About the Black Men, Breastfeeding and Social Justice Series: Oral history has its roots in the sharing of stories throughout the centuries. It is a primary source of historical data, gathering information from living individuals via recorded interviews. Lisa Reagan’s interviews of thought-leaders, researchers, activists, parents and professionals serves as an oral history of the organic conscious parenting/family wellness movement in the United States and globally since 1999. Follow her podcasts, and this series, on Apple Music/iTunes, SoundCloud and here on Kindred.
Meet Dr. George Bugg, a neonatologist, and his son, Wesley Bugg, a nonprofit attorney, who have sparked a national movement to explore the healing power of black men supporting breastfeeding as a path to healing fatherhood and addressing social justice reform in the interview above. This series will also explore:
- The individual stories, and histories, of the ROSE and ROBE founders and team members
- How engaging black fathers in birth and breastfeeding support roles is an effective, and needed, tactic for addressing the United State’s epidemic of black mothers dying in childbirth and low breastfeeding success rates.
- How ROBE addresses and dispels cultural bias and myths surrounding black families.
- How white professionals in the lactation field were not initially welcoming to black men as breastfeeding advocates. The “turf war” in the breastfeeding professionals field continues and this acknowledged cultural feature is explored as a barrier to breastfeeding success.
- How research shows nonprofit organizations have historically been bastions of white professionals, even white supremacy, and how the transformative programs of Reaching Our Sister’s Everywhere, ROSE, and ROBE offer equity training for organizations.
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Black Men, Breastfeeding, and Social Justice Series
“ROBE seeks to educate, equip, and empower men to impact an increase in breastfeeding rates and a decrease in infant mortality rates within the African-American communities.”
Kindred kicks off a multiple-part interview series with the emerging and dynamic organization, Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere. In this first interview of the series, Kindred’s Social Justice Editor, Dave Metler, and Editor, Lisa Reagan, talk with Dr. George Bugg and Wesley Bugg, JD, founders of ROBE, Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere.
Lisa Reagan met the ROBE founders and nation-wide program leaders at the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s National Conference in June 2019 and again at the Worklife Law Center’s Breastfeeding Summit in August 2019.
ROBE’s mission is to educate, equip, and empower men to impact an increase in breastfeeding rates and a decrease in infant mortality rates within the African-American communities. Visit their website at www.breastfeedingrobe.org.
Find Kindred’s Black Mothers and Fathers Resources page.
About Dr. George Bugg
Dr. George Bugg is currently the chief of the neonatology service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA, and the neonatal director of the Emory Regional Perinatal Center. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (BA), Meharry Medical College (MD), and Emory University (MPH). He is a founding member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and was trained in lactation management at Wellstart International. He and his wife, Kimarie Bugg, are the proud parents of five children.
About Wesley Bugg
Wesley Bugg is a 2016 graduate of the University of Miami’s School of Law (JD, LLM), and 2013 graduate of Emory University (BA). He is currently the deputy director of Court Vision International Inc., a nonprofit that promotes youth advocacy and conflict resolution. His current interests include legal compliance and business development, especially for startups and small nonprofits where these tasks are often expensive and difficult. In this spirit, he serves ROSE as the Legal Compliance Officer and financial assistant, aggregated into his role as Financial and Legal Operation Coordinator.
Photos of ROBE presenting at the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s National Conference and Convening 2019, in Bethesda, Maryland. Photos of ROBE by Lisa Reagan. Group photo of attendees by USBC.
Upcoming Interviews in the Series
Caption: Calvin Williamsspeaking at the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s National Conference and Convening in Bethesda, MD, in June 2019.
Calvin Williams is a co-author of and Master Trainer for the On My Shoulders fatherhood curriculum, an innovative, evidence-based program that equips fathers for success in relationships with their children and co-parenting partners. He previously served as the Director of Fatherhood Services at Public Strategies Incorporated in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Before joining Public Strategies, Mr. Williams was as the Program Director for the Lighthouse Youth Services REAL Dads Program, and for the Services United for Mothers and Adolescents Fatherhood Project, both in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a founding and current board member with the Ohio Practitioners Network for Fathers & Families, a statewide training, advocacy and support organization for fatherhood practitioners.
The “Magic of Fears and Tears” – An Interview with Kimarie Bugg, PhD.
Kimarie Bugg, DNP/FNP-BC/MPH/IBCLC/CLC, is Chief Empowerment (CEO) and Change Leader of Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Inc (ROSE), a nonprofit corporation developed in 2011, to address breastfeeding inequities and disparities in the African American community. Read her story here.
Gregory Long is a stay-at-home dad who has homeschooled his two wonderful sons since 2006. Prior to that, he worked in the technical field at Comcast for 16 years as a Technical Trainer for the Prince George’s County Maryland system. In addition to homeschooling, Greg is a graphic designer and videographer/producer. He has done graphics work for Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, the DC and Maryland Breastfeeding Coalitions and other local businesses. In 2008, Greg filmed and produced the first documentary on kidney disease for the D.C. chapter of the National Kidney Foundation featuring an African American transplant candidate. In 2007, Greg began facilitating Fatherhood Matters, a component of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Childbirth Education Series intended for dads. He meets with expectant fathers to discuss the vital role a father plays in a child’s life, which includes providing practical support for breastfeeding.