For the first time in Jacksonville, the “Stand with Black Women” brunch hosted by Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida came to the River City on Sunday to spread awareness about how maternal mortality continues to disproportionately impact Black mothers.
For several years, the event was held in Miami.
A group of panelists talked to the crowd and provided tools and resources for women. The event also featured Black women-owned businesses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women are two to three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related issue than White women.
“We know historically, sometimes many people who treat Black women don’t listen to us. And so, that’s why we’re here today,” Christina Wright with Planned Parenthood said. “We teach folks how to advocate for themselves when they go to their physician and how to really stand for themselves and get the care that they need.”
Yvette Lowery is a nurse practitioner and highlighted the importance of both advocacy and education.
“Many of the issues that cause maternal death could have been screened if they were seen earlier. That’s why prenatal care is very important,” Lowery said.
Another topic of discussion was mental health.
“Historically, we are a population that has gone with a lot of our needs being unmet. I think events like this are really like a call to action to say, ‘Hey, services are available,’” Nigeria McHellon said.
For more information on the “Stand with Black Women” initiative, visit plannedparenthoodaction.org.