Whether spreading awareness about the gender pay gap or leading initiatives designed to provide resources for working mothers, track and field Olympian Allyson Felix has used her platform as a vessel for women’s empowerment. The Los Angeles native recently teamed up with the brand Pampers to bring attention to the devastating maternal health crisis and its disproportionate impact on Black women.
According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. That harrowing reality often stems from discrimination and bias entrenched in the country’s flawed healthcare system.
To change the narrative and save lives, the baby product brand is committing $250,000 over 12 months to advance equitable care for Black mothers. Through the initiative, $100,000 will be granted to the National Birth Equity Collaborative, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating systemic barriers Black moms face to improve maternal health outcomes.
The funds will go towards advancing Birth Equity Trainings which was created to help clinicians and healthcare practitioners approach their work through a culturally-responsive lens. Pampers will also donate one dollar to the organization each time the project’s #RaiseCareDeliverJoy video is shared.
For Felix, joining forces with Pampers to amplify the issue was personal.
“Black maternal health is a cause that is very close to me for so many reasons. After experiencing some of the scariest days of my life giving birth to my own daughter and realizing I’m not alone; that really pushed me to want to advocate for other moms so they can experience the pure joy that comes with being a parent,” she shared in a statement. “You can’t change anything with silence, so I’m proud to partner with Pampers to support their commitment to addressing the maternal health disparity.”
Melissa Aceves, Senior Brand Director and Equity & Inclusion Lead for Pampers, added, “knowing the systemic issues affecting Black moms in America today means we have no choice but to continue to act. We are determined to keep fighting for better outcomes and lower maternal mortality rates. Because only when we raise the quality of care will we be able to deliver more joy.”
The partnership with Pampers comes months after Felix launched a project with Pure Leaf to drive gender equality in the workplace forward.