Weight Stigma Awareness Week 2015 Week Planning Committee

This year, BEDA enlisted help from community leaders to develop Weight Stigma Awareness Week, from inception to execution. We’re incredibly thankful for their support and expert guidance.  

Without the insight, talent, skills, and TIME these individuals shared, BEDA wouldn’t be able to build the bridges of communication or be a strong ally and fulfill its social justice mission.  

It has been a true pleasure to work with each and every individual and learn more about the intersections of weight stigma within the greater community.

Sincere thanks to the Weight Stigma Awareness 2015 (WSAW 2015) team!


Lizabeth Wesely-Casella, Director of Events & Membership


Meet the Weight Stigma Awareness Week 2015 (WSAW 2015) Planning Committee:


Averill, LindseyLindsey Averill, the producer, co-director and writer of Fattitude is an academic, a writer, an activist, and a film producer who lives in Boca Raton, FL. She completed her MFA in writing from Emerson College and is ABD in the Comparative Studies PhD Program at Florida Atlantic University.  The focus of Lindsey’s work is feminism, fat civil rights, and the representation of fat bodies in popular culture.

Fattitude features the voices of Ricki Lake, Deb Burgard, Andrew Walen, Winne Holzman, Guy Branum, Tess Munster, and many more.  Discussion of Fattitude has been seen in media all over the world, including  xojane, Huffpost Live, NPR, Missy Magazine, News24, ABC, Huffington Post Women, The Dr. Oz Show, and many others.


Sarah Bramblette Sarah Bramblette is member of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Board of Directors and OAC Weight Bias Committee. She also serves as Board Secretary and Ohio Team Leader for the Lymphedema Advocacy Group. Living with Lipedema and Lymphedema, she writes about her life experiences at born2lbfat.com. She uses multiple social media platforms to spread awareness about her conditions and advocate for improved diagnosis, treatment, and insurance coverage. Sarah also shares her story in various media outlets to advocate against weight bias and stigma, specifically in healthcare and the workplace. Her advocacy earned her the honor of being 2014 OAC Member of the Year. She has appeared on the syndicated daytime television show The Doctors, and, in March 2015 she gave a talk at TEDxNSU titled Breaking Bias.


Version 2Jaime Fivecoat is a Pension and Benefits professional with a career at Michelin North America spanning 37 years. For the past 24 years, she has been primarily involved in both DB and DC pension plan administration.  She is currently responsible for Michelin’s DB and DC plan administration and all benefit plans for the unionized populations. Jaime has also worked in Labor Relations, Organization Development and Medical Benefits.  Her expertise is in plan design, plan administration and plan governance.

Jaime has an MBA from Kent State Universityand a BsED from Bowling Green State University. She has done extensive post-graduate work with the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.

Jaime has been an active and passionate advocate for access to care for obesity and related issues, as well as the stigma of obesity. She has participated in numerous “Days on the Hill” in DC, health fares, speaking opportunities for OAC events, World Congress on Obesity, various Business Health Coalitions, and ASMBS state chapter meetings.


Tony HarrellTony Harrell has been involved in the size acceptance movement for the past fifteen years, including running Abundant Travel, a business that focuses on planning vacation experiences for travelers of size. More recently, he has expanded his social media advocacy to support civil rights for people of color and the LGBT community. Tony currently lives with his wife Cathy and their dachshund in the Washington DC area.


Helen PHelen Pak MAEd, RDN, CEDRD, is currently the Director of Nutrition Services at Remuda Ranch at the Meadows. She has been working with patients suffering from all types of eating disorders for over 15 years at every level of care at facilities in California and Arizona. Helen earned her BS in Nutrition and Dietetics at Stanford University before completing a Masters in Education from University of Alabama and her dietary internship at Tulane University.  She has provided medical nutrition therapy across the full continuum of disordered eating. She was a member of the UC Berkeley Eating Disorder Treatment Team and Sports Nutritionist for UC Berkeley Athletics, as well as an instructor at various California colleges. Coming from a diverse background herself, she is respectful of cultural and ethnic uniqueness. Helen is especially dedicated to community outreach to educate others on eating disorder awareness and body size acceptance.


Porter-e1409606085416Rachel Porter, PsyD, began her work with individuals struggle with eating disorders at The Renfrew Center in South Florida as a Counselor while still in graduate school. She did not know it then, but at that point she discovered her passion in life. Since, Rachel has moved through several different roles in eating disorder treatment, and is currently the Clinical Director of Carolina House in Durham, offering RTC & PHP treatment to women aged 17 and up with eating disorders. Rachel learned of the Health at Every Size paradigm in 2011, and has been a passionate supporter of this since that time. Rachel also operates a small private psychotherapy practice in Durham, NC.


Schilling, LeslieLeslie Schilling is a nutrition and wellness expert, a master’s level registered dietitian, nationally recognized speaker, and nutrition therapist. Warm, compassionate, and entertaining, she’s been featured in Women’s Health, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, USNews, and HGTV. She holds the highest US credential for professional sports nutrition and was the sport nutritionist for the 2014-2015 Memphis Grizzlies NBA team. She is also the co-founder of RDs for Body Confidence, a non-diet and healthy body-image initiative for registered dietitians across North America. She owns Schilling Nutrition Therapy, LLC, and YourSupperSolution.com, a premium online dinner menu planning service. When she’s not counseling, cooking, or hanging out with her family, you can find Leslie using her social media channels and speaking platforms to deliver science-based, non-diet lifestyle and wellness messages with a dash of humor. To learn more about Leslie, visit http://www.LeslieSchilling.com/.

We hope you learn from Weight Stigma Awareness Week 2015, too, and share with your communities!