In Kalamazoo black babies die 4X more than white babies. All the research on this disparity shows that the causes are not what you might guess—not income level, not education level, not genetics, not health care. The stress caused by racism is the cause — all the many ways that racism puts immense stress on mothers-to-be and families who are African American.
Cradle Kalamazoo is the new name of the multi-agency community initiative led by YWCA Kalamazoo, working to end infant mortality together. “Together we can cradle Kalamazoo with love, respect, and the resources needed to end the racial divide in birth outcomes.”
Is your workplace a community partner yet? Our most prominent institutions are already partners, but many more organizations are needed. Think of all the ways that racism impacts people of color. Housing agencies are needed. Employers of all kinds are needed. Neighborhood Associations, Community Planning, Transportation Planning, Schools at all levels are all needed. Improving cultural competency in every aspect of our community would help end this startling, high disparity in Kalamazoo.
ISAAC has been a partner since the early days of this initiative. Please encourage potential new partners to join too!
– Tobi Hanna-Davies, member of the Anti-Racism Task Force chaired by Teleshia Parker and Andrew Alm.