White House Roundtable On Black Women’s Maternal Health – BMHW April 11-17

About the Video

Vice President Harris holds a roundtable on Black maternal health with women who will share their experiences with complications from pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum as well as their work in advocacy and research, highlighting the disparities that Black women face in maternal health.

See Kindred’s resources for black mothers.

Visit Black Mamas Matter for more #BMHW21 celebration tools.

About the resolution

Read an excerpt from the book, Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis

The introduction of the 2021 National Black Maternal Health Week Resolution is led by Representative Alma Adams, (NC-12), Representative Lauren Underwood (IL- 14), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). Founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance and intentionally coinciding with National Minority Health Month and the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights, this week serves as an opportunity to raise awareness, inspire activism, and strengthen organizing for Black Maternal Health.

This fourth year of the national Black Maternal Health Week, April 11-17th, is themed: Black Mamas Matter: Claiming Our Power, Resilience, and Liberation. All over the country, Black-led organizations, allied partners, and communities will intentionally come together to deepen the national conversation about Black Maternal Health in the US; amplify community-driven policy, research, activism, and care solutions; center the voices of Black Mamas, women, families, and stakeholders; and provide a national platform for Black-led entities and efforts on maternal health, birth, and reproductive justice.

Congresswoman Alma Adams is a long-time supporter of Black Maternal Health Week since its inception in 2018. “Our yearly Black Maternal Health Week resolution says, unequivocally, that Black Moms matter,” said Congresswoman Adams, co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen all too clearly the racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Black Americans were one of the hardest hit communities during this pandemic, and Black and Hispanic mothers accounted for a majority of COVID-19 cases among pregnant women in the United States. That is why it is so important for us to raise awareness of Black Maternal Health Week and the mortality and morbidity epidemic Black mothers face, and urge our Congressional and state leaders to take action on one of the greatest public health crises of our time. Finally, thank you to Black Mamas Matter Alliance for leading the charge on behalf of all of our moms.”

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, together with Representative Adams, and leaders within the Black Maternal Health Caucus have led efforts on the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, which “builds on existing legislation to comprehensively address every dimension of the maternal health crisis in America.”

“I am proud to join Congresswoman Adams, Senator Booker, and Black Maternal Health Caucus leaders to mark the beginning of Black Maternal Health Week 2021. I am grateful for the leadership of Angela Doyinsola Aina and the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) for their vision to establish Black Maternal Health Week for the first time four years ago. Since then, we’ve made great progress together on behalf of Black mothers across the United States. I look forward to working with BMMA, my colleagues in the Black Maternal Health Caucus, and Black maternal health champions across the country to save lives, end disparities, and achieve true equity and justice for all.” – Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

Senator Cory Booker continues to support policies that address maternal health for Black women and uplifting the Black Maternal Health Week Resolution in the Senate, following the leadership of now U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris.

“As it stands, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of all developed nations, a crisis that puts Black birthing people especially at risk,” said Senator Booker. “By taking meaningful steps to address the disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes, we can save lives. That is why I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Representatives Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood in introducing the 2021 Black Maternal Health Week resolution recognizing the week of April 11 to April 17 as Black Maternal Health Week and compelling us to act to confront this crisis that is killing American mothers.” 

Co-founding Executive Director of Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Angela Doyinsola Aina, “We are so excited to have the support of Representative Adams, Representative Underwood, and Senator Booker for the introduction of this year’s Black Maternal Health Week Resolution. Since 2018, each year this resolution helps to grow awareness of the experience Black birthing people face before, during, and after birth. The staggering statistics of maternal mortality and morbidity, of which Black women experience among the highest in the nation are still the reality. During this week, we take time to remember the Black women loss due to pregnancy-related and associated complications, yet also uplift the leaders and Black-led organizations working to change future outcomes for Black Mamas and their babies.”

Black Mamas Matter Alliance produces the national Black Maternal Health Week campaign (BMHW), annually, with a variety of online activities including a film and culture festival, a Birth and Reproductive Justice virtual walk, and a day of policy and advocacy focused events via the BMMA Twitter. We also invite all to participate in Black Maternal Health Week with BMMA and organizations across the country by following the hashtag #BMHW21 and viewing events on our website, www.BlackMamasMatter.org.

About Black Maternal Health Week

The fourth annual national Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) campaign, founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, will be a week of awareness, activism, and community building intended to:

  • Deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the US;
  • Amplify community-driven policy, research, and care solutions; 
  • Center the voices of Black Mamas, women, families, and stakeholders;
  • Provide a national platform for Black-led entities and efforts on maternal health, birth and reproductive justice; and
  • Enhance community organizing on Black maternal health.

Black Maternal Health Week takes place every year from April 11 –17. The month of April is recognized in the United States as National Minority Health Month – a month-long initiative to advance health equity across the country on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities. Additionally, we are joining dozens of global organizations who are fighting to end maternal mortality globally in advocating that the United Nations recognize April 11th as the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights.

The campaign and activities for Black Maternal Health Week serve to amplify the voices of Black mamas and center the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements. Activities during BMHW are rooted in human rights, reproductive justice, and birth justice frameworks. Become a Sponsor of #BMHW21 TODAY!

Learn MORE about the 2021 Black Maternal Health Week and Virtual Conference by viewing our National Call. Click HERE

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