Let’s Talk has launched in Harlem!

Last week we kicked off our Let’s Talk Community Chat program in partnership with the Hope Center Harlem and the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership.  This program will offer families in the community the opportunity to receive education and support regarding safe sleep and breastfeeding every month at a location that is convenient and accessible. These community events will be staffed by doulas, lactation consultants, dads and grandparents from the community who have gone through our Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep program and become trained facilitators.




Last year, we heard from families in the community through our listening sessions that many don’t have the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with health care providers about safe sleep best practices or receive support around breast feeding.  What’s more, the information they do receive is often not reflective of their lived experiences and is provided more as directives rather than conversations. Many don’t have the opportunity to attend well-baby visits at all and have no support. The safe sleep messaging is not a “one size fits all” scenario and must meet families where they’re at so they are receptive to hearing it. We also know that dads want to speak with other dads or male figures, similarly with grandparents.

Our goal is to provide everyone in the family – moms, dads, siblings, and other care givers – clear information about safe sleep practices, the why’s behind the safe sleep guidelines and have conversations with them about the challenges, obstacles, and choices they make about where and how their baby sleeps.  We will also be offering diapers, sleep sacks and other items to the families we speak with.

We had over 22 participants at last week’s Straight Talk training and the second session will be held next week. Following this, those individuals who wish to become paid facilitators will participate in a Facilitator training where they will get additional training and have the opportunity to role play.  The first Let’s Talk event will be held on April 19th at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem and subsequent ones will be held the 3rd Tuesday of every month.

We are so grateful to the Rob Kossar and the Ryan Wolfe Kossar Foundation for underwriting our work in Harlem and our next locations in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

If you or your organization would like to sponsor Let’s Talk Community Chats in other areas around the country, please contact me directly at alison@firstcandle.org