WASHINGTON (March 18, 2022) — Today, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the nation’s first and only non-profit organization committed to improving the health and wellness of Black women and girls, announced that it has received a grant for $1.2 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to bolster preconception and postpartum care for Black mothers.
“By the time they reach reproductive age, Black women’s health begins to decline due to the systemic barriers they face throughout their lives,” said Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “We applaud the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for recognizing the need to fund science-based work that improves the outcomes of Black women. This money will help us ensure Black women have access to the resources necessary to have happy and healthy pregnancies.”
The grant will be used to build upon the Black Women’s Health Imperative’s existing programs and research findings to address preconception health and gaps in maternal mental health for Black women.
The Black Women’s Health Imperative will expand its My Sister’s Keeper program on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to create a new, dynamic workforce pipeline of Black doulas, support Black maternal mental health awareness and advocacy, and eliminate systematic structures that separate Black mothers from quality maternal health care.
The Black Women’s Health Imperative will also create working groups to help develop nurse midwifery training programs on HBCU campuses. The initiative will give college women the skills needed to improve preconception, birth, and postpartum care among themselves, their families, and communities.
The grant will also fund a research advisory committee to conduct focus groups using the Jackson- Hogue contextualized stress measure to understand the perinatal mental health needs of Black women in Mississippi.
Finally, the grant will support the Black Women’s Health Imperative’s efforts to create a capacity building plan for obstetric nurses to implement anti-racist strategies to deliver equitable care.
“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to advance our research and 40 years of listening to Black women into actionable steps to address gaps in maternal health,” said Dr. Kanika Harris, Director of Maternal and Child Health at the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “It’s essential that organizations led by Black women are at the center of creating solutions to address the maternal health crisis in the United States. This grant will help us do so.”
About the Black Women’s Health Imperative:
The Black Women’s Health Imperative is the first and only national non-profit organization created for and by Black women dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our nation’s 22 million Black women and girls — physically, emotionally, and financially. Our core mission is advancing health equity and social justice for Black women, across the lifespan, through policy, advocacy, education, research, and leadership development.
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