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Three teen girls smiling and looking at camera. Racial Equity & Social Justice challenge logo in bottom-left corner.
Today's topic: Maternal & Infant Mortality
America is the most dangerous wealthy country in the world in which to give birth. This is due, in part, to the dramatic racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality. Toxic stress and bias in medical care mean that women of color are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications. Racism is a public health crisis and it is time to treat it as such.
In the U.S., black babies die at twice the rate of white babies and black women are three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women. Read this article about this racial mortality gap and it's tie to the lived experience of being a black woman in America.
Watch this interview featuring Stacey D. Stewart, the President and CEO of March of Dimes, where she and her co-panelists grapple with the growing maternal health crisis, and how to provide every mother the best care.
Read this article on how the negative impact of institutional racism on maternal and infant mortality for Native American women closely parallels that of African American women.
Level I: Many neighborhoods in the Twin Cities are now food and supply deserts after local stores were destroyed or temporarily closed due to damage sustained during recent protests. These closures disproportionately impact communities of Black, Indigenous and other people of color and negatively affect the health of residents who struggle to obtain food and basic supplies. Consider picking up and donating extra groceries or supplies the next time you shop and use this map as a resource to find where urgent needs exist and drop-off locations near you.
Level II: The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid time off to new parents, resulting in one in four new mothers here going back to work within two weeks of giving birth—while caring for a newborn and recovering from the physical and mental strains of delivery. Contact your legislators and your company’s human resources department to advocate for policies that support new parents.
Level III: Write to your local elected officials and urge them to declare racism a public health crisis. If you live in Hennepin County, which passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis late last month, thank your representative for passing this resolution and advocate for implementation of policies that improve the health outcomes for people of color.
Please join our work to eliminate racism, empower women and strengthen families and communities. Your contribution will support our racial justice initiatives and invest in the success of adults and youth overcoming disparities in housing, employment and educational achievement. Thank you for helping us continue to provide life-changing services.
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