Birth Equity Nassau November Newsletter

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Hello Birth Justice Warriors and Advocates!

November 29, 2018

RACISM IS THE ROOT, SUSTAINING THE CAUSE OF BLACK INFANT MORTALITY

           In the words of Dr. Joia Creer-Perry, “understanding that racism—structural, personally mediated, and internalized, as well as implicit bias, causes inequities in birth outcomes and maternal morbidity is imperative”. This is one of the driving factors behind the work of the Birth Justice Warriors. Understanding that there is bias is not enough however, we have to shine a light on these biases and see how we can change a system that has insisted on undervaluing the lives of Black women and children for decades in this country. Dr. Creer-Perry’s article does a great job of summarizing what we should spend our time on when trying to address infant and maternal morbidity and mortality in the African American community in the United States. Click here to read the full article.

BIRTH JUSTICE WARRIORS IN THE COMMUNITY

Below is a recap of some of the work the Birth Justice Warriors have done in the communities of Nassau County in the month of November.

PREMATURITY AWARENESS BREAKFAST:

The participants

As referenced in our last newsletter, November is Prematurity Awareness Month. On the morning of November 19, Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, co-founder of the Birth Justice Warriors and Director of the Good Beginnings for Babies program at North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center, organized the World Prematurity Awareness Breakfast. The highlight of the Breakfast was the very powerful story of Councilwoman Viviana Russell’s experience with prematurity. Dr. Martine Hackett offered a historical framework of the implicit bias rife in practitioners that contributes to the increasing disparities observed in adverse birth outcomes . Finally Dr. Adriann Combs presented the March of Dimes Score Card-New York State Prematurity Births. Nassau County currently has a ranking of C, worse than the entire State of New York which has a B ranking.

ST. BRIGID’S HEALTH FAIR:

The Birth Justice Warriors were also out in form at the 11th Annual Health Fair at St. Brigid’s church. Warriors Mechee Cherine, Melissa Valerio and Britney Nathan were on hand to share Birth Justice Warriors resources with members of the community. This was a great way to put our message out into and engage with one of the communities we hope to serve. 

Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine Scholarship Day:

On November 7, Britney Nathan gave a very impressive and popular poster presentation on the Birth Justice Warrior Training development and results from our first training. It was a great way to visualize some of the work we have already done with the Birth Justice Warriors. Great job Britney!

KEEP AN EYE AND EAR OUT FOR…

Birth Justice Warriors submitted a proposal to the Long Island Community Foundation for funding for future development. Watch out for updates…We are working on developing ‘birth justice’ informed Childbirth Education classes for families of color in Nassau County in early 2019.

Spread the Word!

The Birth Equity Nassau Newsletter is written by Tari Ajeh and edited by Martine Hackett, PhD, MPH.

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