It’s Black Maternal Health Week: “Building for Liberation: Centering Black Mamas, Black Families and Black Systems of Care”

April is National Poetry Month. “[It] reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters,” says the Academy of American Poets.  In a beautiful convergence, this week is also Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) nestled intentionally within National Minority Health Month

Written decades ago on a different continent,  Poem for South African Women by June Jordan resonates today with the message of fighting systemic racism. 

“We are the ones we have been waiting for,” Jordan penned.

It embodies the #BMHW22 theme, “Building for Liberation: Centering Black Mamas, Black Families and Black Systems of Care”. The theme reflects founding and leading organization Black Mamas Matter Alliance’s (BMMA) work in centering Black women’s scholarship, maternity care work, and advocacy across the full-spectrum of sexual, maternal, and reproductive health care, services, programs, and initiatives. 

The BMHW22 campaign is 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.  [https://blackmamasmatter.org/bmhw/]

You can watch BMMA’s National Call surrounding the fifth-year anniversary of BMHW here which highlights all of the major activities happening online and across the nation in celebration of Black mothers and their families. On April 17, individuals have the opportunity to get to know the organizations that make up BMMA, Black-led organizations that are doing the work and making a difference for BIPOC families. Of those organizations is reproductive justice organization Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT). ROOTT’s Jessica Roach’s TEDx talk is just one example that encapsulates both the maternal infant health crisis we find ourselves in and the triumphs that are to be elevated.  

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