Vision 2025 Manifesto
In 2020, when the pandemic laid bare health inequities for people of color in the U.S., and Mr. George Floyd was brutally murdered by a police officer on a street in middle America, the i.D.R.E.A.M. Board recognized the urgency to contribute to the important social justice conversations that were igniting across the country. We asked ourselves: What is my dream for racial health equity? We had built a powerful pipeline of Black-led and peer-supported emerging leaders and amassed a library of birthing stories that spanned generations. How could we leverage our generational champions who had a comprehensive understanding of Black maternal and infant health throughout the life course for a new wave of advocacy to impact social good? We devised a new framework called J.E.D.I.—Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion—our pathway for the next five years that would usher us into this next era of Black maternal and infant health.
We knew our voice for health equity had become even more critical—and then new research emerged that provided clarity around who needed to hear our stories next. At the start of 2021, academic researchers revealed a startling statistic: the Black infant mortality rate was cut in half when the newborn was cared for by a Black doctor.* This was empirical evidence illustrating that Black babies remained in grave danger without intervention, and that a physician’s racial bias significantly impacted maternal and infant mortality.
With the recent racial reckonings shining a light on the racism, micro-aggression and toxic work environments that affect our community’s birth outcomes, i.D.R.E.A.M. saw an opportunity to train ourselves along with medical, public health and social service professionals to acknowledge the impact of racism and improve the quality of care for Black birthing experiences and improve birth outcomes.
Excerpt from Vision 2025 Manifesto