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On Friday May 6th Vital Voices hosted a dynamic discussion on Black maternal health. This discussion featured public health innovator Ashlee Wisdom, Co-founder & CEO of Health in Her HUE; Vanessa Cheris, Brand Director of Pampers; Angelina Spicer, a comedian, actress, and maternal mental health advocate; and Dr. Terri Kinkade, Double Board-Certified Neonatologist and Pediatrician. These pioneering panelists discussed how to address systemic barriers and improve outcomes for Black birthing parents and their families.  

Kicking off the discussion, panelists focused in on the jarring reality that Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications than White women; with the United States having the highest morality rate among developed nations. From Angelina unpacking how post-partum depression and the lack of medical education and support was provided to her to Dr. Kinkade speaking on systemic issues that fuel implicit bias.  

“There’s lots of data to show that persons of color are judged by providers… they’re blamed for the circumstances that they’re in, they lost their pregnancy because they didn’t take care of themselves,” noted by Dr. Kinkade. And yet even while discussing the hard realities of maternal health for people of color, panelists provided the audience with hope and resources, that conversations like the very panel they were in is a step in the right direction of improving maternal health education and support in the United States.  

 Vital Voices is proud to partner with Procter & Gamble on a range of programs designed to raise awareness of and drive impact around critical issues. Together, we support women and girls who create sustainable change by developing their leadership capacity, opportunities, network, and resources.