A Center of Excellence on Black Breastfeeding and Early Care and Nutrition to improve breastfeeding among Black women in Mississippi.

–  Jackson State University School of Public Health –

Our Work

Through our free, two-day Virtual MomNBabyExcel conference, we explored the complex issues of health and health care focused on breastfeeding and early nutrition within the state of Mississippi and beyond.

Breastfeeding Excellence Conference Day 1

Thursday, February 17, 2022
"Love and Support for Moms, Babies and Their Advocates"

Breastfeeding Excellence Conference Day 2

Thursday, March 24, 2022
"Conversations for Mothers and their Advocates"

Project Team

Mary Shaw, PhD, MCHES

Project Director

Mary Shaw-Ridley is the founding Chair & Professor, Department of Behavioral & Environmental Health in the new School of Public Health (SPH) at Jackson State University…

[read more] (JSU) in Jackson, Mississippi. It is the first SPH in the state of Mississippi and the first to be established at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). She has previously held academic appointments in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work at Florida International University (Miami); Texas A&M University, College Station; Indiana University (Bloomington); and Texas Woman’s University (Denton). For several years, Dr. Shaw served as the Deputy Director of the Social & Health Research Center in San Antonio, TX, under the direction of Roberto Trevino, MD, an internist focused on early interventions to reduce childhood obesity among Hispanic children. She is a scholar-practitioner with over 30 years of experience focused on the education and well-being of women, mothers, and their families. Dr. Shaw’s research, teaching, and service activities focus on empowering minorities, poor, and underserved communities through academic-community partnerships that support community development, facilitate collaboration, coordination and promotion of linkages across different sectors. The MomNBabyExcel™project stems from Dr. Shaw’s passion to improve the health and well-being of women, mothers and their families through collaborative partnerships that transform communities to become places where women and their families thrive.  “Strengthening local, national and global efforts to eliminate education and health disparities—creating a culture that values well-being for everyone. [/read]
Chizoba Anyimukwu, DrPH, MPH

Project Evaluator & Program Consultant

Dr. Chizoba Anyimukwu, Chizoba earned a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Nursing Studies from Teesside University, Middlesbrough, U.K (MAHSA University, Malaysia affiliate),… 

[read more] and holds a Registered Nurse (RN) license in Malaysia. She earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Behavioral Science and Health Education from Tennessee State University (Nashville). Chizoba’s research interests include food insecurity and food resource management behaviors among urban and rural racial/ethnic families. She is also passionate about chronic disease prevention among socially disadvantaged populations, particularly Black women.  As a budding public health scholar-practitioner, Chizoba has spent the past ten years obtaining education and training, while collaborating with researchers and practitioners within clinical, public health, and non-profit organizations to plan, implement and evaluate public health interventions.  She is the program and evaluation specialist for the MomNBabyExcel™ Center for Excellence in Breastfeeding & Early Nutrition project funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Chizoba aspires to balance research, international consulting, and teaching in the U.S., Canada, and her home country, Nigeria [/read]
Shelia McKinney, PhD, CHES

Program Coordinator

For three years, Dr. McKinney has been an integral member of the Behavior and Environmental Health Department at the College of Health Sciences, Jackson State University…

[read more] As an assistant professor, she teaches foundational and concentration-specific courses for both the MPH and DrPH programs. She lectures on diverse topics that include maternal and child health, research methods, health communications, application of public health theory in program and intervention designs, and most recently, program evaluation. Dr. McKinney is a member of the MomNBabyExcel™project team, and teaches MCH courses for the developing MCH certificate program. Dr. McKinney’s MCH scholarship includes a recent paper presented  at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association focused on an investigation that documented the rates and defining characteristics of self-reported stress, abuse, and violence experienced by expectant mothers who live in Mississippi. Much of Dr. McKinney’s practice and scholarship has been centered on cancer prevention and control prevention for Black women in underserved, poor, and racial minority communities. [/read]

Mission and Core Values

Create a sustainable Center of Excellence for Black Breastfeeding and Early Care & Nutrition

Core Values

  • Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making
  • Partnerships and Community
  • Meaningful Research, Education, Training (RET) and Advocacy that makes a difference in  the health and well-being of women in Mississippi and beyond
  • Developing Exemplary Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Practitioner-Scholars
  • Honesty 
  • Integrity
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Consortium and Community Partners

W.K. Kellogg Grant/Jackson State University Development Foundation

Funding Period 2020-2023

Establishing Center for Excellence for Black Breastfeeding & Early Nutrition in Mississippi

  • Alcorn State University/School of Nursing (HBCU Consortium Member)
  • Mississippi Valley State University (HBCU Consortium Member)
  • Jackson State University (HBCU Consortium Member)
  • Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) – WIC Lactation Specialists
  • Jackson State University Development Foundation
  • R.O.S.E Reaching Ours Sisters Everywhere (Dr. Kimarie Bugg)
  • Mississippi Public Health Institute (Dr. Roach)
  • Mississippi Nurses Foundation (Ms. Rosalind Howard)
  • Ms. Lydia West, RD, LD
  • Dr. Gerri Cannon-Smith, MD
  • Health Alliance Team (HAT) for Maternal, Child and Family Health (HBCU Initiative)
  • Dr. Ebimaye Tangbe, MSDH
  • Ms. Kysie Bolton, GA Carmichael Family Health Clinics
  • Shirley Evers-Manly, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Lindsey Robertson, RN, IBCLC
MomNBabyEXCEL Sponsor/Supporter

Charles Schwab Charitable (2022)

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