2023 Summit Keynote: Nekisha Killings

September 26, 2022

Equity in lactation care requires representation across the continuum of care. Non-white breasts, however, have been woefully under-represented in medical education, texts and research. This gap impacts quality of care, accurate diagnosis and timely treatment for patients of color.

As lactation professionals and advocates, we are only as good as our education and experience. We do better when we know better, which is why the California Breastfeeding Coalition has invited Nekisha Killings, MPH, IBCLC, to present her signature keynote address, Normalizing Brown Breasts, at the 2023 CBC Summit.

Nekisha is the founder of The Melanated Mammary Atlas®. and co-founder of Nikki & Nikki: Lactation Career Consultants, which is dedicated to equipping aspirants of color to sit for the IBCLC exam. The Melanated Mammary Atlas, which just celebrated its first birthday, is the only searchable directory of images of various breast-related conditions on brown skin. The tool allows for viewing of the single-largest collection of such images for diagnostics, assessment, and education purposes.

Knowing how the key indicators of breast ailments appear in patients who are more melanated  enables providers to better inform their decision-making for patients of color, and to better support those patients in prevention and recognition of when they need to seek medical attention. 

By the end of Nekisha’s keynote presentation, attendees will be able to identify common conditions in brown breasts. Nekisha will separately present her BreastSide Manner® for Lactation Professionals workshop at the Summit as well.

Warm and empathic bedside manner is a lost art in provider-patient interactions. Be it time constraints, systemic limitations, lack of trust or lack of training, the disconnect is apparent and the consequences are grave.

Presented by the California Breastfeeding Coalition, the California Breastfeeding Summit is the premier statewide convening of lactation advocates. This year’s Summit will take place entirely online, a move organizers hope will increase accessibility by making the event truly open to anyone from throughout the world.