CGBI: Breastfeeding Exclusive June 2018- RISE: Lactation Training Model
CGBI, in collaboration with the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC), notably executive director Stacy Davis and president Felisha Floyd, and QC Cocoa BEANS, a Charlotte-based organization that works to educate African-American families and empower them to embrace breastfeeding as a cultural and social norm, is pleased to announce the launch of RISE: Lactation Training Model. RISE (Reclaiming, Improving, and Sustaining Equity) aims to increase the representation of women and men of color employed and serving as certified lactation consultants in vulnerable communities through the building of Pathway Two lactation consultant training programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other universities/colleges serving communities of color.
This program will empower lactation leaders to better support parents with shared, lived experiences to reclaim breastfeeding practices that have been suppressed due to racial oppression. HBCUs and other community colleges and universities have the ability to enhance job training and didactic education that enables the lactation workforce to provide care in their communities of origin. The advantage of this educational model would be to create intergenerational health benefits that allow families to flourish.
Funded by a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, RISE will aim to utilize the strengths of CGBI’s lactation consultant training program and the expertise of NAPPLSC and community grassroots organizations like QC Cocoa BEANS by serving as a resource for six institutions as they work towards the establishment of their own training programs. The goal of RISE is not to replicate MRT-TI at other schools, but to help establish programs that suit the needs of their respective stakeholders. RISE institutions will receive a start-up package which will provide much needed funds for the first year. Through the unique collaboration of the RISE organizations, strategic, purposeful and community specific assistance will be provided to ensure that the programs started will be sustainable.
In this first year of funding, RISE will work with Johnson C. Smith University and North Carolina A&T State University, both in North Carolina. In years two and three, additional institutions that serve African-American, Latinx and Tribal populations in the South and Southwest will be recruited to join the project. It is the hope that each RISE institution involved in the project will serve as mentors for other programs to come.
Amidst the excitement we and others feel for the launch of RISE, it would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that it is not our space to lead this project on the ground. As an organizational member of NAPPLSC, we have listened to our colleagues and the needs of individuals trying to enter a dominant race health field. CGBI is an institution with a proven track record in education and training and we are grateful to use our position of privilege to support the establishment of new training programs.