SNEB Demonstrates That Actions Speak Louder Than Words

By Leslie Murphy, FASAE, CAE

Raybourn Group International

The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) is an international community of professionals actively involved in nutrition education and health promotion with a vision of people worldwide empowered by food and nutrition education to change behavior, food systems, and policy. SNEB members work in colleges, universities and schools, government agencies, cooperative extension, in addition to voluntary and service organizations.

Even before the pandemic, SNEB members worked tirelessly in their communities advocating for healthy school meals, food system workers, access to healthy food for low-income families, and related public health issues. Nationally, in 2018 the Society issued a statement denouncing the involuntary separation of immigrant/refugee infants and minor children from their families as this creates harmful impacts on eating attitudes and behaviors. As social unrest gripped the country, the board issued a statement in June – like many organizations did – on addressing racial injustice but they also took the next step. As the statement said, “How can action support these fine words?”

SNEB’s work done to date:
  1. Devoted the July Board meeting to determine a process for committing, as a Board and Society, to learning, reflecting and addressing racial equity.
  2. Held a Dismantling Racism listening session with Society leaders during the 2020 virtual annual conference in July. Over 200 members attended and shared comments such as “Dietetics profession needs to have more diverse professionals being trained.  Positions of influence have many barriers for minority students and professionals,” and “Make sure cultural competencies currently written are reviewed and include how to work with diverse populations in concrete terms.  Biases needs to be uncovered and discussed.”
  3. Began a series of six work sessions in August, led by Joanne Burke and Karen Spiller from the University of New Hampshire, exploring the topics in the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge including pre-session readings and videos. This represents a commitment of over 10 hours on the part of these leader volunteers.
Following this course of discovery, the Board will review the Society’s strategic plan in order to chart a course that is more inclusive and supports individual and organizational commitments to authentic racial equity and food justice.

Founded in the early ‘60s in order to publish the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, SNEB has been a client of Raybourn Group International for over 20 years. The 1,000 member organization is supported by a staff team of five working 2.5 FTE hours.

About Raybourn Group International

One of just 15% of association management companies (AMCs) accredited by the AMC Institute, Raybourn Group International serves local, state, regional, national and international organizations that total more than 60,000 members in 107 countries. RGI is headquartered in Indianapolis, with service locations in the cities of Chicago, Memphis and Houston.
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