2017 Coalitions Convening

The Seventh National Breastfeeding Coalitions Convening will be held August 4-6, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia. The USBC is thrilled to convene this singular event once again, with a continued focus on enhancement of breastfeeding coalitions' capacity to implement The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding through policy and practice change, with an emphasis on racial equity and community engagement.

Note: Due to the uncertainty about and delay in confirmation of the base funding for the 2017 event, as well as planned program changes, there will be no Call for Presentation Proposals or Exhibits this year. Limited Event Marketing Opportunities are available for both nonprofit and commercial institutions.


Download the Preliminary Program

About the 2017 Program

This year the redesigned NBCC program will feature skill-building sessions that interweave theory and practice of equity with coalition capacity building. The program is geared to:

  • support personal equity learning journeys of attendees at varying levels of knowledge, awareness, understanding, and readiness for action;
  • build capacity to apply an equity mirror (to view ourselves and our organizations, examining our internal structures, culture, and policies) to increase coalition effectiveness in governance & leadership, membership, culture, meetings & operations, communication, and funding & sustainability;
  • build capacity to apply an equity lens (to view the world to inform and guide the design of strategies and activities) to increase coalition impact on policy/practice change or program implementation;
  • provide opportunities for peer learning and sharing around application of equity lens and mirror; and
  • translate learning and conceptual frameworks into action and application with tools.

Important: read the 2016 NBCC Post-Conference Attendee Update Memo for additional details…

General event questions? E-mail conference@usbreastfeeding.org

Conference Objectives

  1. Develop leaders with knowledge and skills in coalition building and the formation and management of public health collaborations and partnerships, to address state/local contexts and build the necessary infrastructure for success, including:
    • Refine the skills of experienced coalition leaders and develop the skills of new (or emerging) coalition leaders;
    • Emphasize innovative partnerships and cross-sector collaborations, guided by the framework and five conditions of Collective Impact; and
    • Provide a community platform for intentional practice, including collective seeing, learning, and doing, to maximize effectiveness.
  2. Augment the virtual Learning Collaborative by providing an in-person forum for the sharing and exploration of best practices and lessons learned to enhance impact of coalitions' work to implement the strategies of The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, as a critical bridge between the grassroots (families) and treetops (national stakeholders) via engagement with USBC-affiliated Constellations.
  3. Build coalition capacity and commitment to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion* in breastfeeding support, including skills to apply both an "equity lens" to inform and guide external strategies and activities, and an "equity mirror" to examine internal structures, culture, and policies.
  4. Expand coalition awareness of opportunities to strategically apply national policy developments to the state/local level by building and strengthening working relationships with health departments and other state- or community-level organizations, in order to encourage integration of breastfeeding into other areas of the public health agenda.

Each of these is an essential step in building the capacity of coalitions to successfully increase the incidence, duration, and exclusivity of breastfeeding, thus helping to achieve the Healthy People 2020 national breastfeeding objectives.

*Our definition of diversity includes diversity by position, gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, family status, gender identity, formal education, life experience, religion, communication styles, geographic location, and work-related skill sets and experience. [Reference: USBC Diversity Values Statement]

Our working definition of equity is compiled from the examples of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Center for Social Inclusion, Collective Impact literature, and others. It views equity as three interwoven components: a lens, a mirror, and an outcome.

  • It is a lens through which we view the world to inform and guide the design of our strategies and activities to build a "landscape of breastfeeding support."
  • It is also a mirror through which we view ourselves and our organizations, examining our internal structures, culture, and policies and their impact on how the lens is applied and the outcome achieved.
  • Lastly it is the outcome we seek to achieve, i.e., equity is realized when life outcomes are equal, in a statistical sense, regardless of one’s identities.

Equity work can take the form of actions designed to address historic burdens as well as to remove present day barriers to equal opportunities. It can be accomplished by identifying and eliminating systemic discriminatory policies and practices, but also by transforming structures towards access, justice, self-determination, redistribution, and sharing of power and resources. Above all, it requires an inclusive approach that maximizes engagement of the communities impacted.