Good evening,

Happy April! We celebrated Black Maternal Health Week (April 12-17) by lifting up Black mothers and calling on public officials to address Black maternal health disparities. We kicked off the week by partnering with Radio One on a virtual panel discussion titled Ensuring Black Mental Health and Wellness. I was honored to join Black Mamas Matter Alliance Co-Founder and Executive Director Angela Doyinsola Aina, National Birth Equity Collaborative Founder and President Dr. Joia Crear-Perry and Mamatoto Village Co-Founder and Executive Director Aza Nedhari for this important discussion. 

I take my inspiration from women like Angela, Joia and Aza, who work tirelessly in our communities. Black maternal health is one of the critical policy issues that In Our Own Voice and our partner organizations work on every day...
Black Maternal Health Week Congressional Resolution
In support of Black Maternal Health Week 2022, In Our Own Voice signed a letter of support for Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Congresswoman Alma Adams and Senator Cory Booker's Congressional resolution designating Monday, April 11 through Sunday, April 17, as the 5th annual Black Maternal Health Week.
Congressional Recess and FY23 Appropriations 
In partnership with other members of the Repro community, In Our Own Voice signed a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations supporting bills with robust funding of domestic and global family planning programs and free of dangerous, ideological riders that are harmful to reproductive freedom. 
Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2022 
As a member of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2022 workgroup, In Our Own Voice helped with Title V rewrites of this year’s legislation. With Title V’s focus on Improving Health Outcomes for Women, Children and Families, some rewrites included the use of gender-inclusive language, updates to bills re-introduced during the 117th Congress, support for pro-abortion rights bills and inclusion of legislation regarding birthing people, maternal health and caregiving. 
Training on Administrative Advocacy for Reproductive Justice
In partnership with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the National Health Law Program and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, In Our Own Voice held Administrative Advocacy for Reproductive Justice: Strengthening Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Protections, a training for Reproductive Justice and health advocates. View the training here.

This was the second training in a two-part series on how Reproductive Justice advocates can strengthen Medicaid through administrative advocacy. You can access the first training here.
On April 2, 2022, In Our Own Voice honored the 2020-2022 class of Next Generation Leadership Institute fellows during a three-day retreat. During the retreat, fellows received media and message training, had professional headshots taken and attended workshops on building a bolder and brighter Reproductive Justice movement.  

Over the past two years, the fellows have strengthened their advocacy, leadership and movement-building skills. These fierce young leaders have devoted their time, energy and abilities to actualizing the future of the Reproductive Justice movement by creating innovative programming that centered on raising awareness about a wide array of issues impacting Black women, girls and gender-expansive people. 
Get the inside scoop on the three-day retreat.
In Our Own Voice is proud to partner with organizations that work 24/7/365 to advance Reproductive Justice on a state level. Take a look at our partners in action:
Baby Supply Registry

The Afiya Center is partnering with Southern Roots Doula Collective through April 30 to provide diapers and other baby supplies to Black birthing people in Texas. You can support their efforts by purchasing an item from their Amazon Wishlist.
Black Maternal Health Week Townhall

For Black Maternal Health Week, Black Women For Wellness hosted a Townhall Event with Sickle Cell Red and Dr. Raquel Hammonds, in which Black women with chronic health conditions discussed their pregnancy journey.
National Diabetes Agenda

Black Women’s Health Imperative released its 2022 National Diabetes Agenda, which outlines Black women’s risk for diabetes, prevention, pre-screening, treatment and more.

Applications for New Voices for Reproductive Justice’s #SayHerName Justice Fund have re-opened, which will help cover sudden expenses associated with sudden/tragic loss due to gun violence and gender-based violence experienced by Black women and their families.
Atlanta Health Study

If you live in Fulton, Cobb, Dekalb or Gwinnett County in Georgia, you may be eligible to participate and receive a $50 gift card. IT-PHITS Study is a collaboration between Emory University and SisterLove, Inc. to strengthen HIV prevention for women in Metro Atlanta.
LGBT Arts and Cultural Festival

SisterReach will serve as a presenting festival sponsor for the LGBT Arts and Culture Festival, which takes place on Memorial Day Weekend. Join SisterReach for a weekend filled with live entertainment, cultural excursions, health and wellness workshops, and more!
Now Hiring: Deputy Director

SPARK Reproductive Justice Now is hiring a deputy director to serve as a strategic thought-partner and exceptional manager working collaboratively with staff and stakeholders to build and sustain both the organization and the Reproductive Justice movement’s infrastructure in service to SPARK’s base.
Medicaid Assistance

For Medicaid Awareness Month, Women With a Vision is offering Medicaid assistance for those who have questions about eligibility and how to enroll.