of Spirituality (PES) at Harvard Divinity School.
Her book, Awakening Artemis: Deepening Intimacy with The Living Earth and Reclaiming Our Wild Nature was recently published by Penguin Life in the US and UK, and Ullstein Press in Germany. She is working on a new book, Earthly Bodies: Embracing Our Animal Nature that will be published by Penguin Life in 2024. She lives with her partner in Western Massachusetts where they are co-stewards of Mount Owen Forest Sanctuary.