Out of the office and into the streets with Our Babies Count

By Hailey Stangebye

 

We believe that diversity and inclusion is a grassroots, ground-up movement. It also isn’t limited to the confines of the workplace. It’s an organic, cultural dialogue that grows and changes continually around us.

About 1,000 babies die each year before they reach their first birthday, and African American babies die at nearly three times the rate of white babies. One of the most heartbreaking realities of this situation is that many of these deaths are preventable.

That’s one of the reasons we were so passionate about our work for Our Babies Count. In Ohio, we face an acute, unexpected challenge: high infant mortality. About 1,000 babies die each year before they reach their first birthday, and African American babies die at nearly three times the rate of white babies. One of the most heartbreaking realities of this situation is that many of these deaths are preventable. The number one cause of baby deaths in Ohio is premature birth.

Our Babies Count is a statewide campaign designed to spread awareness, distribute resources and support mothers — because one baby lost is one too many. One way to support diversity and inclusion efforts in the city we love was to connect young mothers to resources so that our next generation of leaders survives until their first birthday. Sometimes the simplest way to support your diverse community is to communicate that their lives are precious.

To do so, we threw a series of baby showers in targeted neighborhoods across the state to reach mothers in need. Moms could talk face-to-face with physicians and receive resources such as cribs, diapers and more. We also created the Mommy Mile, a one-mile race to celebrate babies reaching their first birthdays.

Diversity and inclusion is a conversation that happens inside and outside the workplace. This campaign brought us out of the office and into the streets where we could engage and embrace these mothers.