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 lack of ambition and literally prison sentences for many of my family members. My story like so many children from broken families or being raised in poverty, includes surviving childhood poverty, military sexual trauma, homelessness, physical and mental abuse all while raising my five children. The moral of my story is, no matter what come hell or hot water... I persisted with literal blood sweat and tear because my very life and my children depended on me to make it to the other side.
There were many sacrifices made on this journey to discovery, from Medicaid, food stamps, WIC recipient, working three part-time jobs to make ends meet, hardly seeing my children as the spent most time going from school to daycare and another night care while 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 to include 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 populations namely BIPOC communities; by way of attesting racial disparities to eliminate health care 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 in addition to an Associates 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 impacted by systems of oppression. It is my life's work to shift the status quo and stand affirmative against systems of oppression, that my children and children of BIPOC communities may have a fighting chance in America. I am an advocate, alley, and activist of social change regarding racial inequities and injustices.