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Black Maternal Health Week 2021

From April 11 through April 17, Medical Students for Choice is proud to amplify and participate in the fourth annual Black Maternal Health Week.  

The Black Maternal Health Week campaign is led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, and it includes opportunities to raise awareness, take action, and build community. You can learn more about Black Maternal Health Week hereand by following the #BMHW21 hashtag on various social media platforms.  

I am mindful that this year’s Black Maternal Health Week takes place while Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd, and that witnesses reported George Floyd called out for his mother during the assault. [1] 

I am mindful that just yesterday police shot and killed Daunte Wright, a Black man, near Minneapolis, and that Wright had called his mother during the traffic stop. She was allegedly talking to him when she heard scuffling and then the call ended. [2] 

And I am mindful that many of us are also mourning the loss of Dominique Lucious, a Black trans woman murdered in Springfield, MO. Black trans women continue to face alarming rates of violence and murder. They and all who love and cherish them carry the weight of that every day. [3] 

This Black Maternal Health Week, I’m centering Black mamas who have been denied the human right to parent their children in safe and sustainable communities. We must acknowledge the physical and emotional toll reproductive oppression takes on Black communities and Black mamas, and our organizing must include working to dismantle the systems that perpetuate it.  

In solidarity, 

Pamela Merritt 

  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/george-floyds-mother-not-there-he-used-her-as-sacred-invocation  
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56714346  
  3. https://www.ky3.com/2021/04/10/family-member-of-transgender-woman-killed-in-springfield-shooting-says-she-was-a-strong-and-courageous-person/