The Female/BIPOC-led Foundation’s Video Particularly Poignant Given Senator Bill Cassidy’s Controversial and Inflammatory Comments Concerning Black Maternal Mortality Data
New Orleans, LA – May 23, 2022
Southern-based non-profit Women’s Foundation of the South (WFS) is pleased to announce that it is airing the first episode of its four-part Learn with Us series on streaming service Vimeo. WFS’s Learn with Us series amplifies the Foundation’s vision of a flourishing South, where women and girls of color are healthy, doing well financially, and able to determine their own destinies, ensuring that they and their families thrive.
Learn with Us is an impact production, telling the stories of women and girls of color in the South, and rooted in content that showcases conditions and issues that women and girls face in the country’s Southern states. The timing of the debut – on Mother’s Day, May 8 – was intentional.
The Women’s Foundation of the South (WFS) is a revolutionary first-ever foundation dedicated to women and girls of color across 13 states, guided by grantmaking experts of color. WFS’s Learn with Us is a four-part series of 30-minute videos featuring women of color speaking about their particular experiences and telling compelling stories that illustrate these events.
The first episode concerns the specific experiences women of color have when it comes to maternal health, maternal mortality, infant mortality, and reproductive justice in Southern states, particularly Louisiana. Four panelists speak about their own experience of birthing while black as well as birth workers in Louisiana, and the discussion is moderated by WFS Founding President and CEO Carmen James Randolph. This is a don’t-miss debut episode that changes the way people think about maternal mortality and health, leaving them with the clear understanding that outcomes concerning maternal mortality are so much worse in Southern states for women of color than elsewhere in our country.
The topic of maternal mortality is especially impassioned and of-the-moment given Senator Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) controversial comments to Politico that Louisiana’s maternal mortality rate — one of the worst in the nation — does not tell the whole story of maternal health in the state because of its large Black population. His comments underscore how it is possible for Black women to be systemically unseen, unheard, disbelieved, and dismissed by healthcare professionals and even elected officials in Louisiana. He said, “So if you correct our population for race, we’re not as much of an outlier as it’d otherwise appear.” The United States has the worst maternal mortality rate among developed nations. Each year, approximately 17 mothers die for every 100,000 pregnancies in the country, with rates much more common among Black women than other racial groups. In Louisiana, maternal mortality for Black women is four times that of White women. WFS’s Learn with Us series is particularly eye-opening in light of Sen. Cassidy’s statement. Watch it and Learn with Us and Partner with us to #ShiftTheSouth.
About Carmen James Randolph:
As an experienced leader in philanthropy known for championing sustainable transformation from the intersections of gender, racial and social justice, Carmen specializes in galvanizing funders, donors, policy makers and grassroots activists to forever change communities, organizations, and people for good. With 21 years of expertise in philanthropy, she has leveraged more than $20M in new investments from national and regional funders to support and transform marginalized communities.
WFS is a 501(c)3 organization for women and girls of color in the South, and led by the same, founded on the principle that solutions are often held by those closest to the problem. WFS raises funds for active programs, services, and resources for women and girls of color and their families to stimulate building health, wealth, and power, and will serve women of color in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
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