Women of Color Health Equity Collective
Population: Perinatal/Infant Health,
Topic Area: Health Equity,
“Our communities, the source of our original inspiration – people of color, working people, women – still wait outside the institution[‘s] hallowed walls. Wait for us to integrate our dreams with reality. Wait for use to serve. Wait for us to ACT as changemakers alongside them. Wait for us to rejoin the fight with resolve. We can recapture the priority of social responsibility…We CAN! We MUST! We WILL!!!” – Melanie Tervalon May 1980 Welcome to the Women of Color Health Equity Collective (“The Collective”), formerly known as MotherWoman, Inc. We made this name change because it is reflective of our newly focused vision on health equity for Women of Color. This decision is intentional and purposeful and is the result of an introspective thought process. And, given the current economic, political, and social climate that has negatively affected People of Color across our country, it is a timely change. Our expanded mission is to promote the resilience and empowerment of Women of Color to advance health and wellness by building community-capacity and advocating for just policies through evidence-based research and grassroots organizing. What would it look like if women and girls of color enjoyed optimal health and well-being in a socially just world and locally in western Massachusetts? Imagine a world where Women and Girls of Color receive access to good health care, food, housing, transportation, good education, employment, living wages, and other societal resources. Imagine a world where Women and Girls of Color are able to live free of chronic stress and its related health conditions. Imagine a world without premature death, avoidable hospitalizations, disproportionately higher death rates in women and girls of color. Imagine a world where the disparities in maternal and infant mortality were not at least 2-3x higher in Women of Color than their white counterparts. We believe that Women of Color are powerful and when we are valued and supported, are more successful in all areas of their lives, thereby benefiting children, families and communities. We plan to capitalize on the strong and valuable work of Motherwoman’s peer support group and coalition capacity building models. We will also continue to build and maintain collaborations with grassroots and community-based efforts to improve the lives of women of color, families and communities in the Pioneer Valley.
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