Previous IBW Award Winners

Each year Babywearing International presents a series of awards to outstanding members of the babywearing community.  There are two named awards–The Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year and the Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babywearing awars–as well as additional awards that change annually.

 

 

The Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award

Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award is named in honor of leading babywearing advocate Jennifer Rosenberg, or “Jenrose.” This award recognizes outstanding babywearing advocacy in the year immediately preceding International Babywearing Week.

About Jennifer Rosenberg

JenRose

Jenrose was a worn baby back in 1972, when her parents improvised with a frame backpack and towels to wear her at two months old. In 1993, she told her midwife, “I think I need a snuggli or something,” and was introduced to stretchy wraps around the time her first daughter was born. Pouches were a revelation in convenience 10 months later. Shortly after that she began the process of becoming certified as a childbirth educator and doula, while raising her daughter as a single mother. It was learning about improvised cloth carriers and traditional babywearing in 1995 and 1996 that truly turned her into a babywearing evangelist. The idea that something as simple as a knotted sling would not be taught to every new mother was both infuriating and galvanizing.

In 1996, newly hired by Midwifery Today, Jenrose started working on her first review articles. The sheer variety and beauty of carriers available was inspiring, and she started using the mantra that “Baby carriers are mama clothing” to explain to people why they might want more than one, or why their carriers should be attractive as well as functional. The fact that the prettier carriers were all more functional than the standard mainstream carriers was another inspiration to advocacy.

In 2001, Jenrose designed her first ring sling, and months later took in a foster baby. This galvanized a new round of babywearing, and the new internet babywearing communities helped her network with manufacturers and parents around the world.

In 2003, a landmark year for babywearing, TheBabywearer.com was launched, and Vijay Owens helped spark the idea that babywearing needed an international organization to support groups and advocates in bringing this “lost art” back to the mainstream. Nine In, Nine Out, or “NINO,” was born.

By 2004, it was apparent that the babywearing community was gaining in strength and cohesiveness, and planning began for the first international babywearing conference. Jenrose drew on her experience with midwifery and doula conferences to take on the role of conference coordinator. In 2005, her second daughter was born, and in 2006, the Portland conference, though small, inspired the babywearing community. Since then there have been a number of smaller conferences, and in 2008, a much larger international conference was held in Chicago.

Jenrose currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her family, and is still active with the local babywearing group and teaches classes at a local store.

 

 

 Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award Recipients

2008 WINNER: Alice Hollowed of City Slingers in Chicago, IL, and the 2008 International Babywearing Conference.
2009 WINNER: Natalia Shpak of Mariupol, Ukraine.
2010 WINNER: Kristi Hayes-Devlin of Gypsy Mama, LLC.
2012 WINNER(S!): Ann Marie Rodgerson and Victoria Ward.
2013 WINNER: Rachel Dreyer, MBE for North Central Illinois.

 

 

The Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babywearing

 

The Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award is named in honor of leading babywearing advocate Vijay Owens; it recognizes lifetime achievement in babywearing advocacy.

About Vijay Owens:
Vijay-OwensVijay was born and raised in New York City. At 17, she used to wear her baby sister around town in a frame pack not knowing yet that babywearing would be such a big part of her adult life.

When her first daughter was born in 2003, Vijay discovered that the highly structured front carrier was just not comfortable for her or her baby. So her quest began to find a more comfortable option. Jennifer “Jenrose” Rosenberg guided her to the unpadded ring sling and the stretchy wrap and a love affair with slings was born.

Vijay helped Jenrose teach a sling workshop in December of 2003 and got hooked on teaching and advocacy. Vijay and Jenrose started brainstorming that same day about an international nonprofit organization that would support and promote babywearing just as La Leche League does breastfeeding.

Even after moving to a rural area in central VA in 2004, Vijay continued to spread the babywearing love, holding monthly meetings, teaching workshops at local baby stores, and running a sling library. Highlights of the past few years include having another child, leading a few sessions at the first ever babywearing conference in Portland, and getting a part time job (in the sling section, of course) at a local natural parenting store.

Sadly, Vijay’s daughters are now so big and busy they aren’t worn much anymore. But Vijay still enjoys borrowing newly minted demo babies at her sling workshops and showing grateful parents how to do “baby origami.”

 

Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award Recipients

  • 2008 Winner: Tracy Dower of The Mamatoto Project
  • 2009 Winner: Jen Norton, founder of www.TheBabywearer.com
  • 2010 Winner: Kristen DeRocha of Hotslings, Inc.
  • 2012 Winner: M’Liss Stelzer
  • 2013 Winner: Susie Spence
 

International Babywearing Week Awards by Year

2013

  • Best IBW Publicity Campaign: Circulo Materno
  • The Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babywearing: Susie Spence
  • Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award: Rachel Dreyer
  • Bruce C. Rosenberg Award for Outstanding Babywearing Father: Karl Dreyer
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program: The Happy Baby Project
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Event: The Carrying On Project
  • Best Blog by a BWI Chapter: BWI of North Central Illinois
  • VBE of the Year: Laura Stieglitz

2012:

  • Best IBW Publicity Campaign: BWI of Greater Boston
  • The Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babywearing: M’Liss Stelzer
  • Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year (tie): Ann Marie Rodgerson and Victoria Ward
  • Bruce C. Rosenberg Award for Outstanding Babywearing Father: Corey King
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program to Women in Need: Portabebés AYU c/o Valeria Calderon
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program by a Non-Vendor: Sheffield Slings
  • Best Blog or Website maintained by a BWI group: BWI of DC/MD/VA
  • Best Outreach Event by a BWI group: BWI of Chicagoland
  • Volunteer Babywearing Educator of the the Year: Heather Magrow

2011:

Not awarded

2010:

  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program to Women in Need: Babywearing Calgary
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Event by a Non-Vendor (nonprofit organization or individual): Organization Maternal and Child Circle Mallorca.
  • Best Babywearing Advocate in the Healing Professions: Dr. William Sears
  • The Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year: Kristi Hayes-Devlin
  • The Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babywearing: Kristen DeRocha
  • Best IBW10 Publicity Campaign 2010
    Sponsored by Moby Wrap: Babywearing Calgary

2009:

  • The Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year: Natalia Shpak
  • The Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babywearing: Jen Norton
  • Best Charitable Program by a Babywearing Vendor: Tingly Toes
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program to Women in Need: Ashtabula County, Ohio, WIC Program
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program by a Non-Vendor: Beltway Babywearers
  • Outstanding Babywearing Advocate in the Healing Professions: Mandy Welch

2008:

  • Best Charitable Program by a Babywearing Vendor: HUGS: Help Us Give Slings Tsunami and Earthquake Relief for Mothers in Indonesia
  • Best Babywearing Advocate in the Healing Arts: M’Liss Stelzer​
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program to Women in Need: Magic City Slingers Slingfest​
  • Best Babywearing Outreach Program by a Non-Vendor: Klub Kangura​
  • Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award: Alice Hollowed​
  • The Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babywearing: Tracy Dower​
  • Best IBW Publicity Campaign: Moldova and the former USSR​