Within the United States, Black maternal and infant mortality has reached alarming rates. Black mothers and infants are 2.5 times more likely to die than their white counterparts. The major contributing factor is stress, particularly stress produced by structural racism. In this webinar led by a clinical psychological scientist and community-based doula, we present an overview of the role of race-related stress in Black maternal and infant mortality. We examine the psychosocial and biological data on its impact on mothers and babies. We present evidence on how stress is viewed by various groups of expectant and post-partum Black mothers. Barriers to implement stress and anxiety interventions with this population are discussed. Finally, we present data on our culturally-relevant community-engaged partnership to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety on expectant Black mothers. Participants will leave the webinar with a clear understanding of the major role stress and anxiety interventionists and researchers in reducing Black maternal and infant mortality.
- Understand the role of racism as a stressor in Black maternal and infant mortality disparities
- Advocate for emotional health as the four pillar in addressing Black maternal and infant mortality disparities
- Identify barriers to effective stress and anxiety intervention with expectant and post-partum Black mothers.
- Articulate a culturally-competent approach for assessing and addressing stress and anxiety among Black expectant mothers.
Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett is a national award-winning psychologist, professor, and leading expert on anxiety disorders among Black Americans. The first African American woman to be tenured and promoted to the rank of Full Professor in Kent State University’s Department of Psychological Sciences and in the College of Arts and Sciences, she directs the Program for Research on Anxiety Disorders among African Americans (PRADAA. Dr. Neal-Barnett’s current work focuses on Sisters Offering Support (SOS) sister circles for anxiety across the lifespan and the role of race and stress in Black infant mortality.
Dr. Neal-Barnett is the recipient of numerous federal, state, and foundation funding including grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Science Foundation, Women’s Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Ohio Commission on Minority Health, Sisters of Charity Foundation and the Mount Sinai HealthCare Foundation. She is the architect and developer of the Build Your Own Theme Song© App; mobile technology that assists middle school Black girls in reducing anxiety and the author of Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic and Fear (Fireside/Simon and Schuster). An international workshop presenter and speaker, Dr. Neal-Barnett’s work bridges the gap between academia and the real world. She has published in numerous psychological journals including Journal of the National Medical Association; Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, Clinical Psychology Science and Practice, Journal of Anxiety Disorders and the Journal of Affective Disorders. Her work has been featured on CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS, Fox News, The Blend, SIRUSXM Doctor’s Radio, BET, and the Harvard Business Review Podcast Series, as well as in O, The Oprah Magazine, Health Magazine, Working Mother, Essence, and the New York Times.
Ms. Christin Farmer Kane is the Executive Director and Founding Doula of Birthing Beautiful Communities (BBC) a community-based doula and perinatal support organization whose mission is to prevent and reduce infant mortality, and low birth weights in high-risk neighborhoods by culture, education, advocacy and support and engagement. A graduate of Kent State University, Ms. Farmer founded BBC in 2014. Currently a fellow in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Ms. Farmer’s work has been published in the Journal of Social Work in Healthcare, featured in The Guardian, The Plain Dealer, Scene Magazine and heralded by the Cleveland Foundation, the City of Cleveland and the State of Ohio.