Renewing the USBC Commitment to Equity as we Seek to Grow the USBC Membership Network
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee hosted its Winter Membership Meeting on Thursday, February 23. The biannual event brings together representatives from the more than 120 member organizations which comprise the USBC and work collaboratively to drive policy and practice changes that create a landscape of breastfeeding support.
At the opening of the meeting, USBC Executive Director, Nikia Sankofa delivered the Mission Moment, reflecting on the organization's ongoing journey to embedding and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our work in the First Food field and emphasizing our renewed commitment to working towards not just DEI but also justice and belonging. Below is an excerpt from Nikia's mission moment.
“DEI is ongoing work that is never-ending and ever-evolving. At the USBC, our practice has been to lead with race, and this remains critical. While continuing to center race, it's essential that we consciously expand our efforts to include other social categorizations, such as class, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, etc., as these are people and communities who also experience systemic discrimination. In our work, we must be especially mindful of fostering an environment with our words, actions, and policies where people and organizations representing groups and communities that have been oppressed, forced to the margins, or made invisible are made to feel safe and welcome, as if they belong. Speaking of belonging, one of my current goals is to expand our DEI efforts by bringing in the elements of justice and belonging."
We are inviting organizations that are implementing policies, programs, or practices that advance the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding and human milk feeding to join the USBC membership.
The membership of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee represents the most unified voice in advocating for breastfeeding-related policy and practice change in the United States.
Joining the USBC membership network provides an organization access to a variety of benefits, including:
Organizations that complete the membership application and onboarding process by Sunday, March 12, at 11:59 p.m. will be entered into a raffle to win one complimentary registration to the June 8-10, 2023 National Breastfeeding Conference and Convening in Bethesda, MD. Additionally, new members are eligible to apply to the Creating Space Scholarship, which awards complimentary membership for 2023. Apply today!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about USBC membership. We look forward to receiving your organization’s application and having you join our national collaborative!
This week the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee sent a package of materials to the offices of every senator and representative to educate them about the state of breastfeeding nationally and in their district, emphasizing the role policymakers play in protecting infant nutrition security, and highlighting the most pressing policy areas in need of attention this congressional session.
We are now calling on individuals to help amplify our call to action by urging their senators and representatives to review these materials and include breastfeeding on their policy agenda.
The Welcome Congress package they received includes:
The 118th congressional session has just begun and policymakers are busy finalizing their policy agendas for the 2023-2024 session. It's extremely important that they hear from constituents about their priorities. Join us by contacting your legislators today!
Last year, the USBC network helped us win important workplace protections for lactation parents. This year we will continue this work to eliminate the barriers to human milk feeding.
Thank you for taking action with us!
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is excited to launch the Creating Space Scholarship. The scholarship supports our efforts to create a vibrant membership network of organizations working at every level of the system and reflecting the needs and diversity of families and communities across the nation.
Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Creating Space Scholarship will allow the USBC to award 100 organizations with complimentary membership for 2023. Awardees that engage in membership meetings or other USBC activities can renew the scholarship for up to five years as funding allows.
The scholarship is open to organizations that meet the following criteria:
CRASH, USBC's equity committee, defines priority populations as people and communities that have been marginalized and oppressed. These groups are more likely to experience systemic inequities related to lactation care and have breastfeeding rates that are disproportionately low, misconstrued, or undocumented. Delivering on our commitment to create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States requires that we center the needs of these groups in our efforts.
Standing by the ethos of Nothing About Us Without Us, we recognize organizations standing for these communities must have seats at the table. The Creating Space Scholarship is an invitation to join us. Membership gives organizations power and say in the initiatives USBC advances for the First Food field. Together, we have the collective strength to drive transformative policy, system, and environmental changes to make breastfeeding/human milk feeding easy and obvious for most families.
To apply for the Creating Space Scholarship, organizations must submit a membership application and indicate their eligibility therein. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as funding allows.
About the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is the most unified voice in advocating for breastfeeding policy and practice change in the U.S. Our membership includes 100+ organizations working collaboratively to drive efforts that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the nation.
The USBC was established in 1998 (incorporated in Florida in 2000) in response to the Innocenti Declaration of 1990. Innocenti calls on every nation to establish a multisectoral breastfeeding committee with representatives from government departments, non-governmental organizations, and health professional associations to coordinate national breastfeeding initiatives.
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