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Black women and Black people that give birth in Southwest Ohio deserve to feel safe, respected and supported when they become a mother or have a child. To ensure we’re preserving that right, we have to work together to make it happen. It’s a community effort to create safe spaces—it takes a village. 

That’s why supporting local organizations like Queens Village is crucial; and the proof speaks for itself. Healthier births are happening in Hamilton County for Black women and people with a uterus thanks to dedicated and skilled work from professionals and community members in the area. 

According to data collected by Cradle Cincinnati, Hamilton County saw a record low infant mortality rate in 2020. That’s a 42% decline since 2017 and the fewest by far since modern record keeping began.

But, continued effort and advocacy around Black Maternal Health is still needed and we can help. 

“There is a strong need to continue to focus local efforts on Black outcomes. Even these greatly improved rates are still at more twice that of all other racial categories,” says Lucia Palmarini, a strategist with Cradle Cincinnati. 

So we teamed up with Meredith Shockley-Smith, the Director of Equity and Community Strategies at Queens Village for Cradle Cincinnati to create a guide to how you can help. 

1. Plug in. You can’t fix a problem if you aren’t aware it’s happening! Follow local Black Maternal Health Leaders like: 

  • Cradle Cincinnati- @CradleCincy
  • Queen’s Village- @QVCincy
  • Sister Song- @Sister_SongWOC
  • The Fatherhood Project- @nbnfprogram
  • The Butler County Partnership to reduce infant mortality- @BC_PRIM
  • Black Mamas Matter Alliance- @BlkMamasMatter

2. Support financially where you can. 

3. Make a statement. Stand for Black Women. Stand for Black people.

4. Keep the momentum. When Black Maternal Health week and the month of April passes, health inequity doesn’t stop. Listen to Black women, ask Black leaders and research the effects of racism. If you were unable to attend, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region held a virtual education session on this topic where real people shared real stories. You can still watch it here! https://fb.watch/5aNm-i-JQZ/ 

At Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, we deeply value, support and encourage work to eradicate this health disparity. Our community cannot thrive without freeing everyone from the fear of unequal health outcomes. Together we can change this.