A big round of applause for FYC's Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Initiative, who, together with the Healthy Neighborhoods Committee of the Healthy Cleveland Initiative, hosted the very successful September 25th premiere of their film "Toxic: A Black Woman's Story." The premiere was followed by a discussion period facilitated by Debra Adams Simmons, Executive Editor for Culture at National Geographic.
The film examines the harmful effects of race-related stress on the health and well-being of African American women during pregnancy and illustrates the negative outcomes associated with maternal stress. It shows a "day in the life" of a pregnant black woman and the myriad stressors she encounters throughout a typical day. As evidenced by the emotions of the capacity audience, this portrayal provides much deeper insight into the reality of African American lives than a spreadsheet or infographics ever could.
A panel discussion followed the film, with panel members discussing their perspectives on structural racism, our health care systems, barriers that are faced by African American parents and expectant parents, as well as resources that are available to parents and parents that have lost infants. The film is being shown locally at select venues and will be used as an educational and engagement tool for policymakers, education and health care institutions and other organizations that want to be more proactive around black maternal and child health matters.