2018 AGM and Board of Directors

This past Sunday, June 24th, 2018 BACE held its Annual General Meeting.

I'd like to give a huge thanks to Kirsten Goa for being our guest speaker. Kirsten was one of the original BACE members and was a fantastic spokesperson for several years from her position on the Board. She is well known for her community engagement work with the City of Edmonton. Kirsten always finds time to assist other interest groups that she is passionate about with their city council and city administration advocacy, public awareness, and community capacity building. We look forward to continuing to work with Kirsten in the near future.

I'd like to congratulate the 2018-2019 Board members who are continuing to serve and returning to roles they have had to leave in the past. 

President: Krystina Langston
Vice President: Tracy Simpson Bradley
Treasurer: Pearl Dell
Past President: Jodine Chase
Membership and Volunteer Director: Holly Peng
Advocacy Director: Nadia Houle
Director-at-large: Dima Nair

There are some formal positions on the board that remain vacant, notably Secretary and Communications Director. No experience is necessary to take on one of our board positions. All we need from you is time to have monthly meetings (quarterly board meetings and committee/working meetings in between), passion for breastfeeding/chestfeeding normalization, and the ability to learn and keep an open mind. Please email me at BreastfeedingFriendlyEdmonton@gmail.com to chat, through Social Media (FB / Twitter), or connect here on the website. And we always are looking for volunteers who need not make the same monthly meeting commitment (although you are always more than welcome!), but rather assist for individual events for a few hours prior and/or the day of. 

To wrap up this update, I'll post my President's Report/Year-in-review summary that I shared at the AGM. I look forward to another busy year and furthering BACE's work in the community.

Hi again everyone! I am Krystina Langston, current president of BACE. I've been in the board of BACE for four years now, since my youngest was about 6 months old. I had heard of them in online mom groups whenever anyone complained of an incident while breastfeeding out and about. I was particularly intrigued by one such story in the media where a mom was discriminated against at a Superstore at the financial kiosk - I realized I worked with the mom for many years in the past. That really made it clear to me that if these issues still occur to strong, confident women, what about the timid, the anxious, the vulnerable parents? I ran into a BACE table at a moms event not long after and soon stepped into the role of Secretary.

The 2017-2018 year mandate was to be one of introspection following the widely successful public awareness poster and billboard campaign launch. The rest of our working year was to settle down with the intention of working on our governance. However in the fall we were advised of an incident in a government office - a children's services one at that! - and was subsequently called upon by a Manager at Community & Social Services to provide training to prevent future incidents. The session went very well for a bunch of newbie facilitators, and thus the training portion of the Breastfeeding Friendly Edmonton initiative was determined to be viable on a continuous basis.

By the conclusion of that first training session, Jodine and I had met with the Assistant Dean of Students, Health & Wellness Services of the University of Alberta and the senior staff at the University Health Centre. The University was working through a family friendly campus policy document and wanted our input on the breastfeeding access side of things. Their Health Centre was to be the pilot location for Breastfeeding Friendly training and work towards our certification. Two sessions on being breastfeeding friendly were held for the health centre staff this spring and innumerable benefits were gained by both sides.

For both the government and university training sessions we charged for our service as income to BACE. Prior to that the only source of income to our organization was membership dues (and membership was unreliable) and the odd, irregular fundraiser or merchandise sale (grant notwithstanding).  Our future goal will be to investigate if this can be turned into a social enterprise whereby our facilitators would be paid for their time. This board, our primary facilitators, are growing in expertise and accreditations rapidly and an honorarium would recognize that expertise and even allow further professional development. I’m pleased to recognize our board has some formally trained lactation peer counselors and professionals. A big congratulations to Holly for attaining League Leader status with La Leche League. And to Nadia for her CLC certification last year and Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor training and certification completed this spring. Great work on those huge milestones! We also have Jodine, an expert on the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and in Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, with experience as a facilitator, trainer, and conference presenter on The Code, ICYF-E, and other maternal and child health advocacy topics.

In addition to promoting our training agenda, I want to see BACE foster a relationship with the City of Edmonton's Child Friendly YEG initiative. And our governance work must continue - taking forth the board's focus group on our mission / vision / values into a formal statement. Plus there is reinstating our formal society status.

-Krystina Langston
President, Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton

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