The MCNY Black Maternity Health Initiative (BMHI) is a student and community engagement project that seeks to respond to the existential crisis of Black maternal health in the U.S., New York City, and most specifically, the Bronx. 

The initiative grew out of the MCNY Library’s roundtable conversation in December 2021 on the many social determinants that shape the drastic health inequity in maternal health in our communities. In April 2022, the library secured the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant from the American Library Association to support the call to action on Black maternal health that students, alumni, faculty, and staff forcefully articulated in December.  

Key to the initiative are the library’s partnerships with Bronx-based community groups working in the field of Black maternal health. This collaboration fosters a rich exchange that will support MCNY students and alumni in taking on leadership civic engagement roles in the broader MCNY community. 

The Peer Leadership group is at the heart of the MCNY Black Maternal Initiative. Recruited from among MCNY students and alumni through an application process, Peer Leaders will have the opportunity to meet and work with the project’s community partners and other leaders in public health, medicine, political advocacy, and activism. They will do research and discuss the issues among themselves, drawing from an array of different life and work experiences and leveraging the knowledge and practices of their other academic disciplines.  

The Peer Leadership Group is tasked with engaging the MCNY community in deep conversation and advocacy around this longstanding crisis. This will include, among other things, designing select library programming over the subsequent two semesters. 

Learn more about the project HERE.