Brenda Reyes

Program Manager
HealthConnect One

Brenda Reyes is a bilingual registered nurse and certified lactation counselor. As the program manager for HealthConnect One (HC One), she has over 15 years of experience working with diverse organizations to create and implement peer support programs. Currently, she serves as HC One’s representative to the USBC. She is also an elected board member of USBC and NAPPLSC. She participates in the Center for Social Inclusion’s National First Food Racial Equity Cohort; served as a work group member of the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative for the US; and she is an Expert Panel Member for Food and Nutrition Service.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

First Food Justice a Revolutionary Act: National First Food Racial Equity Cohort: Building a Movement

The National First Food Racial Equity Cohort consist of national leaders selected to build effective alliances across divisions and in delivering the message that racial equity impacts and can truly benefit all communities. Highlights of the impact of collective action from The First Food Cohort will be shared. This session will provide a framework for understanding racial equity in the realm of the food justice movement. Participants will learn how imbalanced and oppressive social structures prevent the inherent right for families of color to provide human milk as first food. Breastfeeding is a primary food justice concern and our most important first food. Participants will identify inequities in breastfeeding rates and related health disparities arise from structural failures to provide adequate support in communities of color. These concepts will encourage reformation in policies and procedures which will fuel collective impact and movement building for first food racial equity. This session we will discuss why first food matters for communities of color across the nation. Research shows that the first 1,000 days of nutrition can set a course for a healthy life or perpetuate a cycle of poverty, ill health, and disease. The collective solutions solicited during session will empower systemic change in the racial structures which impacts the first food field. In this segment we will explore connecting with communities of color through relationships and active listening. Co-creating and implementing community informed strategies are imperative to dismantling barriers and eliminating disparities.

Speakers: Felisha Floyd, Brenda Reyes