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Black Maternal Health Week is recognized each year from April 11 – 17, in order to bring awareness and actionable steps to improve the health of Black mothers. In the U.S, the rate of preterm births are increasing with outstanding disparities between Black women and infants and their White peers.
Starting April 11, the Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative (TBEI) will for the first time host a week of events that focus on health outcomes of mothers and children, with an emphasis on community.
Guests can look forward to professional mental health tips, movie screenings, and dance classes.
“Its super exciting that we get the opportunity to partner with community and build relationships directly with community,” Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative Executive Director LaBrisa Williams told The Black Wall Street Times.”
TBEI works with several other community organizations to address maternal health disparities. They’ve created programs to support Black women and other women of color, including during pre-conception, pregnancy, labor and postpartum.
“We’re excited to get the unique opportunity to provide resources, uplift, and make sure families are being heard, valued and respected throughout their pregnancy experience,” Williams added.
While some of the events are focused on Black women, there are opportunities for the whole family to enjoy.
Move it Monday, Guthrie Green 6PM – 7PM CDT
April 11, 2022
Bring your water and a sweat towel to Guthrie Green, as the community kicks off the week with a free one-hour Zumba session in the park in honor of Black Maternal Health Week. It’s an opportunity to build community and share space with each other, TBEI Executive Director Williams said.
Reel Talk Moving Screening Circle Cinema 5PM – 7PM CDT RSVP Required
April 12, 2022
Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative and Take Control Initiative/Metriarch are hosting a free screening of “Toxic: A Black Woman’s Story” at Circle Cinema from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A panel discussion in collaboration about racism, infant mortality and other issues will follow the screening.
To register for the free movie screening, visit Eventbrite.
Maternal Mental Health Day 6PM-7Pm CDT
April 13, 2022
On Wednesday, join Dr. Tenaye Hailu, Ph.D and a panel as they openly discuss mental health concerns and offer ways to manage stress. This event will be held on zoom.
The event highlights the importance of addressing the stigma related to accessing mental health sources “for Black women, especially during postpartum to help people identify the symptoms and negative life stressors,” Williams told the BWST.
Click here to access the zoom link from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Creating an Inclusive Library 6PM – 7PM CDT RSVP Required
April 14, 2022
This event will be held at Fulton Street Books & Coffee, encouraging ways to diversify your children’s’ library.
Focusing on community building for Black women, the event highlights the importance of diversifying libraries for children. It will provide a space to network, support peers, and focus on community rather than life’s stressors.
Free Friday during Black Maternal Health Week 9AM CDT
April 15, 2022
Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative will be holding a virtual giveaway through their social media accounts.
Black Maternal Health Resource Fair 10AM – 2PM
April 16, 2022
Stop by Lacy Park Community Center and learn more about community organizations and their resources to support mothers and their families.
“It’s not on Black women to kind of dig themselves out of these disparities, but it’s important to equip ourselves with the resources, with the knowledge during labor, delivery and postpartum,” Williams said. The events are “really for them to come learn about the resources that help them have a dignified, trauma free” experience during childbirth.
About Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative
The Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative is an organization that focuses on evidence-based strategies that address the gaps in health and wellness of mothers and children. The goal is to ensure Black women and other women of color are treated with respect.
To learn more about the organization and register for the events honoring Black Maternal Health Week, visit Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative.
Managing Editor Deon Osborne contributed to this report.