National Breastfeeding Month | Roundtable Discussion
Date: August 30th | Time: 2:00 PM EST | ZOOM Webinar
The declining health status of immigrant groups through generations is varied and complex, as are the breastfeeding practices and available support across communities.
To close out National Breastfeeding Month, HealthConnect One is hosting a roundtable discussion on “Lactation Across Borders: Breastfeeding and Lactation Culture and Practice within Immigrant Communities.”
During this discussion, panelists working with immigrant communities across America to strengthen their maternal and child health outcomes will share their insights on supporting breastfeeding within these communities.
Joyea Marshall-Crowley | Wichita Black Breastfeeding Coalition | Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
RaShaunda Lugrand is uplifting access to holistic family planning for historically excluded communities in the US and internationally, with a focus on environment, education, employment, economics, and empowerment. She serves birthing families as a birth coach, breastfeeding educator, postpartum care provider, comfort measure specialist, and behavioral health wellness coach. She is the founder of The InTune Mother Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a focus on community-based perinatal health care and workforce innovation through a healing justice framework. She leads a team of local birth work providers through Beehive Birth Consulting Agency, her private practice which provides holistic family planning services and education to priority populations in Central Oklahoma County and surrounding areas. RaShaunda currently serves on the board of Birth Future Foundation (BFF), an organization focused on racial justice and equity in midwifery.
To-wen Tseng | Volunteer Blogger @San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition
To-wen Tseng is a TV reporter turned independent journalist and author. She writes about parenting, education, and family lifestyle for a variety of publications. She is an award-winning blogger and has authored six books. To-wen is also a passionate breastfeeding activist. She received a rude awakening when returning to her previous newsroom after giving birth to her first child in 2013 and was denied breastfeeding rights, which eventually resulted in her separation from that company. Since that experience, To-wen has dedicated her career to advocating for family-friendly policy and gender equity at the workplace and speaking out about breastfeeding barriers in Asian-American communities and beyond. She writes for San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition and MomsRising; co-founded API Breastfeeding Task Force and AANHPI Breastfeeding Week.
Monica Esparza | Executive Director @New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
Monica Esparza is currently the Executive Director of the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force. She is a trained CLC and Community Interpreter who previously served families as a breastfeeding peer counselor for more than 10 years, providing peer-to-peer support to lactating families through the WIC program both individually and in the hospital setting. She participated as a Leader in the Health Connect One Birth Leadership Academy and the NM Women of Color Leaders in Non-profit. She has served on different boards and currently sits on the National College of Midwifery Board. As a Mexican, Immigrant woman living in the south valley of Albuquerque, she brings a grassroots community approach and an equity lens into her work. She understands the importance of centering families and BIPOC communities in everything that we do. She enjoys hiking and gardening with her husband and 2 children.
Maya Jackson | Executive Director @MAAME, Inc.
Maya Jackson is a mother, community organizer, breastfeeding advocate, full-spectrum doula, and the founder and Executive Director of MAAME, Inc. (Mobilizing African American Mothers through Empowerment). A native of Durham, North Carolina, she graduated from North Carolina Central University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. She has over ten years of working in nonprofit leadership in the arts and public health. In 2018 Maya became a birth doula and Milky Mommas International Lactation Peer Counselor. She eventually founded and launched MAAME, Inc. MAAME, a community-rooted maternal health organization whose mission is to support Black and other birthing people of color. This fall, Jackson will begin working towards her MPH and MBA at Benedictine University.
Stevie Merino is a community organizer, mom, anthropologist, birthworker, and proud islander woman–CHamoru (Guam) & Boricua (Puerto Rico). Much of Stevie’s work has been in efforts to uplift the voices of Pacific Islanders, who are often afterthoughts in discussions, resources, and invitations to the table. Stevie’s research in anthropology focuses on Pacific Islander birth traditions and birth disparities specifically on Chamorro’s in Southern California. Stevie presents her research at various academic conferences around the country, where she centers the experience and voices of Pacific Islanders that are often left out of these spaces. She is the co-creator & trainer of The Birth Workers of Color Collective and Long Beach doula of Color training. Stevie holds various positions in the community and in academia, including holding the Gender Equity Seat for the American Anthropological Association Members Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee.