Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), has coordinated an event aimed at ending breastfeeding disparities among Black women, in a conference called Reclaiming Our Breastfeeding Experience, and I am excited about this for a number of reasons.
The coalition, whose founder Kim Bugg just made me a member, has a vision to "Empower African American women to embrace breastfeeding as a cultural and social norm throughout the US," and to enhance the overall mental and physical health of African American women, babies, and their families," since the disparities associated with the low rate are significant. This is also why this conference aims to bring together Black women from across the country who have dedicated their time and effort to ending these imbalances through their personal and professional work as MDs, breastfeeding advocates, IBCLCs, nutrition experts and others, in one place. I can only see great things come of this.
Even though I was not selected to speak at the ILCA's Annual Meeting when I applied last year, this almost reaffirms my belief that indeed things do happen for a reason. Had I been chosen, according to their guidelines, participants are prohibited from speaking at other engagements for two months before they present at their conferences, believing the appearance has the potential to negatively affect the outcome of their audience. Had I been selected, I would not be able to speak here in July, since the ROSE workshop happens just six days before. But I am thrilled to be taking part in something that deals exclusively with ways to positively impact Black women -- an area I have dedicated countless hours, vying for greater personal, cultural and social change. Yes indeed, things do work out. And I'm so happy they do.