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November 3, 2023 33 mins
Live from the Mental Wealth Expo, The MEternal Podcast sits down Tonya Lewis Lee, Shawnee Gibson, and Nastassia K. Harris of the Perinatal Equity Network to talk the black maternal health crisis and self advocacy

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(00:00):
And before we start officially, Iwould like to thank March of Dimes,
who has been our official partner ofthe me Eternal platform. So if you're
not familiar with me Eternal, meEternal actually turned one year old today.
Thank you. It's been a greatteam of people behind you know, just
this conversation around black maternal health,what it should look like in communities of

(00:22):
color, and like what we've justbeen doing collectively as a community to make
sure that we change health outcomes forourselves. So I kind of wanted to
start with you because you did awhole documentary around what's been going on in
this space featuring Sean Yes, andas a board member of the March of

(00:42):
Times, you know, I'm justreally happy to be here and be in
conversation as well. Yeah, solet's talk a little bit about the film.
So, for those of you whoare not familiar, Aftershock was released
on Hulu, how long was thatlast year? Last year? Two?
Yeah? Yeah, it was.I mean, you know, first of
all, I just have to again, you know, think publicly Shaannie and

(01:03):
I've done that many times, butShawnie and her family really opened themselves up
to us at a very difficult timein their lives two months after Shawnie's daughter,
Shamani passed away from childbirth complications thirteendays after Kari was born. And
you know, for me, Ireally wanted to tell the story of what

(01:27):
I was hearing out in the worldabout black women dying from childbirth complications in
the United States at two to threetimes the rate of white women. I
wanted to understand what was happening inour community and really also humanize the issue
because we hear about the statistics ofwhat's happening, but I think often when

(01:51):
it's reported that way, people forgetwe're talking about real human beings and what
the impact of those deaths are tothe people who are left behind, to
the mothers, to the partners,to the children, to the community.
And you know, I will sayI often say that one of the beautiful

(02:12):
things for me that came from thatfilm was discovering Shamani and there's another woman,
amber Rose Isaac that whose family wefollow, and discovering the beauty of
who these women were are, thelove that they had for their families,
the love that their families had forthem, and it's that that's the secret

(02:36):
Sauce. I think in our filmbecause you have the opportunity to see how
Shani Shamani is a partner Amari andAmber's partner Bruce, because of their love
of these women, because of thelove of their communities, because of the
love of themselves, are really tryingto became truly activated, and SHAWNI was

(02:58):
always activated, but trying to improveoutcomes for all of us so that other
women don't have to endure and whenthey do, they find community to support
them. Yeah, that's great,that's great, and I just kind of
wanted to turn to you and justshare a little bit of your story about
your daughter and how you've kind ofgrown and evolved into this space. Thank

(03:21):
you for that question. Yesterday wasactually the fourth anniversary of Shamani's transition,
but I always say she died onone day. Was she lived thousands of
days? You literally know the numberof days eleven thy, two hundred and
seventy eight days as she lived onthe planet, So the one day doesn't
get the victory. And I'm alsograteful that there's an empty chair here.

(03:45):
I don't know who's in the audience, but I always trust and believe that
there are folks in the audience whohave lost someone due to this crisis that
we're in. And you can losesomeone in many ways, like we're talking
about mental health, and so youcan lose the essence of a person because
they have a baby and the experiencesevere postpartum depression or psychoses or perinatal mood
and anxiety disorder, and then they'reno longer the same person that you're used

(04:08):
to co creating and engaging with.So this empty chair is for the lost
ones. This empty chair is foranybody who could be up on this stage
with us talking about your lived experience. And that includes brothers, those who
identify as men in the space who'vehad partners that have shifted because of trauma
caused by these systems. So mydaughter was in the conversation with me about

(04:32):
maternal health. I have a companycalled Spirit of a Woman Leadership Development Institute,
and I acknowledge and navigate things allthings women, and a lot of
women of color work with me.I work with all women, but I
attract mostly women of color, andso conferences like my conference is at the
end of this month. We've beendoing this work a long time and this
is the ninth annual conference coming upat the end of the month. So

(04:55):
my conversations about reproductive health, reproductivejustice, bodyly or autonomy agency have been
alive in my life for most ofmy adult life. So when Shamani passed
away due to this crisis, Iwas shocked. I was shocked. I
talk about it in the movie.But then I was like, she's a
black girls, a black woman,and this system has to meet you at

(05:17):
your knowledge. So she had amidwife, a doulah, she had the
support of our family. The conversationwas alive all the time. She took
care of her body. She wasan artist, she danced, she created
and generated a lot in her lifeand was very vocal, just like her
mama. And still this system tookher out. So it's important for us
to talk about how we can preventthese deaths from happening. My daughter is

(05:40):
one of many. But I'm privilegedenough to have a platform where I get
invited, and I was asked todo the film by Tanya and Paula.
But I think about all of thosefolks, all of those mothers who are
not asked, and this empty chairis also for them. So thank you
all for having me and for holdingspace and Shamani is alive in this space
and it's because you all are speakingher name and thinking about her right now

(06:01):
and beyond this space. That's wonderful. Yes, thank you for sharing it.
So when you reflect back onto thedocumentary and this question is for both
of you, right and you hadto kind of, you know, gather
all these details and gather all thesestories. Like what were some of the
challenging things from you as the creatorand then like what was challenging for you

(06:25):
from the personal aspect of this.Well, I think you know, for
me, it was about being ableto tell the story, the very personal,
intimate story of what was happening withShamani and Amber's family, and at
the same time bring in the informationso people really understood what was going on,

(06:46):
bring in the statistics. So itwas weaving together the personal stories with
and we had a couple of experts, a doctor from Harvard and a midwife
from Brooklyn who were really the peoplewho were bringing in the statistics about the
number of deaths, why it washappening, you know, the high rate
of sea sections, the economy ofsea sections over vaginal births, the understanding

(07:12):
that the United States has the highestmaternal mortality rates in the industrialized world,
that we're the only nation that doesnot have midwives integrated into women's healthcare.
All of the other industrialized nations do, and their outcomes are significantly better than
ours. Really trying to give ahistorical context at the same time understanding how

(07:38):
we got here, what was workingin the past, like midwiffree, and
why that profession, and how thatprofession got taken over by the doctor's medical
white men, doctors who vilified midwivesso and at the same time continuing the
beat of what was happening with thesefamilies as they were moving through their different

(08:03):
stages of grief and activation, andso it was. It was definitely a
challenge. There were other people thatwe thought to follow. One of the
things we also really wanted to do. We didn't want the film, as
tough as it is, and ofcourse as devastating as these women's passing is,
we didn't want the film to beall doom and gloom, so because

(08:28):
we want people to watch right,and so we did bring in people who
were birthing as well to show whata positive outcome could look like. Because
I will tell you, the thingthat worries me in these conversations is I
don't want people to be afraid togive birth. Birthing can be a beautiful,

(08:50):
wonderful, empowering experience for those ofus who choose to give birth,
and it should not be something thatwear It should be something that we're excited
about, that we're looking forward to, that we're looking forward to having the
support around us. But at thesame time, we have to be aware

(09:11):
that we are living within our crisis, up against a system that is working
against us. And so it wasa challenge to tell the story from my
perspective. Oh, my goodness,is a challenge. So first and foremost,
Tanya mentioned earlier that my daughter hadjust transitioned two months before the invitation
was extended for us to be apart of the film, and my immediate

(09:33):
response was absolutely, I'm a veryspiritual person, so I'm like a door
is being opened, a gateway forher story to be told and for us
to have a platform, a largerplatform to address this issue, so the
message in the movement could be amplified. And so I was an absolute yes.
And my family was like, hell, no, we're not doing this.
We're hurting, we don't want camerason us or people scrutinizing or watching

(09:56):
our pain. So they were known. I'm like, I'm going without you,
but trust that this is the pathwayand that Shamani has opened this door.
And so they eventually came around,and they talk about it all the
time like we're grateful we said yes, and thank you for pushing us.
But one of the challenges for me, and I'll speak about a superficial one
and I'll also speak about a deeperone from me, is that wait a

(10:18):
minute, I'm like, it's COVID. I look crazy, like they're gonna
be in my house, They're gonnabe monitoring, and I'm in the throes
of my grief. So I'm like, oh lord, I said yes to
this, and we weren't expecting whathappened, but it was perfect. I
think the COVID was a backdrop.It was another character in the film,
and just recognizing the opportunity to makea difference and to create something that would

(10:45):
live in perpetuity about this history andpoint in time. And so I love
the way that Tanya and Paula craftedthe story. And the other part is
I'm a very outspoken person, soI'll say to Tanya. She's so gracious
that. I'm sure it was harddealing with someone like me that knows so
much or thinks they know so much, and that has the background that I

(11:05):
do, because I was constantly inthe space talking about what I wanted to
experience and see, which is probablydifferent than others who have participated in films
like this or had losses like this. So what was challenging is navigating the
conflict. And what I always say, and it's not my quote, is
that conflict is inevitable, but combatis optional. And so we chose to

(11:28):
be in conflict and navigate those momentsin time where it was difficult without making
it so so much that we didn'thonor what the ancestors wanted us to do
with that film. And I wasnever gonna let my sister look crazy.
Oh that's right, thank you,Tanya. So I kind of want to

(11:48):
get a clinical perspective on like what'sgoing on in this space. I mean,
these stories are still happening. We'rein twenty twenty three, right,
what are you seeing like in termsof the evolution of like where things are
progressing to or do you feel likewe're still kind of in this stagnant space
clinically. So I'll share my backgroundas I am a registered nurse. I've

(12:09):
been a nurse for about nineteen yearsand my specialty is maternal and child health.
I got into this work because maternaldeaths in our field will all be
classified as never events, and thenever events kept happening repeatedly. And so
I am in Jersey where black womenare seven to eight times more likely to

(12:30):
die than white women. Our statistics, we were once rated forty seventh in
the nation. We are now thirtysix. But you'll see that the needle
did not move for black women.We're still seven to eight times more likely
to die. A lot of thathas to do with who's leading the work.
My opinion is that this is ablack women's issue. We need people

(12:52):
to be allies and support us,but we have the answers and the solutions
on how to address the issue,and so how the outcomes play out also
has a lot to do with whois leading the work. I will say
that our work centers a lot onpre eclamsia and although the national narrative and
we will talk about mental health whenwe share about the statistics, we have

(13:13):
suicide listed as the number one causeof death. But when you drill down
to the racial demographics, that wasnot black women, that was white women.
Black women are actually dying from cardiovasculardisease. And so I think it's
very important when we're presenting data thatwe presented in the context of who is
most impacted, and so that meanswe need different strategies. So what I

(13:35):
see very often is people are notlistened to our symptoms, are not taken
seriously. And I'll just share anew jersey of all the Black women that
died. Ninety two percent of thosedeaths were preventable, so almost all of
them. And so we cannot bein a position where we're blaming black women.
It's not because you didn't get prenatalcare, you didn't go to your
postpartum visit, you didn't have insurance. It is racism. And so until

(14:01):
we are moving for systems change,we're going to continue to be where we
are. And so we're working ina system that is riddled with white supremacy.
Am I classify myself as a recoveringfaculty member. I used to teach
and after shock was what we showedon the first day of class. I
taught maternal child health and a nursingschool, and that's the first thing we

(14:22):
showed was that film, and sowe engauged in conversation because we need to
start in school. If we're nottraining up the next generation of providers,
they're going to continue to perpetuate whatthey've learned in school. And so we
really are trying to do that directsupport of supporting families, making sure they
have the education knowing how to pushback against when advice is not being taken

(14:46):
seriously. So our big one isblood pressure readings. We find many cases
that the numbers are elevated, they'rereported to the provider. Provider doesn't see
them as a problem. I knowclinically they're a problem because of my background,
But if you don't have a supportsystem that is helping to push that.
We've had to call doctors in emergencyrooms lots of time to say no,
like you need to do this screening, you need to do this testing,

(15:09):
and so having that center of supportis really important. We consider ourselves
a gap organization. So whatever ourmom is deed, we feel if it
doesn't exist, we create it becauseit's the community is telling us it's a
need So I think when we aretalking about the issue, using the word
racism is super important and being ableto connect the cause, you know,

(15:31):
like doctor Joya Kreer Perry says,it is racism and not race. There
is nothing about your blackness that makesyou more susceptible to disease. Right,
it's not a genetic issue. It'sa white supremacy issue. Thank you.
That was very well said. Thatneeds a collap Right. I wanted to
ask you all, how can weas women of color better self advocate?

(15:56):
Like what can we do to implement? Because I mean I learned how to
self advocate like child by fire,right, like I had my son,
it was very traumatic. I forcedmyself to like have a better experience with
my daughter and read and learned asmuch as I can so I could change
that experience for myself. But tothose who are still wondering, like how
we can you know, self advocatein this space, like what does that

(16:18):
look like? And what advice wouldyou give? Well, you know,
I think that's a that's a toughquestion because women do self advocate and the
outcomes still are dire, right,And and I think to your point,
you know, the un just cameout with a report this summer that said
sexism and racism is what's causing thesedeaths in the America. So I really

(16:41):
appreciate you making that comment. Ido think it's about making sure you have
a community around you that can helpwith the advocacy. I think what we've
also seen is that when women goin with their partners they have a black
partner, it's a very difficult situationbecause a black maybe in some distress or
have an issue, and her partnerwants to say, hold on what's going

(17:03):
on, but then he becomes hostileto the environment. So I think DULA
care is really important for us.I go back to Midwi free care as
well. I think to your point, we have to be informed and aware
about what's going on and do asmuch as we can. It's just interesting.
Just this past week I was readingabout what was happening in Alabama where

(17:29):
midwives and the community came together becausethe outcomes are so bad in the hospitals
there that the midwives there created asituation for black women. But the state
government doesn't want that to happen,and they're having better outcomes. So even
when we do create spaces for ourselvesto have better outcomes. We're still being

(17:51):
interfered with when what we're trying todo. So I think we really have
to figure out just how to makesure we have as much support around this
as possible. And I'd love toknow what you think we can do to
self advocate. Yes, so selfadvocacy I think is important that I love
not having that onus on the womanto have to come in and ready for

(18:12):
war like to deliver. That's notthe mind frame we should be in right
when we're going to give birth.But the reality is, until we have
those structural changes in place, wehave to go in as knowledgeable and prepared
as we can. Gone are thedays of listening to whatever the provider said
and moving along with it. Youhave to question everything. So my advice

(18:33):
is always take all the classes right, take a childbirth education class so you
know what to expect, what youcan and cannot do. What are your
rights in labor, Because if someone'stelling you you can't do something and you
don't know that you actually can,you're going to go along with whatever you're
being told. So knowing what yourbirth rights are that you can eat during
labor, right, that's a bigone that never gets talked about, that
you can get up and move duringlabor. You shouldn't be confined to the

(18:56):
bed. We're not meant to birthon our bad. That actually makes your
birth longer when you are in thattype of position. So being able to
get up on your knees and whateveryour body is telling you to do in
that moment, that you can dothose things right the hospital, and and
I'll say take them outside the hospital. The hospital teaches you to be a
good patient, right, They wantyou to come in and know what the

(19:18):
hospital's expectation for you is. Whatyou want to do is find your community
of black led organizations. We area proud member of the Black Mama's Matter
Alliance, which is a national organizationof black led organizations across the country.
And so look for where your partnersmight be. Look in your community is
to find out where your black ledorganizations are that are using reproductive justice as

(19:41):
their model. And I'll say thistoo, and I'm say it in this
room because it's a safe place.Don't just look for a black provider because
that's not going to save you either. Right, So, there are some
of us as providers who I've seendo more harm than others. So don't
use that as your guideline to selecta provider. To select to going to
be safe, interview them the sameway that you would interview anybody else.

(20:04):
Right, if you're going to doone of our board members, Michelle says,
we do more research on buying acar than we do on where we're
going to deliver. Right, knowwhat your C section rates are at that
hospital If they're real high, chancesare you going to have a C section
if you go and deliver there.Right, All that information is public,
but you need to know where tolook for and most of us aren't shown
where that information is. So beingconnected with the community based organizations who have

(20:29):
access to that, who can showexcuse me, show you how to educate
yourself so you're prepared to go inand not that we want you fighting,
but we want you to know,like you can say no to this.
Right, if you don't want anIV during labor, you don't have to
have an IV during labor, right, So being able to know that information
is going to be super important.From where I sit, I wanted to
chime, oh sorry, yes,please do faster this, thank you.

(20:55):
So I wanted to just add tothe richness that's in the space already as
far as this conversation and share thatwe have to look at life and living
holistically, right. So one ofthe things that we've been taught is to
think and process from this headspace,not the spiritual headspace, but just this

(21:15):
intellectual space. And it's very limited. So bring your emotional intelligence into the
space. Self advocacy is amplified whenyou are fully integrated as far as mind,
body, and spirit. So ifyour body is talking to you when
you're interviewing the people, your bellyis flipping. I don't know about y'all,
but the heat in the back ofmy negma hair and raising on.

(21:36):
So y'all know what I'm talking about, right. We don't pay attention to
those to those things, or weinternalize them and we don't let them lead
and guide us in conversation. Theother piece is that self is a tricky
piece, right. So there's selfwith the little s and their self with
the big s. Self with thebig s. For me is my holistic
self, honoring the ancestors, lookingat the birth histories of the women on

(22:00):
my patrilineal and matrilineal side, andknowing those stories as well. Who in
the space knows your birth story?Talking about self, raise your hand.
If you know the story of yourbirth, you know the circumstances surrounded your
and I see people like, eh, I don't know nothing. Why I
need to know that? That's yourend the beginning story. So how do

(22:21):
you advocate for self if you don'tknow your in the beginning story? I
know my end. The beginning storystarted with my mother being a fifteen year
old who was pregnant living in Queen'sin the sixties. I'm born in nineteen
sixty eight, so you can,without me saying even any more details,
you already know what she was dealingwith, and she was carrying a baby
in that in that space and thatecosystem. So you have to be conscious
and connected to you in order toadvocate and know that self begins. Like

(22:47):
Tanya said, and what was alsosaid about the community navigation, knowing the
epigenetic dynamics with your family, that'sa big word. With what traumas have
your family members historically out with thisbirth trauma all on my matrilineal side,
and they're also midwives on my matrilinealside, and so knowing those pieces as

(23:08):
you go along and co create withfolks who are your providers, who your
family members, are also important factorsto be able to self advocate thyself.
Yes, yes, it's so good, so good. So it seems as
though like the narrative is starting toshift because these conversations are becoming more mainstream.

(23:30):
But what would you say the nextphase of work looks like? So
for me, as I said earlier, I think the next phase is finding
the joy in birthing, shifting ourculture and how we think about and approach
birthing. For me, it's notthat I want to leave these difficult conversations

(23:56):
because I think it's important. Butas I said, I don't. I
don't want us to be afraid.So then what's the other side of that?
So what does our culture of birthinglook like? I love what Nastasia
said about you don't have to goto the hospital. You know, we
can choose where we give birth,we can choose how we give birth.

(24:18):
That's not so radical, right Likethere, if you want to give birth
in a hospital with a doctor,you should do that. But if you
want to give birth at a birthingcenter with a midwife, and a doula
and a doctor on call. Perhapsyou should be able to do that.
If you want to give birth athome with a midwife, that should be
your choice, and you should beable to find the people that surround you

(24:42):
that support that choice so you candrop into that space, know thyself,
get into that place where you needto be so you can bring this life
out into the world in the bestway possible for you. And I also
think as we think about birthing,as I said it would be for those
of us who choose to birth,we should be thinking about it as an

(25:03):
amazing right of passage. It isan amazing right of passage when a mother.
When when a woman gives birth,she's not just birthing that baby,
she's birthing a mother right. Andwe should understand what that means, and
we should support that, and weshould be loving on it, and we
should treat it as sacred as asit is. Uh. And I think

(25:26):
that's the to me, that's reallythe next step in the work. That's
good. Yes, when I thinkabout the future of birthing, I agree
with Tanya, just once again thinkingholistically taking the sacred back. We've lost
the sacred in the birthing process.I lead Rights of Passage programming, and

(25:47):
the birth is the first right ofpassage and your death is the last,
and everything in between can be joyful. Also just a little bit of an
expansion of what Tanya was saying aboutthe for me, the arc and birthing
and then the gradations of stories.So part of the story right, part
of some of the archetypes is thewoman who experiences laws and the woman who

(26:08):
experiences the joy of birthing and comesout on the other side. All stories
have a place in the full narrativeof our lives and living and looking at
them all as opportunities to learn andgrow. We have not been doing that.
We don't tell our stories anymore.So where I want to be is
in spaces where the stories are toldunapologetically, out loud and on purpose as

(26:30):
part of the sacred ritual of livinglife. And women are the bearers of
life on many many levels. Thefuture I want to see is a womanist
future where women are at the helm, where we take back the power of
birthing from these crazy ass men mainlywhite men, and restore order because it's
upside down. How do you navigatein a space where you have no clue

(26:53):
what it's like to give birth,but you're dictating all the shit that happens
in the birthing space. It makesno sense whatsoever. So that's the future
I see where we're operating holistically andholy and we're shouting our stories from the
rooftop, no matter what the storiesare. So I'll just add an addition
to what was said. I wouldlove to see more shifts and focus around

(27:15):
postpartum. It is the area wheremost of our moms are dying. And
so I will say that we needmore village and more support during that time
period. And I'll quote one ofmy good friend, Jabina Coleman, who
said everyone wants to hold the baby, but who will hold the mother?
Not sure? And that support isvery important. When your friends are coming

(27:40):
over to visit the baby, right, they're not coming to visit the mom.
So the sink is full of dishes, the laundry is dirty, there's
no groceries, right, No one'shelping with those things. And those are
the things that add extra stress,add to postpartum depression. That feeling of
loneliness, that is something I'm hearingcome often people say. Often is they
feel only as a new mother.It's them and this baby and that's it.

(28:03):
Sometimes the partner becomes a different personin that birthing process as well,
and sometimes you lose them and youfeel very alone. So the creation of
that village, asking you know whatpeople need and then doing it right,
or just taking the initiative and doingit. Sometimes we don't know we need
right, we just need something.But like starting a mail train, paying

(28:23):
for a doula for someone to have, paying for housekeeping, paying for the
things that that mother and that familyneed to be able to survive during those
first couple of weeks, which isvery hard when you don't have any sleep
right and you're running on fumes.That's a hard time period. And so
I would love to see us createmore spaces and support and talking about the

(28:44):
mother just as much as we aretalking about the baby and that postpartum period.
Sure, that's great, that's great. So I want to thank you
all for taking the time to dothis, like this was a very powerful
conversation. Did you all learn somethingtoday? Yes? Yes, So I
want to go around quickly and Iwant you all to promote you know,
your platforms and what you have goingon I know you have another documentary that

(29:07):
you work I'm just working on it, okay, so you know, but
you can see after Shock if youhave not zen Aftershock. It's on Hulu
and available, so please check itout. Awesome, awesome. Anything else
you want to share about yourself?Well, no, I mean, you
know, I also have a vitamincompany called Movita Organics that you know you
can check out too. I'm veryproud of the product. We'll tell us
a little about Movida because it's justimportantly Yeah, well just quickly. I

(29:29):
mean, Movita Organics is a vitaminsupplement company that I founded about six years
ago. For me, I'm thefirst person to say, no, one
pill has got to do it,can do it. It's got to be
a part of a lifestyle. Sowe're trying to create a community. But
we're an organic supplement. You cantake it on an empty stomach and we're
not and we're not gimmicky about it. We've got a multi a beauty,
a prenatal, a vitamin C anda vitamin B good for the brain,

(29:52):
and a vitamin D Vitamin D weall need. So check us out at
Movida Organics dot com. That's great. I didn't know you had a pre
one I used to take. Remember, Wick used to give you those big
horses invitamin to take, and theywere like swallowing an elephant. It was
horrible. I know, I know. And hours aren't tiny either, but
there are two. You take thetwo once a day and you're done and

(30:15):
there. I'm really proud of them. They're really good. Oh that's awesome,
awesome, thank you, thank you. Before it's going to promote yourself
and it's connected to our conversation aboutmental health too. If you're adequately nourished
and balanced, and you can movethrough the process more powerfully in the mind,
right, body, and the spiritright. So I have a conference
which I mentioned earlier. It's calledthe Motherwick Conference. This is the ninth

(30:37):
iteration of the Motherwick Conference. It'shappening on Saturday, October twenty eighth at
Brooklyn College and it's also virtual,so you can participate either way you wish,
and we definitely want you to comeout. The theme of this year's
conference is what Spirit Gave. It'sartivism, the rebirth of Black Humanity.
I'm an artivist. I'm an artistand an activist and both live equally as

(30:59):
powerful in my life. And there'sa lot of artivists but untapped, and
we all have potential for activism.That doesn't mean you have to march and
be chased by dogs. You canliterally just speak up, speak out,
be at the family Thanksgiving saying whaty'all think about and which all did you
vote? Like, be that person. It's annoying, but it's necessary for
what we're dealing with. So comeout and you can follow me on at

(31:22):
Shawnee the Healer on ig. Sowe don't have any events or anything going
on, but we are a NewJersey based organization. We are a black
led, black founded organization, Easterone, New Jersey. Shout out to
Brittany who one of our staff memberswho is in the audience. I would
just like, you know, findyour village of support. Well, our

(31:42):
mission is really we have community healthworkers. We do a lot of lactation
and breastfeeding support and I would beremiss if I left here today without talking
about breastfeeding and it's important in thiscrisis. I'll just plug that it is
more than a way in which wefeed our babies. It is a lifetime
of health benefits and where we arein October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness

(32:04):
Month. Please know that breastfeeding doesreduce the risk for Black women, especially
of developing pre mental puzzle breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the more
benefits you receive over the course ofyour life. Same thing with cardiovascular health.
When you breastfeed, your heart isactually stronger over the lifetime. And
so I'll plug those things because thoseare the things that are near and dear
to our heart. As an organization, we uplift and support and provide culturally

(32:29):
relevant support to Black women on breastfeeding, on birthing during the postpartum period.
And so look us up. We'reon ig at Perinatal Equity dot org and
we share you know, information thatwe feel is relevant and important for Black
women. Awesome, awesome, Well, thank you again to everybody for being
here today, and thank you forthe audience clap for yourselves because you showed

(32:52):
up right. Awesome. Thank you, thank you, thank you all.
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