Birth Justice

Black women and birthing folks in the United States experience unacceptably poor maternal health outcomes, including disproportionately high rates of death and near death experiences related to pregnancy or childbirth. 

Black women experience “weathering,” meaning our bodies experience physical harm due to exposure to chronic stress linked to socioeconomic inequities, discrimination and racism over the life span, making pregnancy riskier at an earlier age

Black women are 3-4X more likely to die during or after delivery than are white women.

The top leading causes of death for Black women when pregnant or giving birth are “other” heart conditions and blood clots, all preventable causes

How we move forward

Using a Collective Action Framework, I Be Black Girl is catalyzing a movement to disrupt the systems that perpetuate incidence of maternal morbidity, mortality and traumatic care experiences using strategies that center the voices, experiences, and leadership of Black women and Black birthing people.

Our Approach

I Be Black Girl works with various partners across Nebraska to address the inequities, trauma and violence within the maternal health sector. Creating transformational system change will require a comprehensive approach that addresses Black maternal health across the life course. This includes the following. 

  • Expand access to culturally relevant and trusted providers, community-based care and various kinds of birth workers;
  • Expand access and resources to quality, patient-centered comprehensive reproductive and obstetric health care;
  • Expand policy including paid family and medical leave, postpartum coverage and bias training for medical practitioners; 
  • Address the pay inequity for Black women and femmes in the workforce;
  • Collect and disaggregate maternal and reproductive health data by race and gender.

Our goal is to expand access and resources to quality and culturally relevant maternal health services through policy, research, and organizing while amplifying the voices and experiences of Black women and birthing people.

Our Partners

I Be Black Girl works with a number of partners through coalition building and various activities to help advance Black birth justice in Nebraska. 

Nebraska Black Maternal Health Coalition

The intent of this coalition is to center Black women and birthing folks in the maternal health ecosystem to help improve outcomes and the experience of Black women and folks with a reproductive system when they decide to get pregnant and parent. 

The majority of the coalition (80%) members identify as Black women that hold formal or informal roles in the maternal health and birth justice ecosystems. 

Coalition Goals:

  • Create greater communication across the ecosystem 
  • Build stronger stronger partnerships and collaboration across the ecosystem 
  • Transform and influence the ecosystem 
  • Reimagine the face of Black maternal health in Nebraska

Coalition Members:

  • Nebraska Black Doula Collective
  • March of Dimes 
  • Nebraska Medicine 
  • Methodist 
  • CHI 
  • Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative 
  • Charles Drew: Omaha Healthy Start 
  • CityMatCH
  • Touch of Gold 
  • UNMC College of Public Health