ARIAH’s programs and services are centered around the lived experiences, and expressed needs, of BIPOC mothers and birthing people, who are most likely to be adversely impacted by reproductive inequities, trauma, loss and death.
Our National/International Initiatives
Speak, Move, Change Virtual Series To Commemorate Black Maternal Health Week (April 11th thru April 17th)
Speak, Move, Change (SMC) is a Free, Virtual series that is offered annually to participants throughout the United States and abroad, in honor of Black Maternal Health Week. The series is co-hosted and co-produced by three BIPOC and/or women-led organizations, committed to reproductive justice, birth equity and the amelioration of black maternal/infant morbidity and mortality in the US and abroad. The SMC series invites the community at large, individuals and families with lived experience, reproductive activists, advocates, academics, midwives, doulas etc., to gather in virtual space to learn, grow, heal and ACT in response to the black maternal health crisis. The virtual series includes ceremony, ritual, visual and performing arts, community dialogue, panel discussions and a call to action.
The National Postpartum Awareness Week (PAW) Campaign
In 2021, during the 1st Annual Speak, Move, Change Virtual event, the series participants "called for" stakeholders to create a campaign that would be centered around the postpartum period (4th Trimester); the period after giving birth when BIPOC women and birthing people are more likely to experience near death or fatal outcomes. The ARIAH Foundation, Dr. Shalon’s MAP & The Tatia Oden French Foundation, in partnership with stakeholders across the United States, co-created a vision to restore light, life and dignity to the birthing and postpartum experiences of BIPOC. The three organizations have been organizing, co-leading and co-creating the development of a national campaign that will take place from Sunday, May 7, 2023 to Saturday May 13, 2023. The collective members represent 20 states from across the country and are committed to amplifying the needs and the voices of BIPOC folx so that “Birthing while Black” in the US will no longer be a death sentence. The goal of the campaign is to invite individuals, groups, organizations and institutions from across the country and abroad to engage in activities that will promote education, dialogue, innovations and interventions to improve postpartum birthing outcomes for BIPOC communities.
Our Programmatic Offerings
The Luxor Men's Collective for BIPOC Men
This collective provides a space for BIPOC men of all ages to address their experience of trauma, grief and loss associated with infertility, miscarriage, maternal/infant morbidity and mortality. It will also create a platform for BIPOC men to talk about the intersecting roles and challenges that they navigate in their intimate partnerships and in their role as fathers or fathers-to-be.
Participants will receive information, support, interventions and referrals, as well as, opportunities to be in community as they process their thoughts, emotions and personal experiences. The sessions will be the catalyst for participants to build their capacity to identify, process and cope with their individual and collective trauma and to share their experiences, hope and strength within a community of like-minded peers. Omari Maynard will co-facilitate the series with men from various backgrounds and professional disciplines so that a holistic learning and healing space can be co-created. The group will include the use of art, experiential and therapeutic activities to activate healing.
The "In Her Honor" Exhibit & Tour for Lost Mothers/Birthing People
Omari Maynard, is a visual artist, teacher and innovator, who chose to channel his pain into power by creating a series of portraits of his life partner, Shamony Makeba Gibson, and 22 other mothers who passed away due to maternal mortality. He named the series “In Her Honor”, as a tribute to those mothers and to shine a light on the inequities of the reproductive healthcare system and the maternal mortality epidemic in America. BIPOC women in the United States are 3 times more likely to die during childbirth than their white counterparts with the same symptoms. BIPOC pregnant women living in New York City are 8 times more likely to die.
Omari’s goal is to use his talents as an artist to humanize these horrific statistics and create spaces in which community members can share their birthing stories for the purpose of healing and catharsis. The “In Her Honor” series is a tribute to all the women that made the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE to bring black and brown babies into the world. All the women depicted in the series are mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, partners, friends and contributors. They have left behind communities of people that love them and the portraits have been created to provide a pathway for healing and an opportunity for the women who have been lost to continue to communicate and inspire others from the spiritual realm.
Reproductive Trauma & Loss Support Groups
Maternal mental health conditions are the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting 1 in 5 women or birthing people during pregnancy or postpartum. Almost 40% of Black mothers and birthing people experience mental health conditions and, when left untreated, this can have long-term negative impacts on the parents, babies, families, and society as a whole. The ARIAH Foundation is committed to being a conduit for reproductive innovation through artistry and healing for BIPOC women, birthing people, their partners and families. We recognize the importance of providing support services and resources to those who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the black maternal health crisis. The experience of reproductive trauma, loss and death creates a ripple effect (Aftershock) that impacts the quality of life and well being of everyone involved. Through the delivery of healing circles, workshops, community events and retreats, the ARIAH Foundation provides much needed in-person and virtual mental health counseling and healing services to impacted individuals, communities and families.