The week of August 25-31, 2019 marked the celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week, a national campaign dedicated to bringing awareness to the nationwide racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The week focuses on promoting the positive effects that breastfeeding has on an infant’s health and reduction in infant mortality rates, which affects black infants at a higher rate than whites.
Itzel Quintero is a mother of five children with a strong sense of will and determination. Initially living in California, Itzel and her family settled down in Indiana to start over and relieve some of their financial burdens. However, new financial barriers emerged after the cross country move. Itzel struggled to find solid employment that would allow her to provide for her children.
Jaquala Berry’s Story
Raised by a single mom on the eastside of Indianapolis, life was not always easy for Perci Robertson. Outside influences and the added responsibility of working to help care for his siblings thrust Perci into adulthood at a young age. With his mother often working long hours to support their family, life at home lacked structure, and he struggled to maintain his focus and motivation in the classroom.
When Genesis Ortiz withdrew from high school during her senior year, she never imagined that she’d be pursuing a teaching degree nearly 10 years later.
India Daye was a senior in high school when she first learned she was pregnant. She lacked stable housing and worked part-time at a fast-food restaurant through her pregnancy to help support her family.
First-time mom Arian Baker, 33, learned about Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership through her obstetrician. As a medical student she knew that maternal and infant mortality rates are much higher among African-American women. She worked with her nurse to educate herself about the changes that were happening to her body and managing stress that could adversely affect her developing baby.
Erica Webb’s first major barrier to achieving independence was becoming a mother at 17 years old. Although she successfully graduated from high school, a series of setbacks negatively impacted her ability to provide for her growing family.
Martha Moraga worked hard to raise her four children while earning a high school diploma at The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults. She strives to be a role model for all of her children - with the goal of becoming a medical assistant - and her teachers believe she already sets a great example.