Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ThanksTaking & Still Giving

Monday, Vanessa and I experienced a lot in one day.  Now, I would like to say we have been extremely blessed with the support and love we have been given from Hospitals such as UIC Medical Center and Jackson Park Hospital as well as some prominent figures in the lactation professional community.  Our company is expanding (we brought on 2 new people to our team) and we have been getting applications for our Peer Counselor class.

This past Monday we found out we were not awarded the grant we just knew we had in our pockets.  The explanation?  One the reasons is we aren't professional.  REALLY??!!

I know for a fact there are women out there who have said I am abrasive and harsh.  They say I need more training because of my approach.  My question to them is, have they seen me work with women?  NO!  They have never seen me work as a Lactation Specialist and have never seen me perform my Peer Counselor work. Another woman said, "I didn't know just anyone could teach a Peer Counselor Class."  REALLY??!! Just plain and simple hating.  Wow, I thought this was a bonding community.  I thought this was a community of women working together to empower women not bring them down.

We know who the external reviewers are for the grant proposal and we are ready to show them we are professional.  So, please take this as a tap on the shoulder, external reviewers.  We have our sleeves rolled up and ready to get to work without any apologies.  If you want to make this a challenge, go right ahead.  We are mobilizing as I type and entering the Lactation/Doula world by storm.  It's time to train you because, clearly, you are the ones who need the training.  You make assumptions not only about our work but about Mothers of Color in general.  You throw up numbers you cannot explain.  You speak about Black women as if they have a list of problems and you can solve them.  You cannot solve the problems of Mothers of Color. So, you see, who really needs more training??!!

Now, let's talk about real trained women doing real grassroots work.  Let's bow to these Sisters.

Vanessa and I would like to thank over and over again, The Chicago Area Breastfeeding Coalition for their unconditional support and guidance.  They are a group of women who not only empower but create the utopia of the lactation community.  We bow to you.  They are providing 2 scholarships to 2 women for our Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Class.  We would also like to thank Patrice Perez for being our dedicated advocate.  She is amazing beyond amazing.  Patrice, you are truly a Superwoman.  Patrice has been our voice when we have no representation.  Vanessa and I thank Charlotte Johnson who is a great guide for us. We wish you well in your retirement.  We also thank Michelle Shelton, Monica Palmer and Dhyia Thompson.  All of these women have added to our business in ways no one could imagine.  They are extremely talented women with dedication and cheer us on every step of the way.  We thank Hygeia for seeing something in us to trust us to promote and sell their products which in turn supports our company.  We thank Megan Renner for listening to us and believing in our mission.  A thank you goes out to Peg Dublin for her trailblazing work.  We honor her drive, her passion and her advice.  Thank you to Maria Galvan-Briseno and Katrina Pavlik.  These two women are extraordinary, working for the lactation cause even without pay.  Vanessa and I must thank Elita Kalma for her voice.  Her voice speaks for many Mothers of Color.  She educates, empowers and advocates for the women who are continually ignore all along putting a beautiful Black face to Breastfeeding and strong Black children to her breasts.  Thank you to all the encouraging, loving and positive women out there hugging and applauding our work and the work many other inspiring women.  Most importantly, we thank our husbands, children, parents and Samantha (Vanessa's loving sister).  We realize if it weren't for you we would not be were we are today enjoying our work and allow us to fuel our passion.

So, please take time this Thanksgiving to give genuine thanks to every one who has gotten you to this point in your life.  Even if they are not here physically to thank, thank them in some way through a prayer, moment of silence or a letter.  Focus only on people who uplift you and embrace you.  This is a new era, an era of higher consciousness.  Our intentions must be loving, inspiring and authentic.  Things are happening quickly so we have to move with our rapidly changing world.  If you are ready to join our Movement of Empowerment then we open our doors to you and love to work with you.  If you are not ready for the Movement then you will be left behind. It's that simple.

EMPOWERMENT, ENLIGHTENMENT! Peace & Joy! Happy Thanksgiving.

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