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Dance-a-thon aims to help Black mothers and families

Click the photo to watch the news coverage of our annual Black Maternal Health Week Fundraiser

Equity Before Birth was founded during the pandemic. Since starting a year and a half ago, Executive Director Joy Spencer says they have helped about 100 families and donated $170,000 to families, birth workers and educators.

"We eliminate financial barriers that people may experience when they're trying to seek pregnancy-related care," Spencer said.

Equity Before Birth is hosting a Dance-a-thon 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Musuem of Life and Science for $25 per adult.

Spencer says 100% of their donations go to familes for essential baby needs, doula costs, child-birth education classes or providing paid leave when employers don't cover it.

"When things happen that maybe you were unprepared for or you didn't expect, we are happy to be a community organization that people can turn to and kind of fill some of those gaps," Spencer said.

Star Mauesby was one of those moms who needed help when she was pregnant in 2021.

"I started to look up doula support because as a Black woman ... I knew already that my experience at a hospital wouldn't exactly be the best experience," Mauesby said.

Numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February show that in 2020 maternal mortality for Black women was 2.9 times the rate of white women.

Equity Before Birth stepped in for Mauesby with $3,000 to cover doula services and baby essentials like a car seat system.

"It's just important that as a community, we really rally around and support Black mothers because this experience is tough sometimes," Mauesby said. "And I think everybody could use some support."


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