Our babies are dying. Too few of us know. Our babies are dying. Why? Our babies are dying. What can we do?
We can “Make a NOISE. Make a difference.”
The “Make a Noise! Make a Difference!” community awareness and education campaign developed in response to Jacksonville’s high infant mortality rates, especially among African American babies. Town hall meetings in 2008 found that community members thought knowledge was the first step to solving the problem. Once equipped with information, they agreed people must stand up and spread the word about infant mortality.
Currently, the “Make a Noise! Make a Difference!” intervention is targeting residents, students, and leaders in predominantly black communities to become health advocates for their families and neighborhoods. The health advocate curriculum guide, developed by the Magnolia Project, is divided into four sessions: health before pregnancy, health during pregnancy, healthy two and healthy baby. In addition to topics concerning healthy and unhealthy behaviors before and during pregnancy, sessions cover the effect of stress, the role of fathers, the importance of vaccines and the threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The goal of the sessions is to empower women to share what they learn with others and refer them to the program.
Most recently, Arlington’s Woodland Acres Elementary School and UNF’s Florida Institute of Education partnered with the campaign to spread the message to children’s parents at their schools, allowing for expanded reach of the Make a NOISE. Make a Difference. campaign in Jacksonville. The initiative will also touch the lives of staff and clients of the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, as well as mentors and Little Sisters of the Jacksonville Birthing Project in the coming months. In the future, the campaign looks to partner with local African-American churches in an effort to involve and engage the faith-based sector.
To get involved with the Make a Noise! Make a Difference! intervention, contact Olivia Gibson at 904.723.5422 ext. 114. With knowledge, empowerment, and resources, we can begin to Make a NOISE. Make a Difference.