(BPRW) 10 Years, A New Foundation; Annual Black Breastfeeding Week to Celebrate 10th Year
Sponsored by Medela and March of Dimes, the BBW 10 Years, All-White Garden Reception and Fundraiser Awards Dinner will convene and spotlight changemakers in Black maternal-child-health including Tonya Lewis Lee, co-producer of Hulu’s “Aftershock,” and Karen Derrico, mother of 12 breastfed children and star of TLC’s “Doubling Down with the Derricos.” A garden reception, dinner prepared by three-time Chopped Champion, Chef Marc Bynum, and the first-ever BBW Awards hosted by award-winning actress, Angela Lewis are set to celebrate 10 years of Black Breastfeeding Week in style.
Black Breastfeeding Week launched in 2013 to address the vast racial disparities in breastfeeding rates across the country. Infant mortality, diversity in the lactation field, and the nuanced cultural barriers that affect Black women’s breastfeeding journeys also serve as fundamental points of focus for the organization. Co-founded by Kiddada Green, Founding Executive Director of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA), Kimberly Seals Allers, Founder of the Irth App, and Anayah Ayoka, nurse-midwife and educator, Black Breastfeeding Week has now been celebrated nationally with over 900 community events, 12+ million social media impressions, countless community grants and product donations.
“After 10 years of this new era of lactation advocacy rooted in racial equity, community power, culture and pride, we wanted to celebrate the impact of Black Breastfeeding Week and make it clear that it is still a beginning,” says Ayoka.
According to Green, highlighting the lived experiences of Black families past, present, and future through education and celebration is the new foundation on which Black Breastfeeding Week 2022 is built.
“Each year, we are overjoyed by the foundations laid by Black mamas and Black organizers,” she said. “This year, we are excited to recognize some of those who have contributed to the new foundation of Black breastfeeding."
To further increase awareness of Black Breastfeeding Week ahead of the events, the organization published proclamation templates community members to send to local and state officials. Local and state officials are encouraged to use these templates to support. Kimberly Seals Allers believes the proclamations represent a renaissance in Black lactation.
“Black Breastfeeding Week is and always has been about reclamation — taking back a tradition that we were disconnected from,” said Seals Allers. “Ten years later, that work continues. We are honored by this proclamation for New York City.”
Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA) will host the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Summit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit on August 27, from 12-3 PM. Those looking to participate in more of this year’s Black Breastfeeding Week activities can expect an array of virtual and in-person events across the nation.
For a full list of events, visit https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/.
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