Semaj Bruce, IBCLC
Semaj Bruce, IBCLC is a wife and mother of two. Born in Culver City, California, raised in San Bernardino, California and now resides in Las Vegas since 2002. She enjoys family barbecues and fun in the sun with hikes or visiting her favorite place, the beach. Life is precious and she thanks God everyday she is given the gift of life to be present.
In 2007 she obtained a BA in Healthcare Management with American Intercontinental University. She has been employed by a local WIC agency since 2008 beginning as a part-time peer counselor where she encouraged and supported other breastfeeding mothers. During this time, she continued working a graveyard shift, full time, as a Lab Assistant with Quest Diagnostics. She became a CLC in 2009 and a CLE in 2015. Later that year Semaj was promoted to Breastfeeding Program Coordinator and under her leadership, the program was awarded the WIC Loving Support Award of Excellence – Gold Level by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
Semaj is always passionate and thinking about developing ways to increase breastfeeding rates among Black women. She found out about Black Breastfeeding Week from Black Mother’s Breastfeeding Association who pioneered the celebratory week in 2014. Semaj took notice and wanted to also celebrate the local Las Vegas mothers of color. So, she began Nevada’s first Black Breastfeeding Week celebrations is 2015. She has continued to celebrate this week with the support of community partners such as Southern Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition, The Southern Nevada Health District, Southern Nevada Maternal Child Health Coalition, Kijiji Sisterhood, WIC and many others.
Semaj took notice of a community milk donation depot about to end its program under new management and decided to volunteer as its new Director. She kept it running in efforts to ensure the community still had the opportunity to give human donor milk in aid to infants in critical need. She has continued to voluntarily direct the Las Vegas depots for San Jose Mothers’ Milk Bank since 2015 donating hundreds of thousands of ounces for infants and families in need. Semaj has collaborated with Rikki Jenkins, of Heart & Sol Collective, to open a 2nd depot location in Las Vegas.
Semaj applied for a scholarship with Emerging Leaders in Lactation (MILCC) to pursue her long-time goal of becoming an IBCLC. In 2019, that goal became a reality, and she became an Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant.
Semaj is an active member of coalitions to support any efforts to combat infant mortality and increase breastfeeding rates for women of color. She is a founding member of Kijiji Sisterhood, board member of Southern Nevada’s Breastfeeding Coalition.