The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with the Department of Health Services and First 5 LA launched the African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) Prevention Initiative in 2018 to address persistent disparities in birth outcomes between Black and white babies, as outlined in the report: A Pathway to Equity, which showed that Black/African American babies are two to three times more likely to die before their first birthday than babies of other races, and Black/African American women are four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy complications than women of other races in LA County. The Initiative uses a racial justice framework to strengthen systems of support for Black moms and babies by centering Black/African American communities and leaders. The goal is to transform public health systems and build critical community infrastructure in places and spaces that Black families trust.
While the initiative is countywide, AAIMM prioritizes two communities where the disparities are highest: South LA/South Bay and Antelope Valley. In addition to allocating its existing resources to launch a doula pilot for Black expecting mothers and expand access to home visitation, in 2019, DPH also received $1.4MM in funding from the state’s Perinatal Equity Initiative to implement locally-driven solutions, including those supported by The Village Fund.
The Village Fund seeks to support community-led efforts that reinforce the broad goals of the AAIMM Initiative. In the spirit of “it takes a village to raise a child,” The Village Fund will partner with nonprofit organizations, small businesses, social enterprises, networks, and other service providers that provide valuable support and services to Black birthing mothers and their families. We are seeking applications from those who are interested and capable of supporting the journey to a joyous and healthy birth for Black families but are unlikely to receive or administer a county contract directly.
The Village Fund is administered by the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment and capitalized by a combination of public and private philanthropic dollars. The LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment is a project of the California Community Foundation Community Initiatives Fund (CCF-CIF), a US-based, 501(c)(3) public charity.
The Village Fund will support efforts that support the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of Black women/birthing persons, fathers, partners, and families before, during, after birth including:
The AAIMM Village Fund is made possible through funding from the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment's Baby Futures Fund and our partners:
Sonya Young Aadam, California Black Women's Health Project
Dr. Debby Allen, LA County Department of Public Health
Dr. Brandi Sims Desjolais, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Dr. Melissa Franklin, Growth Mindset Communications
Raena Granberry, LA County Department of Public Health
McKinley Kemp, Antelope Valley Partners for Health
Mashariki Kudumu, March of Dimes
Zahirah Mann, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
Kaci Patterson, LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment
Wenonah Valentine, iDREAM for Racial Health Equity