On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, Lane Cobb invited Black Westchester’s AJ Woodson to co-host her weekly talk show, Race Talk Revolution. The topic was Closing the Gap in Black Maternal Health Disparities featuring an all-star panel that included Cheryl Hunter-Grant, LMSW, Cheryl Lynn Brannan, Nubia Earth Martin, and Shawnee Benton Gibson, LMSW / FLDC.
Just to provide some background… Statistics on Black maternal health in the United States underscore serious gaps in care that have persisted despite medical advancement. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from complications surrounding pregnancy and childbirth than white women. Death rates for infants born to Black Americans with advanced degrees are higher than white Americans who didn’t go to high school. Our expert panelists bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this topic. We look forward to hearing what they have to say about these disparities and what they are doing to eradicate them.
In case you missed the live broadcast, catch the recording or want to watch it again, you can view this powerful respectful, courageous, loving conversations for healing race relations, promoting antiracism and elevating the social conscience. Listen to and learn from experts in the fields of law, education, health, arts, media, community organization and more in its entirety in the video below… Racism effects ALL OF US! Be part of the solution! Your Voice Matters!
Cheryl Hunter-Grant, LMSW is a visionary senior executive in the public health arena. Cheryl has spent her career addressing health inequities and working to eliminate disparities in health outcomes. In 2019, Cheryl received the L. Stanley James Award for her unique and exceptional contributions to the field of Maternal and Child Health. The award is the New York State Perinatal Association’s highest honor. In December 2019 she retired from her position as the inaugural Executive Director of the Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network – a Community Based Organization that mobilizes the community, to eliminate disparities, and improve the health of women, children and families in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley. During her tenure, she developed and implemented programs benefiting community health workers, families and youth.
Cheryl Lynn Brannan is the founder of Sister to Sister International (STSI) a nonprofit organization in Westchester County that educates, advocates and uplifts Black women and girls in Westchester County and beyond. Brannan led the effort for the creation of the first-ever research report entitled “Still I Rise: Status of Black Women and Girl’s in Westchester County (2019). She serves as the convener for STSI’s collective impact workgroups focused on their four pillars of research including health and wellness, Black maternal health; STEM & STEAM curriculum and career opportunities; Entrepreneurship and Pay equity; and Juvenile and Social Justice.
Nubia Earth Martin is a Community Birth Worker and Founder/President of Birth from The Earth Inc., a non-profit organization steeped in education and empowerment, providing a variety of health and wellness services. Nubia is dedicated to improving birth outcomes for women of color and toppling maternal mortality and morbidity rate disparities. The legacy and lineage of the Grand Midwives runs deep through Nubia Martin. She sees Midwifery, not as a profession, but as a way of life and a rite of passage.
Shawnee Benton Gibson, LMSW / FLDC is the CEO of Spirit of A Woman (S.O.W.) Leadership Development Institute and the Co-Founder of the ARIAH Foundation, which supports individuals, families and communities who experience the devastating effects associated with maternal/infant morbidity and mortality. Her story is the subject of the award winning documentary “Aftershock”; a film that chronicles her and her family’s experiences of grief, trauma and activism after the tragic and preventable death of her eldest daughter, Shamony Makeba Gibson, due to maternal mortality and reproductive injustice.
Race Talk Revolution is a nonprofit organization with a humanitarian mission: To free people from the bonds of racist ideals and attitudes that permeate American society through constructive dialogue, community engagement, and educational programs. is a Loving, Inclusive platform designed to Strip away the false beliefs that keep us separated as a species. Uncover the not so hidden truth that we all want the same things in life and, to Heal the wounds created by systemic racism. Race Talk Revolution is a safe and brave space for people of all backgrounds to share ideas and opinions and explore the nuances of systemic racism while together growing our capacity for effective anti-racist activism. The Race Talk Revolution community is committed to practicing radically inclusive love. Even if you do not understand or agree with what’s being shared, we ask that you listen with respect, appreciation, and empathy. It is our commitment that every person be encouraged, heard, and appreciated. Because here on Race Talk Revolution, EVERY VOICE MATTERS.
Follow AJ Woodson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check out his new book, Black Westchester – The Origin Story & How My Faith Was Instrumental In This Great Experiment available on Amazon.