African American Babies Coalition

The African American Babies Coalition is a group of African American community leaders committed to preventing the achievement gap by translating brain development and healthy child development practices into African American family and community life. The Coalition brings together parents and grandparents, educators, childcare providers, nonprofit and civic leaders, researchers, and public health professionals from across the Twin Cities.  
The work of the group builds on the Babies Project, including the Babies in Minnesota study conducted by Wilder Research in 2009. The Coalition seeks to prevent the achievement gap by ensuring that African-American babies get the support they need in their early years to learn, engage and thrive as they grow.

Three-Stage Process

Coalition members wanted to design an effort for their community, by their community that would offer parents the tools and information they need to address trauma and toxic stress, understand brain development and begin to prevent the achievement gap. The Coalition has developed a three-stage, community-owned process designed to engage and inform the African American community:
  1. Uncover through community-based participatory research the African American cultural knowledge and patterns that show up in the caregiving of children ages 0-3 and understand how they 1) contribute to and 2) inhibit healthy child development.
  2. Increase community awareness and engagement in the African American community through accessible, culturally appropriate messaging on parenting practices that are grounded in brain development research.
  3. Provide training – which draws on neuroscience, Adverse Childhood Experiences and resilience research and is adapted to be culturally appropriate for the African American community – to two key networks:
  • Parents, grandparents and community members
  • Systems and providers that interact with and impact parents and community
With a focus on skill-building this training will enable parents, grandparents, providers, educators, and community members the opportunity to translate brain development research into behavior and practice. 





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