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April 13, 2020 Event


For Immediate Release

Contact: Kenda Sutton-El,


Richmond, VA. – In partnership with Black Mamas Matter Alliance and other organizations, Birth in Color RVA has successfully advocated for April 11th-17th, 2020 to be designated by Governor Ralph Northam as Black Maternal Health Week in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Even considering relatively poor maternal health in the United States as compared to other developed nations, maternal mortality among black women in America is alarmingly high. The rate of pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births is four to five times higher for black women than for white women, according to the CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. To compound the problem, many maternal health complications among rural women are underreported or misclassified.

“In recent years, we have determined the rate at which black women are dying perinatally is essentially a public health crisis being ignored,” says Kenda Sutton-El, a birth worker and co-founder of Birth in Color RVA.

Black Maternal Health Week aims to provide a national platform for reproductive health issues affecting black women, while focusing on ways to shrink the disparity in maternal health that exists both in America and right here in Virginia. Birth in Color RVA plans to hold events that connect black women and families with resources that will equip them to be informed advocates for their own health.

This year, Birth in Color RVA events during Black Maternal Health Week will be held virtually due to the coronavirus epidemic. Webinars on COVID-19, black maternal health, Doula services, and maternal health issues affecting the LGBT community will be held throughout the week. To register, use the following link:


Birth in Color RVA is dedicated to providing reproductive health services to people and families of color. To support our cause, please visit to donate. 

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