Exactly four years ago to the day, the first Weight Stigma Conference was held in Birmingham, UK. I was a newbie PhD student, had access to a small amount of uni funding for putting on an event, and thought maybe six people in the UK might be working on weight stigma – I just didn’t know who they were. Despite just three months lead time, nearly 100 people squeezed into a room on the University of Birmingham campus on the day, and the Annual International Weight Stigma Conference was born. Four years later and one of the things I love most about running this conference is constantly being surprised and heartened to find out how many people care about this subject.
The Weight Stigma Conference has gone from strength to strength, attracting researchers and practitioners from many fields from all over the world. We’ve seen alliances made, ideas spawned, and a growing focus on understanding and addressing the problem of weight stigma, beyond just documenting how much of it exists.
Thank you to all of you who have supported the conference in any way in the last four years (and to those of you who have supported me personally when I was becoming somewhat frayed at the edges!).
This conference does not make money. We do our best to keep prices as low as possible. We also benefit from the support of a number of wonderful organisations, some of whom have been with us from the beginning. But we almost never have any money available to provide bursaries for those unable to attend due to financial restraints. And this is where you come in.
Not wanting to put prices up for everybody, instead, last year we launched an incredibly successful crowdfunding campaign to raise money for bursaries to the 4th Annual International Weight Stigma Conference, in Vancouver, Canada. And we’re doing it again this year. So far this year, your generosity has allowed us to provide three full and two partial bursaries to the our fifth conference, in Prague, Czech Republic, meaning five people were able to attend who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Four of those had been accepted to present their work, so your donations have helped us to make their research known to a wider audience.
But we are still short of our goal. There are still people who are hoping to get some last minute assistance, otherwise they won’t be able to attend. Please please please, continue to share our GoFundMe page, and maybe let people know why it’s important. If you haven’t already donated, please do think about doing so. Even a small amount, the kind of money you may spend on any given day without thinking about it, can make a difference.
Thank you again for all of your support and helping to make all this happen.