The Rotary Club of Capitol Hill (D7620) celebrates the vision and contributions of Mamatoto Village, an innovative community-based maternal health organization in DC. Mamatoto Village is a Black women-led organization that provides perinatal support services, workforce development training, emergency resources, and essential goods tailored to meet the needs of Black womxn, birthing people, and families of color living in disinvested and under-resourced areas.
 
According to the World Health Organization, the United States is the only G-7 country where maternal mortality is on the rise. Loretta Ross, a reproductive justice activist, aptly states, “Women of color in the U.S. negotiate their reproductive lives in a system that combines various interlocking forms of oppression. Our ability to control what happens to our bodies is constantly challenged by poverty racism, environmental degradation, sexism, homophobia, and injustice in the United States.”
 
Racial disparities are stark and persistent, with women of color two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy related-causes than white women (CDC, 20191). Black women in D.C. are more than four times more likely than the national average to die during or after childbirth. In stark contrast, Mamatoto’s holistic framework implements a culturally-congruent care model with zero maternal deaths since its inception in 2013. Dedicated to serving communities most vulnerable to health, economic, and social inequities across the metropolitan region, 100% of leadership staff identify as Black womxn (the majority of whom are mothers), and 93% of Mamatoto Village clients are Black people residing in the DMV. 
 
The Rotary Club of Capitol Hill is pleased to contribute to Mamatoto Village’s pursuit of creative solutions to combating these health disparities for mothers, babies, and their families in Washington, D.C.  We are particularly thrilled that Mamatoto Village recently received a transformational investment from the Merck for Mothers Safer Childbirth Cities Initiative. Mamatoto Village’s mission-critical programs raise awareness, foster a space for inclusion, and amplify women’s strength to serve as advocates in the community. As a village,  they advance reproductive justice issues through sustainable ecosystems for healthy mamas, healthy children, and healthy families to thrive.
 
We encourage you to show your support if you can. You can donate to Mamatoto Village today at www.mamatotovillage.org/give. For more information about the Merck for Mothers award, please visit https://www.SaferChildbirthCities.com.
1. https://www.CDC.gov/media/releases/2019/p0905-racial-ethnic-disparities-pregnancy-deaths.html.