Black women have long led the fight for health equity, particularly in the realm of maternal health.

About the Collective:

The Black Maternal Health Federal Policy Collective, founded by Dr. Jamila Taylor in February 2021, leads the strategic advancement of Black maternal health through federal policy, from inception to implementation. The Collective is a go-to resource for policymakers, advocates, the press, and the public.

We aim to ensure that the voices and needs of Black mothers, femmes, and birthing people are heard and central to the policymaking process. The Collective works tirelessly to illuminate the critical issues at the heart of Black maternal health, fostering an environment of understanding, action, and change.

Our vision beyond policy change is that of a transformative shift in the societal and systemic structures that contribute to maternal health disparities. Through collaboration, advocacy, and relentless pursuit of justice, the Collective seeks to not only influence policies but also to inspire a culture that embraces and prioritizes the health and well-being of all mothers.

Our Mission:

Our mission is to lead the strategic advancement of Black maternal health through federal policy, from inception to implementation.

We do this in the following ways: 

  • Prioritize the lived experiences, needs, and the right to resources for our communities.
  • Inform, influence, and center Black maternal health priorities in federal policy development and decision-making.
  • Ensure accountability in policy implementation for Black birthing people.
  • Build intentional relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Leverage media to shift narratives on Black birthing people and parenthood.

Who We Are:

We are an interdisciplinary collective of subject matter and policy experts who bring our unique lived experiences as Black women and femmes to our work. We are presidents, executives, and early- to mid-career professionals grounded in the reproductive justice, birth justice, and intersectionality frameworks.

The Collective:

Adrienne Ramcharan, Physicians for Reproductive Health | Adrienne is the Assistant Director for State Policy at Physicians for Reproductive Health. She has experience working with advocacy and grassroots organizations, state legislature and government agencies to actively move forward a policy agenda. Aza Nedhari, Mamatoto Village | Aza is an experienced community organizer, reproductive justice advocate, and forward thinking visionary leader. She is a licensed certified professional midwife, family counselor, and the co-founding executive director of Mamatoto Village.
Breana N. Lipscomb, Center for Reproductive Rights | Breana Lipscomb, senior advisor of maternal health and rights, develops strategies to advance state and federal policies that promote Black maternal health and furthers reproductive rights as human rights. Camille Kidd, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda | Camille currently serves as the policy manager at In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda. She manages In Our Own Voice’s federal advocacy efforts.
Chanel Porchia-Albert, Ancient Song | Chanel’s work in birth and reproductive justice continues to span into the research and methods of care of marginalized people and people of color, bringing a human rights framework into birthing rooms and beyond into institutional reform and accountability measures within healthcare to address implicit bias and racism. Denys Symonette Mitchell, Symonette Strategies & Solutions | A federal lobbyist and doctoral student, Denys assesses and analyzes how social policies shape the social determinants of health, specifically related to maternal-child health, and develops strategies to improve outcomes. She brings over a decade of combined experience in Congressional relations, federal government and nonprofit operations.
Jamila Perritt, MD MPH FACOG, Physicians for Reproductive Health | Dr. Jamila Perritt (she/her) is a fellowship trained, board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist and president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH), a physician led organization that mobilizes the medical community, educating and organizing providers, using medicine and science to advance access to reproductive health care for all people. Jamila Taylor, PhD, MPA, Institute for Women’s Policy Research | Dr. Jamila Taylor is IWPR’s President and CEO. A renowned health policy expert, her work centers issues related to maternal health and reproductive justice, focusing on the structural barriers to health care access, racial and gender disparities in health outcomes, and the intersections between health care and economic justice. Dr. Taylor is the founder of the Collective.
Kavelle Christie, Community Catalyst | Kavelle Christie is the Director of the Gender Equity and Health Justice Program at Community Catalyst. She works alongside advocates, organizations serving directly impacted communities, and policy makers to craft policies, grassroots organizing and advocacy campaigns that help to improve health care access and further elevate maternal and reproductive health. Krystal Leaphart, Reproductive Health Impact | Krystal Leaphart is the Senior Policy Analyst at the Reproductive Health Impact. In this role, Krystal, is responsible for helping to shape Federal, State and Local policy and advocacy priorities.
Salma Elakbawy, Institute for Women’s Policy Research | Salma is a policy analyst and political scientist. Her work focuses on federal policy solutions with an intersectional racial and gender lens. She works alongside advocates and policy makers to uplift and protect the interests of all women. Venicia Gray, National Partnership for Women & Families | Venicia brings fifteen years of federal and state policy experience. She holds a BA in political science and an MPA from Southern University and A&M College.
Vina Smith-Ramakrishnan, The Century Foundation | Vina is a senior policy associate at TCF, where she works to promote health equity and eliminate racial and gender disparities in maternal and reproductive health outcomes.

Latest Work on Black Maternal Health