GOLD Speakers


Marion Rice, Ed.D., IBCLC

Kimberly Seals Allers, BS, MA

  • Country: USA

Marion Rice, Ed.D., IBCLC is the Executive Director of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon (BCO).  BCO is the statewide entity that serves to build and link families, community partners and geographic and culturally specific coalitions to support, promote and protect breastfeeding in Oregon. The Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon works to address the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding by working to provide technical assistance, support and training to 20 (and more emerging) breastfeeding coalitions throughout the state.  Marion is working to understand and address the impact of racial inequity on breastfeeding support and on helping all families reach their breastfeeding goals to improve the lifelong health of their babies.  She sees breastfeeding as a social justice issue, and tries to reveal and address public policy and practice that inadvertently discourage women from reaching their breastfeeding goals and helping to maintain family economic security. Marion believes breastfeeding is unifying and builds cultural bridges and personal relationships for deeper personal understanding of the commonalities of the human experience.

Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist and a leading commentator, speaker and consultant on breastfeeding issues, with an expertise in African American women and racial disparities in breastfeeding. As a consultant and speaker, Kimberly works with organizations looking to better understand the cultural barriers and community influences that impact breastfeeding continuation rates in vulnerable communities. She is also the founder of Shift Strategies, a health communication consulting firm helping organizations increase programmatic outcomes with more effective communication strategies. Kimberly has designed and developed strategic messaging campaigns and exploratory community-based projects examining the role of “place” in breastfeeding success and pioneered the concept of “first food deserts” and “First Food Friendly” communities. She is the director of The First Food Friendly Community Initiative (3FCI), a W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded pilot program to create and accredit breastfeeding-supportive community environments. A former writer at Fortune and senior editor at Essence magazine, Kimberly is an IATP Food & Community Fellow, connecting the “first food” to the broader food movement. Kimberly was also selected as a lead commentator for the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” federal campaign. Previously, she served as the editorial director of the Black Maternal Health Project of Women’s eNews. Kimberly fifth book, The Big Let Down—How Big Business, Medicine and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding will be released in July 2016 by St. Martin’s Press.