How well are elected officials advocating for Black moms and babies?

by | Oct 8, 2020 | Infant Health, Prenatal Care, Progress, Racial Equity

We know that addressing the issues that impact Black infant mortality will require changing the systems in our region. Local and state government officials can play a significant part by enacting policies that help Black moms and babies.

Generate Health, FLOURISH’s backbone organization, contacted Missouri’s elected officials, including senators, state representatives, aldermen and alderwomen, and county council members, to fill out a self-assessment survey. The results were evaluated and compiled into a summarized report that ranks each official on how well they are advocating for equitable maternal and infant health care.

The purpose behind compiling this report was to provide information to communities, so that they can learn whether these needs are being met and can hold their elected officials accountable. It also is a learning tool for elected officials to use in developing relationships with impacted communities.

“During this time of advocacy and change, it’s more important than ever that we hold elected officials accountable for their promises,” said Lora Gulley, director of Community Mobilization and Advocacy at Generate Health. “We elect leaders based on the understanding that they are working on our community’s behalf, and with this information, it is now clearer who is enacting the kind of changes we need to make Black maternal and infant health a priority. I hope this process also reminded officials of how important this work is, with the hope that they will do even more in the future.”

The process to compile the report included:

  • Reaching out to elected officials to fill out the self-assessment survey, which was created based on the Generate Health Advocacy Agenda and the Ferguson Commission report calls to action.
  • Hosting discussion with community partners to collect additional feedback on the actions of elected officials.
  • Providing recommendations for elected officials to take to further support Black moms and babies, such as attending training and events focused on racial equity, partnering with expert organizations, speaking out against racist policies, listening to the needs of Black moms in the community, and ultimately prioritizing equitable health care.

Other nonprofits plan to use this information to develop deeper relationships with legislators and hold them accountable for acting on behalf of Black families. See a full list of ways our partners plan to utilize this information here.

To learn where these elected officials stand on racial equity in maternal and infant health care, access the full report: Join our email list to get updates on how you can work with Generate Health to make our region more equitable for Black moms and babies.


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