Birth Justice Collaborative

American Indian and Black led strategies to advance maternal health and birth justice.

Birth Justice Collaborative

The University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) has joined a Black and American Indian-led Coalition working together to advance maternal health and birth justice in Minnesota. UROC is among the coalition’s guiding partners, which also include Native American Community Clinic, Northside Healing Space, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center,  Cultural Wellness Center, Division of Indian Work, and Collective Action Lab.

The work was catalyzed when the Birth Justice Collaborative partnered with Hennepin County to engage American Indian and Black community members to identify strategies that improve maternal health and advance birth justice. The term “birth justice” encompasses any policy, practice, mindset, behavior, or ceremony that positively impacts maternal health and well-being from pre-conception through post-partum, reduces exposure to adverse experiences, and/or fosters trauma healing.

The collaborative is pursuing the community strategies by implementing five initial priorities in 2023 and 2024, which are designed to bring about a future that American Indian and Black people wish to live into through re-connection with cultural strengths and wisdom, while simultaneously addressing harms of past and current structural racism.

Learn more about the collaborative and download the initiative’s summary of work to date. If you would like to be involved, contact Corenia Smith, [email protected]