*Please Note: The livestream will begin on this page at the time of the event. If you would like to watch directly on YouTube, visit this page

On Wednesday, April 13 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM ET, join the nation’s top policymakers, experts, and advocates who are leading the fight to end the maternal mortality crisis among Black women in the United States. 

The event, which falls during the fifth anniversary of Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW), will feature a keynote address from Vice President Kamala Harris, along with remarks and panel discussions featuring Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Rep. Alma Adams, Rep. Lauren Underwood, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Sen. Cory Booker, and others. 

The BMHW campaign, founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, is a week of awareness, activism, and community building intended to deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the United States.

Presented by The Century Foundation, Black Mamas Matter Alliance, and National Birth Equity Collaborative, in collaboration with the Black Maternal Health Caucus.

Please register to obtain the viewing link.


  • Kamala Harris, vice president of the United States


  • Dr. Jamila Taylor, director of health care reform and senior fellow at The Century Foundation

Introductory Remarks: 

  • Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12)
  • Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

Panel I:

  • Moderator: Angela Doyinsola Aina, MPH, co-founder and executive director, Black Mamas Matter Alliance
  • Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12)
  • Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)

Panel II:

  • Moderator: Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, founder and president, National Birth Equity Collaborative
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

Closing Remarks:

  • Secretary Xavier Becerra, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Mark Zuckerman, president, The Century Foundation

Speaker Bios

Kamala D. Harris is the Vice President of the United States of America. She was elected Vice President after a lifetime of public service, having been elected District Attorney of San Francisco, California Attorney General, and United States Senator. In 2017, Vice President Harris was sworn into the United States Senate. As Senator, Vice President Harris championed legislation to reform cash bail, combat hunger, provide rent relief, improve maternal health care, and address the climate crisis as a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. On August 11, 2020, Vice President Harris accepted President Joe Biden’s invitation to become his running mate and help unite the nation. She is the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to be elected Vice President, as was the case with other offices she has held. She is, however, determined not to be the last.

Dr. Jamila Taylor is director of health care reform and senior fellow at The Century Foundation, where she leads TCF’s work to build on the Affordable Care Act and develop the next generation of health reform to achieve high-quality, affordable, and universal coverage in America. A renowned women’s health expert, Taylor is also a national leader in maternal health policy and works on issues related to reproductive rights and justice, focusing on the structural barriers to access to health care, racial and gender disparities in health outcomes, and the intersections between health care and economic justice. Throughout her twenty-plus year career, Taylor has championed the health and rights of women both in the United States and around the world.

Congresswoman Alma Adams was elected to her fourth full term representing the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina on November 3, 2020. After winning a special election in November 2014, Congresswoman Adams was sworn in immediately as the 100th woman elected to the 113th Congress. Representative Adams serves on the Committee on Financial Services; Committee on Education & Labor and the Committee on Agriculture. The Congresswoman is a co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus with Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois, as well as the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus. Throughout her career, Representative Adams has fought for a quality education for all students, including legislation to provide nutritious breakfasts in schools and increased pay for teachers. As a former educator, Rep. Adams has dedicated her career to improving the lives of young people and her community.

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood serves Illinois’s 14th Congressional District and was sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress on January 3, 2019. Congresswoman Underwood is the first woman, the first person of color, and the first millennial to represent her community in Congress. She is also the youngest African-American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives. Congresswoman Underwood serves on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and the House Committee on Appropriations. Congresswoman Underwood co-founded and co-chairs the Black Maternal Health Caucus, which elevates the Black maternal health crisis within Congress and advances policy solutions to improve maternal health outcomes and end disparities.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is an activist, a legislator, a survivor, and the first woman of color to be elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Throughout her career, Congresswoman Pressley has fought to ensure that those closest to the pain are closest to the power—driving and informing policymaking. In Congress, she has been a champion for justice and healing: reproductive justice, justice for immigrants, consumer justice, justice for seniors, justice for workers, justice for survivors of sexual violence, justice for formerly and currently incarcerated individuals, and healing for those who have experienced trauma. She has also turned her experience living with alopecia into action, becoming a leading voice fighting to raise awareness and support for the alopecia community across the nation. Congresswoman Pressley currently serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Financial Services. Prior to being elected to Congress, she served on the Boston City Council for eight years, and was the first woman of color elected to the council in its 100-year history.

Angela Doyinsola Aina, MPH is the co-founder and executive director of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, where she works to convene Black maternal health professionals and community-based organizations to develop trainings, programs, quality improvement initiatives, research projects, and Black feminist advocacy strategies to advance holistic maternity service provision, policy, and systems change in global public health. She has over fourteen years of public health experience, working in different capacities on projects focused on: incorporating health equity strategies into reproductive and maternal health initiatives; strengthening strategic planning and community-based workforce development; and data collection. In March of 2020, she was recognized as a 2020 WebMD Health Hero and highlighted as an advocate for Black maternal health in Time Magazine

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry is a physician, policy expert, thought leader, and advocate for transformational justice. As the founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), she identifies and challenges racism as a root cause of health inequities. She is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker who has been featured in national and international publications including Essence and Ms. Magazine. In 2020, Dr. Crear-Perry was honored by USA Today in its “Women of the Century” series and featured on ABC Nightline’s “Hear Her Voice.” Dr. Crear-Perry currently serves as a principal at Health Equity Cypher and on the board of trustees for Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Community Catalyst, National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning, and the UCSF PTBi. She is an adjunct professor at Tulane School of Public Health.

Senator Cory Booker, New Jersey’s junior senator, has brought an innovative and consensus-building approach to tackling some of the most difficult problems facing New Jersey and our country. He has emerged as a national leader in the effort to fix our broken criminal justice system and end mass incarceration, helping craft the most sweeping set of criminal justice reforms in a generation, the First Step Act, which became law in December 2018. Booker has also worked to reform America’s broken food system, address our nation’s nutrition crisis, and end food insecurity. Booker sits on the Judiciary Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and the Small Business Committee. 

Secretary Xavier Becerra is the 25th Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the first Latino to hold the office in the history of the United States. As Secretary, he will carry out President Biden’s vision to build a healthy America, and his work will focus on ensuring that all Americans have health security and access to healthcare. Throughout his career, the Secretary has made it his priority to ensure that Americans have access to the affordable healthcare they need to survive and thrive – from his early days as a legal advocate representing individuals with mental illness, to his role as the Attorney General of the state of California. Secretary Becerra served 12 terms in Congress as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. During his tenure, he was the first Latino to serve as a member of the powerful Committee on Ways and Means, he served as Chairman of his party’s caucus, and as the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health.

Mark Zuckerman is president of The Century Foundation. He served in the Obama White House as the deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, leading teams on key initiatives, including reducing student debt, increasing accountability at for-profit educational institutions, reducing workplace discrimination, increasing wages for home health care workers, and expanding access to job training. Prior to that, as staff director of the House Education and Labor Committee, he helped win passage of landmark legislation such as the Affordable Care Act; the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.