CLPHA Holds Webinar on the Intersection of Race, Housing and Maternal Health Equity

Date Published: 
January 19th, 2022

Maternal health is an issue embedded with racial, health, and housing disparities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Black pregnant persons are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts. Furthermore, the historical and structural institution of racism has worked to deny Black parents the ability to have stable housing and economic independence.  

Over the last decade, CLPHA's Housing Is Initiative has been working on the intersection of maternal health inequities and housing insecurity with our housing and health partners. Announced as part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Maternal Health Call to Action, CLPHA held a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on the intersection of racial inequities, housing insecurity, and maternal health outcomes.  

During our webinar we were pleased to hear from Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL), co-chairs of the Black Maternal Health Caucus and co-sponsors of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, on the importance of cross-sector health and housing work and how the Momnibus bill would improve health outcomes and racial inequities for pregnant people and their babies. "When we raise the tide for black women, who are among the most marginalized, we raise the tide for all women," said Rep. Adams. 

Venicia Gray, Senior Manager for Maternal & Infant Health for the National Partnership for Women and Families, outlined for webinar attendees how both systemic and interpersonal racism impact the health of women of color, which in turn can negatively affect the health of their babies. “Racism, not race, is the root cause of maternal health disparities," noted Gray.  

Sonja Nelson, Vice President of Resident Initiatives for the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, presented on CMHA’s Healthy Beginnings at Home initiative, which seeks to strengthen the evidence regarding the impact of increasing housing stability in addressing infant mortality, reducing adverse birth outcomes, and improving health outcomes for women and their infants, all with a strong focus on reducing racial disparities. Nelson reported on the program’s findings and successes and offered recommendations for how housing providers and their health partners could replicate this work in their communities. 

Watch a recording of the webinar below, and access recording slides in the righthand sidebar.


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