Celebrating Black Mamas in Oregon

June 8, 2018

For Mamas Day, 70 community members gathered in Portland, Oregon to celebrate Black mamas. Together we shared our stories, created over 200 cards, and committed to building a world where all Black mamas thrive.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One community member, Rae Dunnavile, shared an especially moving story:

I had my first baby, Sojourner, when I was 35. I had an amazing birth experience, but like all too many black women, I had complications after childbirth. I hemorrhaged, which required a blood transfusion. That caused a domino effect of other hormonal and health issues that made it impossible for me to breastfeed my daughter, and led to crushing postpartum depression.

Now, I was lucky. My daughter was fine, and eventually, I was too. I had a midwife who cared enough about me to continue following up with me long after I came home and helped me navigate my postpartum care.

But not everyone has that, as we’re starting to learn through the increasing numbers of articles and research about black women’s postpartum mortality.

As a black mother who has black children who may become parents one day, and as a woman who has friends and loved ones who have, and will, birth children, I am committed to investing in organizations that are working on improving outcomes for black mothers.

We’re proud Rae and our Portland community trust Forward Together to help move this work ahead. Enjoy the beautiful photos by Izza Meda, then learn more about our work to build power in Oregon.