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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Read the USBC's Diversity Values Statement

USBC CRASH Committee & Transformation Teams

In August 2013, the USBC Board of Directors formed the CRASH Committee to enhance USBC governance, membership, personnel, and coalitions' ability to build structures, systems, and a culture of inclusiveness and mutual support for all peoples. The committee's name comes from the name of a cultural competency training program for medical professionals. "CRASH" is a mnemonic for the following essential components of culturally competent health care: consider Culture, show Respect, Assess/Affirm differences, show Sensitivity and Self-awareness, and do it all with Humility.

The CRASH Committee has developed a set of recommendations for the USBC in each of its four areas, and is serving as the driver of cultural change within the organization by forging national-level dialogue with an emphasis towards action on diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is working in Transformation Teams to prioritize and implement policy and structural changes in each of its four domains: governance/leadership, membership, staff/personnel, and coalitions.

Racial Equity Webinars

The United States Breastfeeding Committee hosts this series of bi-monthly webinars as part of its efforts to "create and model a culture of inclusion, diversity & equity" (USBC Strategic Framework Goal 4). With funding support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this series will focus on building the capacity of the breastfeeding field to apply both an "equity lens" to inform and guide our external strategies and activities, but also an "equity mirror" to examine our internal structures, culture, and policies. Webinars are held every two months (in odd numbered months) on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. 

Access Info

Access to these webinars is open to all in the USBC network of member and partner organizations and breastfeeding coalitions. Topic/speaker details are posted 1-2 weeks before each session on this page and in the Racial Equity Learning Community. The recordings and presentation materials from all past sessions are archived below.

Register for the webinar series

NOTE: To streamline access, these webinars are set up in GotoWebinar as a series. You only need to register for the series once, and you will then receive auto-reminders of each session with the topic/speaker details. Even though you may not be able to attend every webinar session live, the series registration will still send you auto-reminders so that you have easy updates on the topic and links to the live webinar and archives.

Join the Racial Equity Online Learning Community

Next Webinar

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 • 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET

Important Links:

Previous Webinars

The Big Letdown: How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 

Important Links:

Presented by: 

Kimberly Seals Allers
Author, Advocate and Award Winning Journalist

This webinar will celebrate the release of Kimberly Seals Allers' much awaited book, The Big Letdown: How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding. Ms. Seals Allers will weave together passages from the book, and include timely commentary from her reporting and writing of it. Revealing new themes, she will discuss how unsavory alliances between the medical and scientific fields, combined with federal policies and major forces of structural gaps, capitalist interests, feminist ideology, and rapid industrialization of our food system, relentlessly undermine women in their infant feeding decision making. Ms. Seals Allers will examine the critical undercurrents that need to be considered when advancing and building community and structural support for breastfeeding. Drawing on current events and her research, Ms. Seals Allers will share concrete action steps to disrupt the letdown that sabotages women's choices.

The Power of WE: Serving Our Diverse Communities

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Important Links:

Presented by: 
Juana Bordas
Author, Salsa, Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age

Get ready to embrace diversity as an opportunity to grow, be proactive, and become a more effective leader. We will celebrate our personal heritage and then expand our ability to honor the traditions of other cultures. During this session, author Juana Bordas will discuss her award-winning book, and invite participants to be an integral part of our multicultural future and to join in the dance of our diverse communities. She will share leadership practices from communities of color that center on the common good, collaboration, and social responsibility - leadership that fosters people’s capacity and builds community. 

By harnessing the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, we demonstrate our interconnectedness, the ancient connections between mother and child, and the power of strong, resilient communities. Our future well-being rests on the Power of WE – on our ability to support each other and work together. This webinar will motivate people and to continue serving and leading our diverse communities.

What's Stress Got To Do With It?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Important Links:

Presented by: 
Denese Shervington, MD, MPH
CEO / President, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies

This presentation will explore:

  1. How inequities contribute to toxic stress in mothers
  2. The positive impact of breastfeeding on mothers and baby in reducing stress and improving resiliency
  3. Mechanisms to mitigate breastfeeding inequities using a compassionate social justice lens

Note: July 26 webinar session cancelled; read notice.


Societal Equity: A Fresh Look at Creating Effective Strategies

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 

Important Links:

Presented by: 
Pauline E. Brooks, PhD
Owner, Pauline E. Brooks Consulting, LLC 

This presentation introduces strategies that individuals and organizations can use to better inform their thinking about societal problems, including equity/inequity. The strategies consider varied and often-omitted factors such as the influences of context, culture, point of viewing, resistance, history, power and other significant variables. Creating and accessing a relevant and better-informed knowledge base as a result of using some of these strategies increases the overall quality of conceptualizing, decision-making and implementation toward the advancement of societal equity and justice. 


Building Cultural Safety into Lactation Care

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Important Links:

Presented by: 
Sherry L. Payne, Executive Director, Uzazi Villiage 

Cultural Safety is a concept that comes from the Maori of New Zealand. It is the idea that only a people themselves can define what is culturally appropriate care for them. This concept applies aptly to African Americans who suffer from ongoing racially-based perinatal health inequities including in the area of breastfeeding promotion and support. This webinar will explore what culturally safe care in lactation looks like for African Americans. 


Breastfeeding Moms' Voices Across America: A Conversation

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Important Links:

Presented by:

Ashley Brown, Nayeli Gomez-Burns & Jayme Paddock

This session will return to the traditional webinar format, with a panel of speakers—one African-American, one Latina, and one Native American mom—who will share their breastfeeding journeys. Hear how their prenatal and birth experiences shaped their early breastfeeding decisions. Listen to the unvarnished reality as they share what their experiences were like with their families, communities, health care providers, employers, and child care providers. Attendees will learn what the panelists found helpful and what would have been helpful to them as they navigated their brand new worlds as mothers. Join us to participate in a critical conversation about co-creating breastfeeding supportive environments for all families.


From Analysis to Action

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Important Links:

In September, the Center for Social Inclusion kicked off this new webinar series with a presentation of the highlights of their recently launched report, Removing Barriers to Breastfeeding: A Structural Race Analysis of First Food. This session built on September’s topic, to focus on sharing examples of Policy/Practice Recommendations highlighted in the report’s three sections: Medical Infrastructure, Workplace Policies, and Community Support. Attendees participated in small group breakout discussions to explore together actions that could be taken in states or communities to address racial inequity in breastfeeding.


Removing Barriers to Breastfeeding: A Structural Race Analysis of First Food

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Important Links:

Presented by:

Jessica Kang, Senior Research Scientist & Tahirah Cook, Project Coordinator
Center for Social Inclusion

The Center for Social Inclusion will help kick off this new series with a presentation of the highlights of their recently launched report, Removing Barriers to Breastfeeding: A Structural Race Analysis of First Food. This report outlines the barriers to breastfeeding that communities of color face, as well as recommended policies and practices to address racial inequity in breastfeeding. Hear how this foundational analysis provides a baseline to think more deeply about structural barriers during pregnancy, at the hospital, and in the first weeks and months at home after the baby is born—including access to Baby-Friendly hospitals and lactation support providers. Learn how to apply structural race analysis to close gaps and take collective action to ensure that all women have the choice to breastfeed and every baby has the chance for a healthy start.

Archived Events

Special Webinar: Structural Racial Equity: An Introduction

The USBC has committed to taking on racial equity as a core issue, to identify and lift up opportunities for racial equity analysis capacity building. To that end, the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) facilitated an overview webinar on November 12, 2014, which outlined the basics of a structural racial equity approach. CSI is a policy strategy organization that identifies the causes of inequity and works with local community-based and national policy advocacy organizations to co-develop solutions that promote equity and fairness. On this webinar, CSI shared their racial equity analysis and strategies that create structural inclusion for people of all races and incomes.


A Conversation on Breastfeeding & Ferguson, facilitated by the Center for Social Inclusion

On December 16, 2014, USBC member organization representatives were invited to join a conversation about breastfeeding and Ferguson. Attendees talked in small, facilitated "virtual breakout groups" and explored their reactions, lifting up connections between the tragic events in Ferguson and the work that must be done in breastfeeding.

Attendees were encouraged to view the recording of the 11/12 webinar, Structural Racial Equity: An Introduction (see archive above), and to review the following two articles: