In recognition of Black Maternal Health Week, which begins Monday, April 11, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards will host a pair of events centering on the childbearing journey of Black women from conception to birth and beyond.
On Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m.at Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, Richards and Deputy Borough President Ebony Young will host “The Birthing Experience,” an evening that will shine a light on Black women’s maternal, mental and reproductive health care needs, as well as the services and programs available to them.
“Few have felt the harsh sting of health care inequity more than Black women, especially new and expecting Black mothers, who unjustly experience significantly higher rates of maternal mortality than any other group,” Richards said. “It’s an honor to recognize Black Maternal Health Week at Queens Borough Hall for the first time, as we uplift new and expecting Black mothers and propel these critical conversations forward.”
The program will include a panel discussion featuring several health care professionals, birthing experts, and maternal health advocates, a Q&A segment, a short documentary screening, trivia and maternal product giveaways.
Participants will also have an opportunity to connect with city agencies, community-based organizations and maternal service providers who will be tabling at the event at the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Borough Hall.
“Black motherhood is a beautiful and powerful experience. But decades of disinvestment in the health of Black mothers, who unjustly experience significantly higher rates of maternal mortality than any other group,” Young said.
On Wednesday, April 13 at 5 p.m., Richards will co-sponsor a Diaper Day of Action along with Morning Star Church and Councilwoman Nantasha Williams, who will host a free giveaway at her district office, located at 172-12 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans.
“Maternal mortality rates have been on a steady incline for Black women, while solutions to address this issue and community awareness have continued to lag,” Williams said. “The Diaper Day of Action will raise awareness around the inequities that persist for Black women, and support much-needed conversations around solution-based approaches to eradicate this birth injustice.”
The collection of approximately 2,000 diapers, donated to the Queens Borough President’s Office by Amazon and government relations firm Kasirer, will be distributed at no cost on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“I encourage all our neighbors to join us at these two events as Queens comes together to support our courageous and inspirational Black mothers across The World’s Borough,” Young said.
Members of the community who wish to attend either or both events can RSVP here.