These are incredibly trying and painful times. As we negotiate the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent events remind us that systemic racism and social injustice are longstanding national plagues. As a result of systemic racial injustice
- people of color are suffering and dying from the COVID-19 pandemic at disproportionately high rates
- black and brown persons face threats to their lives and physical safety when going about daily activities
- black women experience maternal mortality and morbidity at three to four times the rates of white women
- infant mortality is twice as high for babies born to black mothers when compared to babies born to white mothers
For too long families of black and brown babies have lived in fear for their children, themselves and their loved ones. The Healthy Children Project and the Center for Breastfeeding will not tolerate injustice, hate, bigotry and racism in any form.
We stand in solidarity with birthing families, our staff, our participants, our families, our communities, and our friends and hold black, indigenous, mothers of color in our hearts, our mission and our vision. It is our fervent hope that we can find a path forward, together, in solidarity with communities of color. We are especially grateful for those organizations that continue to light our way, ROSE, HealthConnect One and NAPPLC.
Together, we will continue to advocate for the rights of all birthing families including access to healthcare without fear.
Together, we will use our voices, advocacy and resources to work towards a day when each and every family can birth, nurture and raise their children without the impediment of injustice and with a clear path of equal access to opportunities.
We are taking steps to help Black mothers and Black communities while staying focused on what we do best; train people to assist with breastfeeding.
Healthy Children Project and the Center for Breastfeeding has always been committed to making lactation care community diverse and equitable. We have worked to make the Lactation Counselor Training Course (LCTC) accessible by giving scholarships each year to organizations such as ROSE and HealthConnect One.
But we realized that we could do even more. Healthy Children Project has started an initiative called Accessing the Milky Way. This initiative will send Black, Indigenous , People of Color to the online LCTC by offering scholarships that range from partial to full.
The first phase of this initiative will provide full tuition for the online LCTC on full scholarship for 25 BIPOC. This Accessing the Milky Way scholarship will pay the entire tuition for the course.
In addition, we have started a fund to pay for the required text book and the testing fee for each of the 25 recipients to further eliminate barriers to becoming a Certified Lactation Counselor.
The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and so many others anger us deeply. Their stories serve to uncover and exemplify the deeply entrenched racism, social injustice and disparities that continue to remain in today’s society. In George Floyd’s final moments with us here on earth, he cried out for his mother. His cry resonates within each and every one of us; mothers, children, those that work with mothers and birthing families. Let us rally around his cry and pledge to do better by our families of children of color.