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Module 4What congregations can do

A compassionate force

The church congregation is an extended family for many African Americans and as such is a force that can provide comfort and healing to those who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss. Like a military force, members of a family are collectively responsible for the material and spiritual well-being, the physical protection, and the social security of all its members. Among the Akan people, an ethnic group from West Africa, the extended family is the foundation of society. In their language it is Abusua Ye Dom. Literally translated it means “the extended family is a force”. Remember in the African American church, the congregation is Abusua Ye Dom for African Americans.

A bonus video: "Faith-Based Community Bereavement Support: A Parent's Perspective"

Nicole and Paul Alston lost their first-born child to stillbirth, and have experienced firsthand all of the emotions that have been discussed in this curriculum. The couple founded the Skye Foundation to raise awareness of issues surrounding stillbirth, perinatal grief, and the specific cause of their newborn's death, placental abruption.

In this presentation, Mrs. Alston presents her very poignant story and offers lessons from her experience seeking support from the family's clergy and fellow congregation members.

Nicole Alston

Click above to launch the video in another tab. Close the tab to return to the curriculum when the video is over.

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