Birth Justice

Nebraska! It's time to renew your medicaid coverage

With greater access to healthcare comes better health outcomes! Medicaid coverage has been shown to promote long-term improvements in health and well-being. That’s why it is critical for you and your family to maintain your Medicaid benefits! 

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

Black Maternal Health Month

Every October, I Be Black Girl powers Black Maternal Health Month in Nebraska as an opportunity to intentionally deep dive into learnings and solutions that create positive experiences for Black mamas and people with the capacity for pregnancy.

2023 Highlights:

  • I Am A Mother! Community Baby Shower
  • NPQIC Fall Summit “Upstream Solutions to Maternal Health Equity” 
  • Medical Provider and Birthworker Meet-Up with hospital and community-based birth workers in the heartland to be in community and learn from each other ahead of our Reproductive Justice Summit
  • 2023 Reproductive Justice Summit , Where close to 300 attendees had the opportunity to be in community and learn with other advocates, allies and community members in the heartland. The empowering event allowed for conversations into crucial issues surrounding reproductive justice and featured renowned activist, author, and professor Dr. Angela Davis as our keynote luncheon speaker; award-winning artist, activist, TEDx speaker Dominique Morgan, health advocate, and certified professional midwife with over 40 years of experience Jennie Joseph, and writer, filmmaker, and community organizer Charlene Carruthers. 

Pregnant workers fairness act

In December 2022, President Biden signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act into law. This new federal law provides pregnant workers with the right to reasonable workplace accommodations to help them do their jobs while protecting their health and the health of their pregnancies. The law went into effect on June 27, 2023.

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.

Doula Passage program

The Doula Passage Program (DPP) is an intentional learning environment designed to provide education and support to community-based doulas.

Program Goals:

  • Create a program that allows for doulas to feel equipped to provide the necessary support to Black pregnant and birthing women and people; 
  • Create a shared learning platform for Black doulas in Nebraska
    Provide peer support and mentorship for Black doulas; 
  • Create model(s) that allows for Nebraska to recognize and reimburse doula services; 
  • Create a standard of care and build expectations for the relationship between pregnant and birthing people and their doula (s); 
  • Role model a structure that can ripple and help better serve other birthing populations of color.

Interested in becoming a doula?

The 2024 Doula Passage Program Application are now closed.

Stay tuned for updates and next year’s cohort application!

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