The SNEB Annual Conference is the premier event for nutrition education professionals from around the world. Attendees have the opportunity to interface with influential nutritionists from extension, public health, government, academia, industry, and community settings. Throughout the conference, attendees will be able to experience education sessions featuring the latest information on dietary guidelines, educational strategies, nutrition policy, technology advances, and wellness initiatives with a focus on putting research into practice.
Our world is in a period of rapid change and many are feeling a sense of urgency, given the ongoing trauma of racial injustice, economic and political upheaval, global pandemic and more frequent, severe climate changes. With increasingly unsustainable systems, burdens are compounded and experienced disproportionately by people of color, indigenous people, and those who are low-income.
Nutrition educators are at the nexus, as the primary educators about food, nutrition and diet to achieve both public and planetary health. Our vision is that people are empowered through our efforts. Structural racism disempowers people and communities, including our professional community, resulting in diminished community capacity and compromised personal well-being. Farmers and fishers securing our food and workers harvesting, processing the factory chickens, transporting food and stocking grocery shelves are essential but vulnerable and often invisible. We recognize our mutual reliance, for the workers that nutrition educators support in social safety net programs are also the same workers that SNEB members rely on for their own basic needs-food, healthcare, security, utilities, etc. As we adapt and innovate to gain resilience, we are called to examine our profession and our communities for practices that have disempowered people, supported injustice or mistrust, even unwittingly, and rectify these.
This year, SNEB is dedicated to learning, acknowledging and acting to dismantle racism. As we rely on others, we must be reliable in welcoming and supporting educators in all communities, without racist barriers. Beginning at the individual level and extending into SNEB, workplaces and community, we hope to identify specific areas for change and take action. Focused efforts may include reexamining programs to understand the barriers for full participation, recognizing the colonization within research methods, or supporting policies that specifically address racism in areas that impact public health and our food system. Developing effective assessments for improved racial equity will be needed.
The content of our nutrition education programs matters more now than ever before. While certain food characteristics are familiar – nutrient content, ingredients, and cost – others are not, such as imbedded water and energy, impact of production, processing and transportation on air, soil and water quality, biodiversity loss, contributions to climate change, and type and extent of corporate power.
To guide systemic changes currently underway toward equity, food security and sovereignty, food justice and ecological sustainability, it is essential that considering these qualities become the foundation of nutrition education. These qualities acknowledge our ecological impact of the education we promote and demonstrate our leadership as good stewards of the Earth. Questions to consider in this transition include:
Advancing Practice: How, where and from whom will the next generation learn about food, from culture to nutrition, from cooking to eating that ensures both public and planetary health?
Advancing Policy: How we will move toward economic security that ensures food security — with a variety of adequate and culturally sensitive food — as a right with government food safety net programs serving as the foundation, and emergency food to appropriately fill in the gaps? Can we demonstrate food security and planetary health are not contradictory?
Advancing Research: How do we increase strategic investment in nutrition education that focuses on addressing health disparities, systemic racism, and sustainable food systems as the core of improving public health?
Can the planet and people rely on us so we can survive and thrive together? John Lewis described this next year best, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” What good, necessary trouble will we get into this year?
SNEB 2022 Annual Conference - Atlanta, GA - July 29 - August 1, 2022
SNEB 2023 Annual Conference - Washington, DC - July 19 - July 23, 2023