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Marshall Hobson Ritz




I am supporting the Black Power Blueprint by committing to raise funds towards the Black Power Blueprint’s African Women’s Health Center and Doula Training Program in North St. Louis!

African newborns are more likely to survive childbirth when cared for by African birth practitioners, including doulas and midwives, with some studies showing that when African women receive care from African practitioners their mortality rate is cut in half.

African infants are 3 times more likely to die before the age of 1 as compared with white infants; enough to fill 15 kindergarten classrooms.

This is a neighborhood that is 95% African, the majority of whom live below the poverty line. African people in the St. Louis area are 3.23 times more likely than whites to live in poverty, the eighth-highest disparity out of 48 metro areas.

Black women have higher rates of C-section births, and their needs, concerns and pain are routinely dismissed by traditional health systems. They are turning to midwives and doulas after years of feeling dismissed in hospitals; this program will facilitate their ability to take control of their health. Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women.

For white people, contributing resources to these programs is a stand of reparations to African people. Solidarity with the African community-led struggle for reparations which means repairing the damage of centuries of injustice and oppression in a country built on the original sin of slavery, genocide and colonialism.

This is another black community-led project of the nonprofit African People's Education and Defense Fund that improves the well-being of the African community and helps close the huge disparities imposed on African people in overall health and life expectancy. Please join me in being a part of building an African Women’s Health Center on the northside of St. Louis.

Each year, the number of babies that die during childbirth in St. Louis could populate 15 kindergarten classrooms. We are fighting to take back our power over our own communities and resources including the futures of our children.

We are embarking on Phase Five of the Black Power Blueprint, to create a Black-led wellness education center to empower Black women and girls in caring for our physical, mental and emotional wellness. The vision is to provide health and self-care programs that reinforce our traditional African culture, and invest in the future of our community with doula and childbirth educator certification programs along with opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.

We have long recognized that our community has the capacity to solve our own problems through self-reliance projects driven by the needs of the community, rather than having solutions imposed on us. We create programs that empower the people from the ground up to create lasting change. The Uhuru Wa Kulea Health Center will be a much needed respite for our community. It will empower us in taking charge of our health and well-being.

The Uhuru Wa Kulea African Women's Health Center is part of the Black Power Blueprint, an initiative of the African People's Education and Defense Fund and Black Star Industries.

How would you like to support?