CBC Participates in Black Maternal Health Roundtable


February 19, 2020

The California Breastfeeding Coalition (CBC) joined the office of Sen. Kamala Harris at a roundtable on Black maternal health in San Francisco earlier this week.

The roundtable, hosted Tuesday by Sen. Harris’ office, was moderated by CBC Board Chair Devona Robertson of Riverside County. CBC Executive Director Robbie Gonzalez-Dow, past-Board Chair Ifeyinwa Asiodu of the UC San Francisco School of Nursing, TaNefer Camara, Brandi Gates, Karesha Boyd, Tamesha Valverde and Tempestt Walker were also in attendance.

The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss an unacceptable statistic: Black women in the U.S. are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.

“We’re grateful Sen. Harris’ office invited us to actively participate in the roundtable,” Gonzalez-Dow said. “There’s no excuse for the racial disparities that exist in maternal health and yet the experiences shared by the women here today show all of us how much work has to be done to improve care and outcomes.

Several women present shared stories of being mistreated, ignored and discounted by providers and other health care workers. For her part, Harris has reintroduced her Maternal CARE Act, a bill that would fund implicit bias training for medical schools and health programs, and also provide grants for culturally competent programs for at-risk pregnancies.


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