Congratulations to one of the newest members on our Mississippi CHAMPS team, Felisha Floyd, BS, CLC, IBCLC, for the incredible work she is doing to reduce racial disparities in breastfeeding! Felisha is Lactation Coordinator for the Hospital Corporations of America system in Florida and Owner/Lactation Consultant with her private practice, Beyond Breastfeeding. Her work with CHAMPS focuses on reviewing hospital materials, helping to guide the Mississippi CHAMPS project regarding race, and conducting hospital site visits and mock surveys.
“I am driven by my belief that health disparities in the African-American community can be drastically reduced if human milk was recognized as baby’s first food,” shares Felisha. “I firmly believe access to human milk is a matter of life or death for communities of color. The change I would like to envision is to decrease barriers to lactation support, and to disrupt systemic obstacles which fuel disparities in breastfeeding within communities of color.”
The mission to promote racial equity in breastfeeding is central to Felisha’s various work and roles. She is the founder of Our Brown Baby, a community-based breastfeeding support group for families of color; one of the founding mothers and current President of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color; and a Center for Social Inclusion First Food Equity Cohort member. On social media, she is known as “Blactavist!” (Black Lactation Activist), and facilitates an online community comprised of approximately 38,000 supporters and dedicated to empowering African-American families to breastfeed. Through these roles, Felisha has presented trainings nationwide on the topics of clinical breastfeeding, racial equity, first food justice, mentorship, power of collective impact and more.
Health equity often begins with training providers and increasing diversity, and Felisha mentors future lactation consultants through her private practice. She co-authored the article, “Clinical Internships for the Next Generation of IBCLCs,” published in the Journal of Human Lactation. Felisha also serves with high honor as a member of the Global Board of Directors for Mom2Mom Global, as the Advocacy Chair for the State of Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, and as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC). She has been honored as a recipient of the Inaugural Concrete Rose Award by Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere and recognized by USBC with the Legacy Award.
Lastly, this CHEER Champion of the Week has a fun hobby and special talent, to design costumes around the lactation theme. Past costumes have included a “breastfeeding super hero” who fights to encourage families to continue their breastfeeding journey and “the milk fairy,” inspired by her nickname at work.
Welcome to the CHAMPS team, Felisha, it’s great to have you on board!
CHEER Champion of the week
Each Monday (besides public holidays), we will recognize a CHEER Champion for all the work they have done for CHEER (Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research)/CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices).