purple-baby“Having been with young parents after the death of their infant who was on a couch or in the bed with them, I know how important this is and how few people really know the safe sleep info, regardless of class or race. It is simple and lifesaving. This is the most preventable way we can reduce infant mortality,” says Rochelle Habeck, co-chair of our Task Force on Early Childhood & Education.

September is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month, declared by the State of Michigan.  Locally there are three free trainings that are short and powerful:

  • Sept 20, 6pm at Galilee Baptist Church
  • Sept 27, 5:30pm at Sunnyside Methodist Church
  • Sept 27, 6pm at Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Please post this flyer on social media sites and forward it to your network to help raise awareness. ISAAC is a member of the Kalamazoo Infant Mortality Community Action Initiative sponsoring these events.

There will be a Diaper Bank table (staffed by St. Luke’s) at the ISAAC Public Meeting on October 6, near the registration table. Please encourage your congregation or organization to bring a bag or box of disposable diapers with them to the Public Meeting on October 6th. Food Stamps and WIC cannot be used for diapers, so many young families need this help.

You can also partner with us to help reduce traumatic stress and build resilience in our children and community, by hosting one of these powerful Raising of America videos with us at your congregation.  Contact the ISAAC office.  ISAAC is part of the Raising Kalamazoo County initiative that’s coordinating showings:

EPISODE 5: DNA IS NOT DESTINY 
How the Outside Gets Under the Skin (35 min)
Discoveries in the exciting new field of epigenetics suggest that fetal and early child environments literally become part of us. They alter not our genes (they’re fixed) but the epigenetic volume controls which switch genes on and off—with enduring consequences for behaviors and mental and physical health.

EPISODE 4: WOUNDED PLACES 
Confronting Childhood PTSD in America’s Shell-Shocked Cities (42 min)
Too many of our children, especially children of color living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, have endured trauma and show symptoms that look very much like PTSD—except there is no post. How might they and their neighborhoods heal?

Our task force is also part of Michigan Power to Thrive–community organizers from Gamaliel of Michigan affiliates and public health officials from across the state. Rochelle Habeck, Brenda Stubbs and Tobi Hanna-Davies attended the Michigan Power to Thrive (MPTT) Summit on Preschool and Early Care Expulsion in Lansing in August with our partners from Kalamazoo County. MPTT is working to address myths and policies that contribute to mass incarceration–from disparities and effects of racism that begin in early childhood and on into our criminal justice system.

The MPTT speaker from the Michigan League for Public Policy reported that there is $20 million in federal childcare dollars available now for Michigan that could be used to support children, youth and families–if our state legislators act on this before the current session ends. Now is the time to contact our legislators and urge them to pass legislation to support expanding childcare funding by requesting these federal dollars:

senmobrien@senate.mi.gov, jonhoadley@house.mi.gov, brandtiden@house.mi.gov, davidmaturen@house.mi.gov, aricnesbitt@house.mi.gov

And your voice matters in yet another way.  Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services, in partnership with community organizations and county residents, is working to complete a Community Health Assessment.  County Resident feedback is being collected through a Community Health Engagement Survey.

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HCS2016CommunitySurvey 

Spanish: www.surveymonkey.com/r/CESSp2016

The information from this survey will better inform the County about community needs and will help prioritize program and service development in future years. Please take a few minutes to complete this 18-question survey; all responses will be anonymous.

– Regena Nelson & Rochelle Habeck, Co-Chairs


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