Are you ready for the lived Black experience?
Thank you for stopping by to learn more about me, Dr. Natashia Conner, Ph.D., how I've leveraged my authentic lived-Black experience to advocate for social change, and the founding of Racial & Health Equity Services, LLC. (RHE Corp, LLC.). I sincerely hope you join the movement to achieve racial health equity and reproductive justice for Black and Brown families nationwide.
I am a first-generation…
My parents were never married, and neither parent completed high school. I was raised in the inner city of Cincinnati, Ohio; we lived in the projects, also known to some as low-income housing projects. Here poverty was no more than everyday survival from the buttered bread and syrup sandwiches for dinner (my cousin refers to them as condiment sandwiches), and the violence that constantly surrounded me fueled a lack of ambition and literal prison sentences for many of my family members. Like so many children from broken families or being raised in poverty, my story includes surviving childhood poverty, military sexual trauma, homelessness, and physical and mental abuse, all while raising my five children. The moral of my story is, no matter what comes, hell or hot water... I persisted with blood, sweat, and tears because my very life and children depended on me to make it to the other side.
Many sacrifices were made on this journey to discovery, from Medicaid, food stamps, WIC recipient, working three part-time jobs to make ends meet, and hardly seeing my children as they spent most time going from school to daycare and another night care. At the same time, I attended school, not to mention unpaid internships, to obtain clinical hours.
Thus, the story of Dr. Conner, although it is still being written, began in 2016 when I became heavily involved in research focused on breastfeeding equity and social justice for Black families and their infants in Cincinnati, OH, in which this population was overwhelmingly inflicted by infant mortality rates greater than the nation. I began my journey as a registered Internal Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2015 and a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) in 2016. I have worked with BIPOC populations in various settings, including direct patient care in urban-inner city hospitals, public health departments, community-based organizations, private practice settings, & academia with undergraduate students supporting BIPOC community members, care providers, and students to bridge the gap related to cultural competence, engaging diverse populations, and equitable care.
My research interests have grown to investigate racial inequities, namely racism and discrimination among historically marginalized and vulnerable BIPOC communities, by attesting to racial disparities to eliminate healthcare biases that systematically oppress health equity.
I received my Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy from Walden University, majoring in Health Education & Promotion with a concentration in Behavioral Health; I received my first Master of Science from the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Health Education & Promotion with a concentration in Public Health. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Maternal Child Health from Union Institute & University and an Associate of Applied Business with a concentration in Medical Administrative Technologies from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
I am greatly impacted and motivated by my children, who are consequently affected by systems of oppression. It is my life's work to shift the status quo and stand affirmative against systems of oppression for my children, and children of BIPOC communities may have a fighting chance in America. I advocate, ally, and activist for social change regarding racial inequities and injustices.