Women of color (namely Black women) are currently experiencing a maternal health crisis. Statistically, Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die during childbirth or within the first year of their child's life. This is also true for Black babies within the first year of their lives.
Ujima (oo-jee-muh) is a Kwanzaa principle that we have adopted to address this specific crisis. Ujima means collective work and responsibility. Its goal is to build and maintain our community together while making our brother's and sister's problems our problems and solving them together. Together we will help to resolve this unnecessary crisis. Currently, Arkansas ranks 4th highest in Black Maternal Mortality which is a public health issue.
We can make a change!
We have been in civil unrest due to the murder of innocent Black bodies. Since then our nation has become more aware of this health crisis and have sought ways to support communities of color to bring about change. For Black mothers, this crisis actually begins in the womb.
Ujima Maternity Network is Arkansas’ first and only all Black network of birth workers and advocates. We launched this vision on December 26, 2018 and have been working diligently to build a solid resource and base for communities of color. There is a lack of representation in the birth worker field, lactation support/education, as well as access to equitable care. Currently, there are NO Black midwives in the entire state of Arkansas. Ujima Maternity Network is dedicated to answering the call for the lack of representation so that we may solve our own problems.
We appreciate the individuals and groups from all walks of life who have contributed to our mission.
In response to the heightened awareness of Black Maternal & Infant Mortality and the outcry of support we have established this fundraiser to allow community participation.
We are raising funds to increase the representation of lactation professionals, birth and postpartum doulas, Black midwives, community education, and access to these resources. Ujima Maternity Network will be offering scholarships to women of color seeking certification in lactation, doula care and midwifery. Scholarships will also be available for women of color in the community seeking these services.
Signed in Unity,
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