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Advancing Black Maternal Health in Brooklyn & Nationwide

9x The rate of pregnancy-related deaths among Black mothers compared to white mothers in NYC

In the United States, Black mothers are 3 times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white mothers — and in New York City, that figure is even higher, with Black women 9 times more likely to die due to a pregnancy-related cause. These stark health disparities are caused by multiple factors, including unequal access to quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias.

In honor of Black Maternal Health Week, we’re highlighting local organizations working to improve Black maternal health outcomes for communities in Brooklyn and nationwide:

1. Caribbean Women’s Health Association (BKO Partner)

Caribbean Women’s Health Association supports new mothers and their infants in an effort to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal and infant health outcomes through community-based activities for populations disproportionately affected by poor birth, infant, and health outcomes. Through its various multi-year grants, CWHA provides services to at-risk pregnant, post-partum, and inter-conceptional women and their infants and families through outreach, care coordination, support, and community-wide education events and trainings.

2. Advancing Health Equity

Advancing Health Equity’s primary mission is to engage with healthcare organizations to dismantle racism in healthcare with the goal of mobilizing for health equity and eradicating racial health inequities. Founder and CEO Dr. Uché Blackstock’s new book, Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine explores the critical intersection of racism and healthcare and calls for a more equitable healthcare system for patients of color, particularly Black women.

3. Restore Forward / Black Women’s Blueprint (BKO Partner)

Restore Forward /Black Women’s Blueprint empowers Black women, girls, and gender-fluid people to advocate for human rights and to secure gender and racial justice. Their strategies include working towards the eradication of sexual violence and providing access to full-spectrum reproductive health services for the community. Each year, Black Women’s Blueprint increases access to, attendance at, and quality of care for postpartum visits for over 1,250 pregnant and postpartum Black women.

4. Ancient Song Doula Services

Ancient Song Doula Services is a national birth justice organization working to eliminate maternal and infant mortality and morbidity among Black and Latinx people. Based in Brooklyn and NJ, Ancient Song provides doula training and services, offers community education, and advocates for policy change to support reproductive and birth justice. Chanel Porchia-Albert, Founder and Executive Director of Ancient Song, is one of the 2023 winners of the Just Brooklyn Prize, a joint initiative of the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation’s Social Justice Fund and Brooklyn Org.

Explore Our Issues & Impact: Families

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