Black Maternal Health Summit

Actions and Detail Panel


Event Information

Share this event

Date and time



Hippodrome Theater

528 North 2nd Street

Richmond, VA 23219

View Map

Event description
Birth in Color RVA has collaborated with stakeholders to bring a summit that will bridge the gap between maternal and reproductive health ju

About this event

Birth in Color RVA has collaborated with stakeholders to bring a summit that will bridge the gap between maternal and reproductive health justice. This will be a full day of speakers, workshops, and interactive fun.

In Virginia, Black women are three times likely to die than white women. Our maternity care system is failing black women. Our goal is to bring attention to unacceptable racial disparities in our maternity care systems, get out of our silos and equip all attendees with additional knowledge and tools to raise awareness and bring positive action to the issues that affect women at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives.

Without Reproductive Justice there is no justice in maternal health. Overall health, Sexual education, abortion, and contraception care are key factors to helping maternal health outcomes.

We encourage Nurses, Physicians, Social Workers, Family Practitioners, Pediatricians, OB/GYNs, Home Visitors, CHWs , Doulas, Public Health Professionals, Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and other healthcare professionals providing care to black birthing people to attend the summit for an opportunity to hear high-impact presentations and panel discussions on improving maternal and reproductive health vitality to advance maternal, birth, and reproductive justice.

CEUS have been applied for.


1. Creating Strategies to improve maternal health and reproductive justice

2. Sex Education & Contraception Access

3. Abortion Care and how it affects reproductive Justice

4. Menstrual Cup

We have applied for CEUS FROM AWHONN

Continental Breakfast and Lunch provided.


Stephanie Nash is the Virginia Advocacy Director for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. Under her leadership, the Alliance works to strategically shift the stigma around abortion in our culture through education, community engagement, and partnerships with social and reproductive health, rights and justice organizations. An avid women’s and adolescent healthcare professional, Stephanie holds over fifteen years of experience working in nonprofit, social justice and community-based organizations. In her current role, she supports progressive organizations in developing an understanding of the intersectionality of issues impacting women’s equality, including black maternal health with the understanding that access and reproductive rights, health and justice cannot be excluded from the conversation.

Dr. Lauren Powell earned a Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical and Population Health Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Powell works tirelessly to achieve health equity for Virginia and advocates on behalf of economically disinvested, forgotten communities and leads policy analyses, state-wide programming efforts, and funding initiatives to address barriers to access to care and the social determinants of health. One of the most important facets of the position lies in the challenge of helping policymakers and leaders understand the connection between systemic, systematic, and generational racism and other forms of oppression, to health inequities. Leading these conversations links discrimination of all forms, particularly racism, and the health of under-resourced populations clear and undeniable. Dr. Powell is the youngest professional, and the first with a PhD, to serve as Director of Health Equity for Virginia, leading statewide strategic plans and initiatives toward achieving health equity for Virginia’s 8.4 million residents.

Rev. Lacette Cross is a community faith leader, activist and speaker affectionately called Rev. L. She is committed to working with people to help make Richmond, VA a more just city. Rev. L is an experienced facilitator, speaker, and presenter in areas such as racial equity, intersectionality, sexuality, spirituality, race and justice. She wears many hats as the pastor of Restoration Fellowship RVA, co-founder of Us Giving Richmond Connections (UGRC)/Black Pride RVA and business owner of Will You Be Whole. Rev. L is a continual learner as a former fellow in the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship and RMHF’s Equity+Health Fellowship. She is currently a doctor of ministry student at the School of Theology at Virginia Union University. In the moments that are hers, she spends time with friends and reads good books.

Monica Washington M.D. is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist with Virginia Physicians for Women. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After returning to Pittsburgh and working as a radiation therapist, she completed her post-baccalaureate work at Duquesne University. She received her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine. Dr. Washington trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Peters University Hospital/Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Residency Program. After graduating, she returned to Richmond. Dr. Washington is actively involved in the community and enjoys caring for women throughout all seasons of their lives. She and her husband Scott have two young sons.

Dr. Arthur R. James is an Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and Pediatrician who has been involved in the care to underserved populations for the entirety of his medical career. He is the current co-chair for the Center for Disease Control and March of Dimes Health Equity workgroup, member of the Franklin County Board of Health, Senior Consultant to First year Cleveland, Evaluator of the Indianapolis Health Start Program, and Co-Principal Investigator for the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM)-Community Care Initiative (CCI) Cooperative Agreement. Dr. James has received numerous local and national awards for his advocacy to achieve equity in birth outcomes. He is also a frequent national speaker on infant mortality, especially regarding the national racial disparity in birth outcomes.

Beatriz Beckford has a MA in Women and Gender Studies from Loyola University, over fifteen years grassroots and national organizing experience and a noted track record of experienced grassroots leadership organizing to create a movement for social change. Beatriz is a cofounder of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, and was cofounder and inaugural Director of Organizing and Policy Initiatives at the Brooklyn Food Coalition where she served as chief architect of the coalition's organizing and policy strategies. Beatriz works tirelessly with community members to build strong coalitions, develop grassroots leadership, and to support campaign development and organizing strategy. Beatriz serves on the leadership board of Rooted In Community a national network of over 100 youth food and environmental justice organizations and previously served as the Director of the Grassroots Action Network. Beatriz has trained with LittleSis, the Management Center, Feminist Organizing School, the Center for Third World Organizing, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity BOLD, Ruckus Society, Social Justice Leadership Institute, People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, and is a CoreAlign Speaking Race to Power Fellow. Her commitment to amplifying the wisdom of the grassroots, and organizing with historically marginalized communities has been marked by her strong leadership and consistent work ethic.

Jonathan Webb has spent more than 15 years in the public health space promoting community health outcomes; addressing the social determinants of health; and tackling a number of epidemics including childhood obesity, diabetes, and CVD. Jonathan's professional experience includes work for two local health departments including work within the Office of Epidemiology of the City of Chicago and leading the Community Health Division of the City of Evanston. Additionally, Mr. Webb has spent more than nine years in the nonprofit space leading strategy; building meaningful partnerships; fundraising; and implementing programming for organizations such as the McGaw YMCA, Feed the Children, and the American Osteopathic Association. He served as the vice president of corporate alliances, grants and social enterprise for the American Diabetes Association, where he set the strategy for corporate relationships, led a team that developed strategic partnerships, and advanced the mission of the organization through grant and corporate funding. With the current fundraising climate keenly focused on strategic philanthropy, Mr. Webb has been working on effective collaboration and identifying those mutually beneficial partnerships that drive the mission of the organization forward.

Alexsis Rodgers is the Virginia State Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Care in Action. Previously, she played a key role in achieving Medicaid Expansion and increasing birth control access as Communications Director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia and Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. Alexsis volunteers her time to strengthen the political power of young people as President of Virginia Young Democrats. She is an alumna and board member of Emerge Virginia, and recently co-founded Rising Power PAC dedicated to electing progressive women of color in Virginia.

Dr. Fantasy Lozada is the Director of the SHIELD Lab and Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology at VCU. Dr. Lozada received her B.S. from UNC Pembroke in 2008 and her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 2013. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context (CSBYC) in the School of Education at the University of Michigan from 2013-2016. Her research interests include ethnic minority children's socioemotional development, the contribution of ethnic minority children's normative social experiences in offline and online contexts to their socioemotional development and the contributions of ethnic minority parenting beliefs and behaviors to their children's socioemotional development.

*Scholarships available for community members


Which workshop are you interested in attending?

Creating Strategies to improve maternal health and reproductive justice

Sex Education & Contraception Access

Abortion Care and how it affects reproductive Justice

Menstrual Cup

Date and time


Hippodrome Theater

528 North 2nd Street

Richmond, VA 23219

View Map

Organizer Birth In Color RVA

Organizer of Black Maternal Health Summit

Save This Event

Event Saved