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Monday, August 28, 2017

National Black Breastfeeding Week Celebrates 5th Anniversary with 2017 Theme: Bet On Black! Nourishing Our Families, Communities and Futures

Black mothers breastfeeding

Photo Credit: Black Mother’s Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA)

New York, NY — Black Breastfeeding Week, the national awareness campaign that runs from August 25th -31st, celebrates its fifth year with the theme, #BetOnBlack. The week-long celebration was created in response to the unacceptable racial disparities in breastfeeding rates that have existed for over 40 years. The week will include on-the-ground community events and social media events, including Instagram takeovers, a Facebook Live spotlight on breastfeeding in gay and lesbian families and Footnotes on Fatherhood, a barber shop style, no-holds-barred Facebook Live about fatherhood.

This year will also include over 60 local community events across the country, including the Black Breastfeeding Week signature event, The Lift Up. On August 26th, families gather at predetermined locations to Lift Up their children in unison as a sign of their love and commitment to their children. Find an event near you at www.BlackBreastfeedingWeek.org

This year’s theme speaks to the growing need to create community-partnered solutions, designed by the black community. Instead of looking to outsiders, researchers or other traditional “experts” to increase breastfeeding in the black community, the founders of Black Breastfeeding Week are calling on all to #BetOnBlack for solutions.

“For years, our communities have been viewed as places of deficiencies and lacks, but we reject that narrative and have full faith and confidence that we can create the solutions and support to improve infant and maternal health outcomes and save our babies,” says Kimberly Seals Allers, a BBW co-founder and author of The Big Letdown – How Medicine Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding, which was released by St. Martins Press in January.

“When we Bet on Black we will always win,” says Kiddada Green, BBW co-founder and founding executive director of Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association in Detroit.

“We say “Bet on Black” this year as confirmation of the passionate, tireless and innovative work being done by communities and families to protect the first food and this deeply nourishing tradition,” says Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka, a BBW co-founder, a nurse-midwife in North Carolina and breastfeeding advocate.

Follow the #BetOnBlack, #BBW17 and #Winning hashtags and stay connected with the complete line up of events at www.BlackBreastfeedingWeek.org. Get the latest updates on the Facebook page and on Instagram (@BlkBFingWeek)

 

The 5th Anniversary of Black Breastfeeding Week includes:

BBW Kick Off Photo Storm Twitter Party – Friday, August 25th at 7pm

The Lift Ups Go Live! – Saturday, August 26th
The 3rd Baby Lift Up—a national event where families lift up their babies (of all ages!) at an arranged time to showcase their solidarity and support for black children living healthy and thriving lives. Watch them on Facebook Live!

Instagram Takeover and Shoutout Sunday! – Sunday, August 27th
We will shed light on unsung heroes who positively contribute(d) to the black breastfeeding narrative.

Manday Monday – Monday, August 28th
Join real dads and fatherhood advocates for Footnotes on Fatherhood, a candid Facebook Live & Q&A at 7pm (EDT).

Spotlight on Gay, Lesbian and Queer Families, FaceBook Live – Tuesday, August 29th Meet Leseliey and her wife, Stephanie, for a Facebook Live and Q&A about their breastfeeding experiences and family story.

Wellness Wednesday, Twitter Chat – Wednesday, August 30
A Twitter chat @BlkBfingWeek for Q&As, tips, advice and an exchange of breastfeeding knowledge from 2pm-3pm (EDT).

5 Year Rewind/ Week’s Recap – Thursday, August 31st
A recap across all BBW social media platforms of BBW’s impact over the past five years; (Instagram/Twitter: @BlkBfingWeek and Facebook: @BlackBreastfeedingWeek)

Visit the BBW Facebook page for the most up to date information.

 

About Black Breastfeeding Week:
Founded in 2012 by three nationally recognized breastfeeding advocates, Black Breastfeeding Week is an annual, week-long multi-media campaign from August 25th-31st to raise awareness of the health benefits and personal empowerment of breastfeeding in the black community. Despite the proven benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, for over 40 years there has been a gaping disparity in breastfeeding rates between whites and blacks—the reasons are complex.

However, increasing breastfeeding rates among black women is a critical health imperative in the black community. BBW is an empowerment week to increase awareness of the critical role of breastfeeding in improving maternal and child health outcomes and reducing infant mortality rates in the black community. Learn more at www.BlackBreastfeedingWeek.org

 

About the Founders:

Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized advocate for infant and maternal health. Her fifth book, The Big Letdown—How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding was published by St. Martins Press in January 2017. Most recently she served as director of The First Food Friendly Community Initiative, a $500,000 pilot project funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to create a national accreditation for breastfeeding supportive communities using local residents as change agents. As a consultant, Kimberly develops strategic messaging and communication initiatives with public health organizations to improve programmatic outcomes and eradicate health disparities. Learn more at www.KimberlySealsAllers.com and follow her on Twitter at @iamKSealsAllers.

Kiddada Green is the founding executive director of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA), co-founder of Black Breastfeeding Week, and lead consultant for the First Food Friendly Community Initiative. As an expert in community-centered approaches, she put forth recommendations for The U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Ms. Green is also an esteemed member of the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network Fellowship Program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Oakland University. She is also a devoted wife, mother and educator.

Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka is a graduate of Yale University and Vassar College. She is a nurse- midwife and innovative culture worker leveraging digital media to impact health and parenting. Clinically, she cares for women across the life span at an independent birth center. Anayah also writes, speaks and consults with organizations on using social media to deepen community building and leverage social change. Anayah is co-editor of Free to Breastfeed: Voices from Black Mothers (Praeclarus Press) and a Consultant for MomsRising. Her work has been written about on Salon.com, HuffPost, Ms. Magazine, Mater mea, MyBrownBaby and ThinkProgess. She is a wife and mother to two curious and agile boys.

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Kiddada Green
KiddadaG@bmbfa.org
800-313-6141

Kimberly Seals Allers
kimberly@mochamanual.com
347-671-7779


 

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