AABN Mission Statement
The African American Breastfeeding Network Inc. ( AABN ) was established in 2008 to address breastfeeding disparities by increasing awareness of the benefits and value of mother’s milk, building community allies, and de-normalizing formula use. AABN’s mission is to promote
breastfeeding as the natural and the best way to provide optimal nourishment to babies and young children.
AABN Vision Statement
Our vision is to live in a world where breastfeeding is the norm within the African American community.
Meet the Founders
Dalvery Blackwell is Executive Director and a co-founder of the African American Breastfeeding Network (AABN). She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and holds a bachelor in Journalism/Communications. Through Mrs. Blackwell’s leadership and vision, AABN has built eminent goodwill in the community. The organization has been recognized and highlighted in local, state, and national media and reports, most notably the April 2015 Essence Magazine Ten Things People Are Talking About, January 2015 Associated Press, 2014 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card and the 2014 Black Child Development Institute-Milwaukee report Being Black is Not a Risk Factor: Statistics and Strengths-Based Solutions. She has been instrumental in creating and building AABN’s core program, Community Breastfeeding Gatherings, which is seen has a national model. Mrs. Blackwell’s alliances with community leaders and institutions has coin her champion for family-centered health. In 2015 she was among 15 national leaders selected to participate in a 2 year cohort studying racial equity at the Center for Social Inclusion. She received the 2017 Woman of Commitment Award from the Wisconsin Alliance for Women Health. This year she is a Milwaukee Community Journal 2018 Year of the Child: A Game Changer Honoree. She and her husband of 18 years have two pre-teen children, Sequoia and Aldous II.
Angelia Wilks-Tate is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Specialist. For the past 10 years, she has actively served as the Project Director of the Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program for Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from Mount Mary College and Master’s of Science in Nutrition from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. She is an advocate who is committed to promoting wellness, good health and nutrition in the community in which she lives and serves. She is a co-founder of the African-American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee (AABN) and considers it an honor to help mothers have a successful breastfeeding experience. Mrs. Wilks-Tate is married and the mother of two beautiful children, Ciara and Jalen who were breastfed 20 and 16 months respectively.
Our Community-based Breastfeeding Peer Counselor (CBPC) is a trusted member of the community who provides appropriate education and breastfeeding support to women and their families during pregnancy, early postpartum months, and continues as long as the mom is breastfeeding. She has received training to help moms make an informed decision, and when it’s appropriate to refer moms to a lactation consultant. She visit mothers in the hospital and in their homes to safeguard breastfeeding initiation, observe latch/position, identify concerns, etc. The CPBC role in building breastfeeding confidence and helping moms reach their breastfeeding goals is a necessary and valued.
Shay Knox (CLC) | Certified Lactation Counselor®
Shay Knox Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and former AABN Participant. I earned my Bachelors of Social Work in 2017 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. From a young age, I knew I wanted to help people. However, I never knew that I would fall in love with being a breastfeeding support person and advocate to pregnant and breastfeeding women. It was the abundance of support I received from AABN and the impact they had on my journey that helped me to understand that, Breastfeeding Peer Support is so important. My mission is to encourage and support women along their journey, whether it be through education or just simply being there in whatever capacity to ensure that babies are breastfed.
Robert Brox | Father Peer Advocate
AABN’s Father Peer Advocates facilitate the CBG father session and provide early postpartum support to ensure breastfeeding success and strong support from male partners and family.
Aliyah Clark | Breastfeeding Counselor
Aliyah is a senior at Cardinal Stritch University. She is working on her bachelor's degree in science of nursing. She plans to further her career, after graduation, by obtaining her master's degree specializing in nurse-midwifery. Aliyah is actively involved in school as the treasurer for the Black Student Union, a member of the Student Nurses Association, and the vice president of the Multicultural Student Nurses Association. In addition to her service at the school, she is also involved within the community. She is a volunteer of the African American Breastfeeding Network, recently receiving the decade of service award in 2018. She also spends time giving back to the community as a girl scout troop leader and national delegate.
Aliyah has been volunteering with AABN for seven years. Before accepting this position, she became AABN's intern at the beginning of 2018. Working with AABN is where I am supposed to be. This lifelong partnership with AABN will help provide education to more mothers throughout our community, strengthen family structures, and decrease the infant mortality rate among African American babies.
Board of Directors
Board members serve as fiduciaries who steer AABN towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission and vision.
Dr. Veneshia McKinney, President
Medical College of WI
Felice Green, Vice President
Brandee Roberts, Secretary
Aurora Sinai Medical Center
LaToya Dennis, Treasurer
Milwaukee Public Radio
LuVerda Martin, Member At Large
West Allis Women's Pavilion Women's Care Center
Aurora Health Care
President—AABN Advisory Council
Milwaukee Health Service-WIC Director
Members bring unique knowledge and skills to effectively guide the organization programmatically to propel AABN's mission and vision.
Angie Wilks-Tate, President
State Representative David Bowen, District 10