Janet A. Dickerson | (646) 770-3276 | firstname.lastname@example.org
HUNDREDS OF BLACK WOMEN, CLINICIANS, PROFESSIONALS, ADVOCATES, AND ORGANIZERS GATHER IN ATLANTA TO ADDRESS THE U.S. BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH CRISIS
From Dec.7-9th, Black Mamas Matter Alliance hosted the first national Black Maternal Health Conference and Training Institute to advocate and mobilize around better maternal and reproductive outcomes for Black women
For Immediate Release
December13, 2019 — Atlanta, GA — In an effort to raise awareness and increase action around solutions to the maternal health crisis facing Black women in the United States, the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA)convened its first national“Black Maternal Health Conference and Training Institute” in Atlanta from December 7th to 9th. For three days, hundreds of Black women,clinicians, professionals, activists, and other stakeholders gathered at the Loudermilk Conference Center to discuss strategies and best practices for improving maternal and reproductive health outcomes for Black women using the birth justice, reproductive justice, and human rights frameworks.
The premiere convening for care providers,researchers, advocates, public health professionals, and Black mothers working to advance maternal, birth, and reproductive justice, BMHC was launched in response to a national need for a forum dedicated to Black Maternal Health and Black people working to improve the community’s outcomes. According to data featured in the Black Mamas Matter Toolkit, Black women in the United States are between three and four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women. Further, the “disparity in maternal mortality applies to Black women across all education levels, and persists even after controlling for differences in socioeconomic status.”
“The Black Mamas Matter Alliance has been working to empower the movement for Black maternal rights and justice by increasing the visibility of Black women leaders and helping them get recognized for their expertise, contributions and work,”said BMMA Co-Director Elizabeth Dawes Gay. “We’ve also been building our collective capacity to improve Black maternal health through training and technical assistance, and by supporting more effective collaboration of key stakeholders. We will continue to do this work until we accomplish our mission.”
Added BMMA Co-Director Angela Doyinsola Aina: “To date, discussions about Black maternal health have been carved into existing reproductive, maternal and public health practices, where there is little space for rich discussion and limited framing on health equity and reproductive justice. The Black Mamas Matter Alliance has created that space with the Black Maternal Health Conference and Training Institute, where we can center Black Mamas in all of our activities and pursue reproductive and birth justice, un-apologetically.”
The first full day of the inaugural Black Maternal Health Conference and Training Institute kicked off with the Opening Plenary, “Towards a Collaborative Approach to Advancing Black Maternal Health, Rights, and Justice,” featuring National Birth Equity Collaborative Founder and President Dr. Joia Crear-Perry; veteran midwife, doula trainer and Birthing CHANGE Founder Shafia Monroe;Ancient Song Doula Services Founder and Executive Director Chanel Porchia-Albert; and Restoring Our Own Through Transformation Co-Founder and CEO (ROOTT) Jessica Roach.During the December 8th Afternoon Plenary, attendees were briefed on the Black Mamas Matter Alliance’s Care, Policy, Research, and Culture Shift Platform, with presentations by BMMA Co-Directors Elizabeth Dawes Gay and Angela Doyinsola Aina; Dr.Crear-Perry; health disparities consultant Sunshine Muse; social justice evaluation consultant Nia Mitchell; reproductive epidemiology fellow and doctoral student Isabel Morgan; Center for Reproductive Rights US Maternal Health & Human Rights Initiative Manager Breana Lipscomb; and American Progress Senior Fellow Jamila Taylor.
Day Two of BMHC18 ended with the Closing Plenary, “Championing Black Maternal Health, Rights and Justice,” featuring a discussion with Gay and Aina; Board Certified OBGYN and cast-mate of the BRAVO Network’s “Married to Medicine” Dr. Simone Whitmore; and Actress/Advocate Tatyana Ali, with moderation by Contributing Editor of TheRoot Angela Bronner Helm. The full list of programming and sessions can be found here.
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ABOUT BLACK MAMAS MATTER ALLIANCE
The Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. We center Black mamas to advocate,drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health,rights, and justice. Through our work, we serve as a national voice on Black maternal health and a convener for stakeholders across the country who are fired up to help achieve a vision for a world where Black mamas thrive.
Our work is grounded in values that center and uplift the experiences, knowledge, and leadership of Black women, trans women,and femmes. We trust Black women and believe our community holds the key to overcoming the multiple and systemic oppressions that impede stellar maternal health. Black mamas are worthy of our attention and deserving of our efforts to change policy, cultivate meaningful research, advance holistic care, and shift culture to improve Black maternal health outcomes. Learn more at blackmamasmatter.org