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Amplifying Voices and Driving Change: The 2024 Black Maternal Health Conference

On April 18, 2024, the Black Maternal Health Conference will take place, with the theme "Turning up the Volume by Partnering with a Purpose: A Focus on Black Maternal Health." The conference, organized by Central Jersey Family Health Consortium's Healthy Women, Healthy Families program, brings together individuals and organizations committed to addressing critical issues surrounding Black maternal health. The conference coincides with Black Mamas Matter Alliance's (BMMA) 7th annual Black Maternal Health Week, a week of awareness, activism, and community-building aimed at amplifying the voices of Black mothers, healthcare providers, and organizations championing Black maternal health and reproductive justice movements. Every year from April 11th to 17th, BMHW, a week-long campaign initiated by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, aims to raise awareness, foster activism, and promote community-building to amplify the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of Black Mamas and birthing individuals. This intentional week coincides with National Minority Health Month and aligns with the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights on April 11th, joining numerous global organizations in advocating for the eradication of maternal mortality worldwide.

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, with more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths identified as preventable. Unequitable access to healthcare, implicit bias within the healthcare system, and chronic health conditions all contribute to these disparities. The theme of this year's conference, "Turning up the Volume by Partnering with a Purpose," aims to bring awareness to these issues surrounding Black maternal health in New Jersey and inspire a call-to-action for participants to "turn up the volume" to improve Black maternal health in their practices, communities, and organizations.

Healthy Women, Healthy Families is a statewide initiative focusing on improving maternal and infant health outcomes while reducing racial, ethnic, and economic disparities by providing personalized support to birthing people and their families. Supports include breastfeeding and lactation education and services, prenatal care, community-based resources, medical care, and more. Central Jersey Family Health Consortium's Healthy Women, Healthy Families program serves Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties.