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The WDN Maternal Justice Coalition is a part of the “birth justice” movement and is working to improve maternal health care for racially marginalized communities. The Coalition defines “birth justice” as a movement to dismantle inequalities of race, class, gender, and sexuality that lead to negative birth outcomes and experiences which lead to maternal morbidity and mortality.
It is a disturbing reality that in communities of color, mothers or their
babies are significantly more likely to die during or shortly after birth
than in surrounding predominantly white communities. A recent report
shows that New York and Long Island have a bigger gap between Black
and white maternal mortality than the nation as a whole. The Coalition
was created in response to this glaring need to address maternal health
inequities locally and nationally.
The Coalition aims to decrease implicit bias, health inequity, and racial
disparity in the maternal care of Black women and Black birthing people.
Formerly known as the Health Equity Task Force, the Coalition is
composed of diverse, complementary organizations, agencies, clinicians,
and individuals, and acts as one cohesive force in creating community
support for best practices that promote and increase positive maternal
outcomes for Black women and other vulnerable populations. Some of
our partners are Birth Justice Warriors, the Long Island Doula Association,
and the Suffolk County Office of Minority Health.
The Coalition seeks to:
Increase awareness of disparities and inequities in maternal and infant health outcomes among professionals, students, and the community.
Support Black women and other vulnerable populations in demanding a better standard of care when accessing maternal health services.
Create an advocacy platform that brings about policy change on the local level regarding negative health outcomes for women, infants, and other vulnerable populations.
Hold practitioners accountable to abide by recommendations/best practices and provide respectful, safe, and culturally appropriate care to all patients.
The Coalition will accomplish this through:
Fostering collective action by collaborating with the county executives, local elected officials, hospitals, organizations, agencies, etc. that work in, or have a shared goal, to promote universal birth preparedness and postpartum continuity of care and invite them to participate in and be a sponsor of the Maternal Justice Coalition.
Facilitating meetings, programs, panel discussions, social media marketing campaigns, network events, screenings, and community and clinical presentations/trainings that promote positive maternal health outcomes.
Outreach programs to expectant Black mothers and other vulnerable populations on resources, self-care in the prenatal period, and self-advocacy trainings.
Letter writing, meeting with local elected officials, attending and organizing events, linking with a national task force (ex. Black Mamas Matter) on this issue and initiatives for support and guidance, creating a petition, holding press conferences, and meeting with hospital administration and clinicians.
We have over 30 Coalition Members.
If you are interested in joining the
Maternal Justice Coalition
go to: tinyurl.com/mjcworkgroups
To sign the Letter of Support, please go to tinyurl.com/nassausupportmoms. If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-847-4411.
Click here to view our current advocacy toolkit.
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