The “Powered by Community” Online Event- Register Here!

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For nearly a decade, my work has revolved around a simple, yet revolutionary mantra, “Whatever the question, the answer is in the community.” After years of focusing solely on science and so-called evidence-based research, its time to transform our relationship with the community. Instead of viewing the community as a place to fix and change, we need to view the community as a powerful partner where we can learn ideas and solutions for improving breastfeeding outcomes in general and reduce racial disparities. But how? In this online event, internationally recognized Kimberly Seals Allers delivers two powerful presentations, you will see a talk-show style discussion with Simran Noor, senior fellow of the newly united, Center for Social Inclusion Race Forward, and you will watch videos of community members in the Detroit pilot project of the First Food Friendly Community Initiative.

Presentation 1: From One to All: Moving From An Individual Model to a Collective Model in Breastfeeding Support: Our increased knowledge of the complexities of maintaining breastfeeding for any meaningful duration, means we must also deepen our understanding of the role of social norms, community influencers and collective impact and the need for more structured collaborative efforts centered on the community. Compared to an individualist approach, a collective approach in breastfeeding support requires organizational change, acquiring certain “soft skills” and new ways of thinking to engage multiple layers of community stakeholders, across sectors and systems.

This presentation describes the advantages and disadvantages of an individualist approach versus a collective approach to breastfeeding support. It discusses collective impact theory and explores how it can be applied to breastfeeding interventions and explains five key strategies for shifting to a community centered model and creating impact through a variety of metrics. (CEUs applied)

Presentation 2: Culturally Relevant Community Assessment 101: Everything You Need to Know To Start: The process of fully understanding a community requires a critical approach and methodology that must be culturally relevant, cultural humble and still produce the qualitative data needed to properly inform future work. Drawing on the process used in the The First Food Community Initiative (3FCI) , W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded pilot project in Detroit and Philadelphia, this presentation walks through the basics of creating a rigorous yet respectful community assessment. The 3FCI assessment process was created in collaboration with academics from The University of Michigan’s Program for MultiCultural Health and The University of Pennsylvania. The presentation discusses the fundamentals of an action-driven approach to community assessment, from identifying targets to establishing the tools of inquiry to the need for identifying and acknowledging the power relationships.  It will also explain recruitment and engagement tools and the role of the “empowerment pedagogy” in the process as well as issues of data ownership and dissemination. Participants will be able to explain the key elements of a community-centered assessment model. (CEUs applied)

Presentation 3: Centering Community With an Equity Lens: Moving From Collective to Co-Liberation.
Simran Noor, former fellow with the Center for Social Inclusion Race Forward, sits down with Kimberly for a dynamic conversation on what equity looks like in practice, specific tools for maintaining an equitable lens to your work and why we need a co-liberation model in breastfeeding.


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