Kimberly Seals Allers

Panelist: High Tech & Community Innovation

May 10, 2019, 10:45am – 12:15pm

Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist, author and an internationally-recognized speaker, strategist and advocate for maternal and infant health. A former senior editor at ESSENCE and writer at FORTUNE magazine, Kimberly is a leading voice on the socio-cultural and racial complexities of birth, breastfeeding and motherhood. She is the director of the Maternal and Child Health Communication Collective, a national initiative to shift the narrative of maternal and infant health issues, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Kimberly was recently named one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century”  for 2018 by Women’s eNews. A frequent contributor to The New York Times and Washington Post, Slate and others, her online commentaries received over 10 million page views last year. Kimberly’s fifth book, The Big Let Down—How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding was published by St. Martin’s Press in January 2017.

As a consultant, Kimberly provides strategic communication services to hospitals, non-profits and other public health-related organizations, with an expertise in engaging communities of color.

For over seven years, she has led innovative community-based projects in New Orleans, Birmingham, Detroit and Philadelphia that explore the impact of “first food deserts”—communities that severely lack accessible resources to support mothers who choose to breastfeed—and designed community-partnered strategies to transform these areas into more breastfeeding supportive environments. She most recently created and directed The First Food Friendly Community Initiative (3FCI), a W.K. Kellogg-funded, $500,0000 pilot project in Detroit and Philadelphia to create community-partnered strategies to turn vulnerable communities into more breastfeeding-supportive environments.

Kimberly serves on the advisory board of MIT’s “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” Hackathon and of 1000 Days, a non-profit focused on early nutrition founded by Hillary Clinton and is the former vice president of the Board of Governors for the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC). In 2018, she founded Narrative Nation, a non-profit that creates community-centered media and technology to eradicate health disparities.

Kimberly previously served as editorial director of The Black Maternal Health Project of Women’s eNews and was an IATP Food and Community Fellow focused on reframing breastfeeding disparities as a food systems issue.

Kimberly is also the author of The Mocha Manual series of books, published by HarperCollins and founder of, an award-winning pregnancy and parenting destination for African Americans. Her first book, The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy was nominated for a NAACP Image Award and turned into a DVD sold at Wal-mart. The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit and The Mocha Manual to Military Life round out the top-selling series.

Kimberly has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Anderson Cooper, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Fox News and has been featured in various international and national media outlets, including The Guardian (U.K.), U.S. News & World Report, Essence, Black Enterprise, Pregnancy and in various online media properties.

Kimberly is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A divorced mother of two, she lives in Queens, NY with her children. Learn more at Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @iamKSealsAllers.