This month, EverThrive Illinois is relaunching our digital campaign The Gathering campaign. We believe that community-centered education can address the root causes of Chicago’s maternal mortality and morbidity crisis, including the systemic racism within the health care ecosystem that breeds mistrust. Last year, our community engagement team learned that communities impacted by health injustice are also dealing with a lack of access to clinics, housing insecurity, and neighborhood violence.
Birthing Black people in Illinois and individuals like Tori Bowie, Olympic Gold Medalist, are dying in childbirth and postpartum. Most of these deaths are preventable; however, many birthing people are unaware of the risk factors and precautions to take during and after pregnancy that can lead to life-threatening complications.
“The campaign is unique because community voice is centered throughout the campaign development. We formed the campaign based on focus groups on Chicago’s south and west sides and tested the imagery and messaging with community members,” said Tamela Milan – Alexander, Director of Community Engagement. “It’s important to educate our communities on the impact of maternal mortality affecting Black birthing people because many are unaware of this racial disparity.”
Recently, a new study was published in The Journal of American Medicine Medical Association. The study found maternal deaths between 1999 and 2019 (it excluded data from the 2020 pandemic) and found that “Black mothers died at the nation’s highest rates, while the most significant increases in deaths were found in American Indian and Native Alaskan mothers.“
EverThrive IL is committed to developing campaigns and supporting programs and initiatives that address these maternal health disparities to support positive health outcomes for communities most impacted by health injustice.
Our goal during this relaunch of The Gathering is to reach Black women of reproductive age by activating:
- Social service providers (WIC offices, food pantries, homeless shelters)
- FQHC partners
- Small Businesses (hair salons, currency exchanges)
- Community at Health Fairs and Spring events (Black Women’s Expo, Women’s Empowerment Brunch)
- Canvassing residential areas
We invite organizations and individuals to participate in this important campaign and share these valuable digital tools with pregnant or recently pregnant people. “The campaign also provides other health care stakeholders with a glossary of engaging, relatable, and useful language for the families they serve,” said Tamela. The campaign focuses on supporting and providing community education and resources to Black pregnant or recently pregnant people and family and friends.
This digital campaign includes the following:
- The Gathering Landing Page
- During Your Pregnancy Fact Sheet
- After You Give Birth Fact Sheet
- Family and Friends Resource
- Glossary of Terms for Doctors and Clinics
- Social Media Graphics
- The Gathering Video
Your organization is an integral part of the success of this campaign. We hope you will participate in this campaign to save lives and help increase healthy outcomes for Black birthing people in Chicago.
We also invite you to use our campaign guidelines with tips on amplifying this digital resource to the communities you serve.
Thank you for helping make The Gathering Campaign a great success!
– EverThrive IL Team
EverThrive Illinois is committed to saving lives as co-lead with AllianceChicago and our partners through the Chicago Collaboration for Maternal Health (CCMH).