This week SELCA plans to #betonblack in celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week! Join us in celebration and support. We turned to leaders in the black community, and found a great listicle to learn how.
So, let’s start the week with #1-
#1) Support emerging leaders of color in building equity-based initiatives. Support their initiatives by volunteering your services and expertise, make an annual monetary contribution, or assist in building their network by linking them with potential partners and collaborators. (Stacy Davis, BA, IBCLC, ILCA.org guest blog post)
At SELCA, we are fortunate to have many members of color who can proudly claim #iamNAPPLSC, #blkbfing, #BWDB and more, and we would like to highlight one such amazing woman to kick off #BBW2017.
Kiana Ayers, RN, IBCLC is certainly emerging as a leader, heading up many equity driven initiatives, and recently elected as treasurer of the SELCA Board of Directors. She took some time while traveling to talk about projects that drive her, and the support that she has gotten.
Kiana works as an OB Case Manager with Amerigroup Community Care, and has piloted a program to bring early education about breastfeeding to the members of the community she serves. Focusing primarily on the south Fulton and Clayton counties, some components of the program are for Amerigroup members only, but other support groups are available to any member of the public. Kiana is proud of her efforts to teach breastfeeding in an OB Centering model in two locations, where women move through specific care and education appointments together, based on similar due dates. This centered care stretches from early prenatal education, where Ms. Ayers asserts that breastfeeding education can plant a seed and be more effective, throughout birth and beyond into the post-partum period. The consistency of seeing the same group of women over time builds invaluable community support, and as south Fulton and Clayton counties are predominately African-American, these groups translate into significant support for black breastfeeding, and a concrete way to address disparities in breastfeeding rates and care available.
Kiana doesn’t stop there. In the planning stages of creating a south Fulton/Clayton breastfeeding coalition, she is exploring other ways to meet the community where they are, by partnering with WIC, for example. She works closely with Tashara Johnson, WIC breastfeeding Coordinator for Clayton County. She credits SELCA for building her network of partnerships with groups like Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of GA, and Zipmilk.org. Ms. Ayers also relies on the collective expertise and resources she encounters at SELCA.
The Southeastern Lactation Consultant Association is grateful to have opportunities to support women like Kiana Ayers, RN, IBCLC, who are truly making a difference for black breastfeeding communities, and families in Georgia. Members like Kiana are the core of who SELCA is, helping you help families breastfeed.