what is equity?

Equity can be viewed as three interwoven components: a lens, a mirror, and an outcome.

  • It is a lens through which we view the world to inform and guide the design of our strategies and activities to build a “landscape of breastfeeding support.”
  • It is also a mirror through which we view ourselves and our organizations, examining our internal structures, culture, and policies and their impact on how the lens is applied and the outcome achieved.
  • Lastly it is the outcome we seek to achieve, i.e., equity is realized when life outcomes are equal, in a statistical sense, regardless of one’s identities.

Equity work can take the form of actions designed to address historic burdens as well as to remove present day barriers to equal opportunities. It can be accomplished by identifying and eliminating systemic discriminatory policies and practices, but also by transforming structures towards access, justice, self-determination, redistribution, and sharing of power and resources. Above all, it requires an inclusive approach that maximizes engagement of the communities impacted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a report titled “Racial Disparities in Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration Among U.S. Infants Born in 2015.” Published as part of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the report concludes that among infants who had initiated breastfeeding, differences between black infants and white infants in any and exclusive breastfeeding at ages 3 and 6 months were smaller but still present. The authors add that increasing rates of breastfeeding initiation and supporting continuation of breastfeeding among black women might help reduce disparities in breastfeeding duration. Strategies might include improving peer and family support, access to evidence-based maternity care, and employment support.

The following resources are provided courtesy of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition.


Intersection of Breastfeeding & Racial Equity:


Black Communities:


Black Breastfeeding Organizations:


Hispanic Communities:


Hispanic Breastfeeding Organizations:


Breastfeeding Resources for Hispanic Families

Native American Communities:


Native American Breastfeeding Organizations:


Breastfeeding Resources for Native American Families