Detroit Residents Take Center Stage in “Hacking” Michigan’s Birth & Breastfeeding Challenges
First Ever Community Hackathon Will Feature “Family Innovation Teams” Representing Detroit Organizations
Detroit, MI—Detroit’s first ever Birth and Breastfeeding Hackathon on August 24th and 25th brings together technologists, designers and engineers with a unique and necessary twist— local residents are also forming Family Innovation Teams (FITs) to bring their community innovations to the two-day event for further development.
“Far too often, our voices as Detroiters have been silenced, disregarded and otherwise devalued. This event is an opportunity for us to be strengthened as a community through our ideas, efforts, and sheer ingenuity,” said Family Innovation Team Member, Victoria Washington, 29, a mother from Northwest Goldberg.
Family Innovation Team projects include a medical device, innovative ways to support doulas who are helping expecting moms and solutions for improved breastfeeding support. The three FITs represent local organizations: Focus: HOPE, Brilliant Detroit and Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA), which is the lead organizer of the event. The teams, who have been meeting and planning for months, include Detroit residents who represent a range of experiences from nurses, educators and mothers to an insurance agent. Team formation and direction has been spearheaded by Anjanette Davenport Hatter, executive director of Harambee Care and a Detroit native.
“Making sure Detroit families are properly represented at the design and innovation table is the most important part of improving birth outcomes,” says Davenport Hatter, who participated in a similar process at a 2018 hackathon at the MIT Media Lab.
Haley Briscoe, a 22-year old health educator, is not a mother yet but she was struck by the increasingly frequent prayers over preterm babies born in her congregation. “That cemented the severity of the issue for me,” says Briscoe who is on the Brilliant Detroit team. “The Hackathon is the opportunity to hear from Detroit families and create technologies that better serve our smallest residents,” Briscoe adds.
The Detroit Birth and Breastfeeding hackathon is organized by BMBFA in partnership with the Make The Breast Pump Not Suck (MtBPNS) project and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The event kicks off on August 24th at 8:30am at WeWork Detroit, located at 19 Clifford St., Detroit, MI, 48226.
**FIT Team members are available for interviews. Photo opportunities available.**
Media Contact: Kimberly Seals Allers | Shift Strategic Communications | 347.671.7779 | KSealsAllers@gmail.com