Fighting Racism in Reproductive Healthcare

In December 2020, the Philadelphia Nursing-Legal Partnership hosted a Brunch and Learn focused on Community-Driven Strategies to Fight Racism in Reproductive Healthcare. Designed to encourage interprofessional collaboration, Brunch and Learns bring together home visitors, public health nurses, lawyers, and community members, each with their own unique perspectives. An overarching goal of the NLP has always been to address the egregious rates of infant mortality among Black women, driven by systemic racism and discrimination. In the midst of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, and widespread recognition of racism as a structural determinant of health, Black mortality related to birth seemed like an exceptionally essential topic to discuss. The event featured a wide range of stakeholders, including Black birth workers Saleemah McNeil and Porsche Holland, community organizer Pam Newman, and Pennsylvania State Representative Morgan Cephas. McNeil and Holland discussed strategies for home visitors to support clients with traumatic birth experiences, and Newman and Rep. Cephas described current initiatives and different ways to get involved with policy and advocacy work. A recording of the Brunch and Learn and presenter slides are available online.

Tatini Mal-Sarkar, Americorps Vista

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