Racism and reproduction — what black women need to know

By KPCC In Person (other events)

Thursday, January 24 2019 7:00 PM 8:30 PM

Black babies in the United States are far less likely than white babies to reach life's simplest milestones: to form words, to learn to crawl, to take their first steps.

That's because black babies born in the United States are two times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies. The numbers are even worse in Los Angeles, where black babies are three times more likely than white babies to die in their first year of life. Lowering those rates is a priority for local public health officials.

Powerful articles — as well as personal stories from celebrities like Beyoncé and tennis star Serena Williams — are reminders that even the most wealthy and healthy black women and their babies are vulnerable. KPCC’s Priska Neely, whose own family is part of the statistic, produced a series of stories examining the history of the black-white gap in outcomes for babies and what communities are trying to do to tackle the issue. Her reporting has shown income and access to care partly explain the persistence of the gap, that the root cause is a social one, and the suspected assailant is chronic stress brought on by being a black woman in this country.

Join Priska Neely and a panel of guests as they share personal stories and information women can use to empower themselves — in and outside of the doctor’s office — to improve outcomes for their babies and themselves.


Debbie Allen – owner and clinical director of Tribe Midwifery 

Raena Granberry – mother, maternal-child health advocate and program manager with Black Women for Wellness

Dr. La Tanya Hines – OB-GYN, Kaiser Permanente

More guests to be announced.

This project received support from the Center for Health Journalism's California Fellowship and its Fund for Journalism on Child Well-being.

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