DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Black birthing outcomes have reached crisis levels in America. According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy related cause than white women. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities such as the quality of healthcare, underlying health conditions, structural racism and implicit bias.
That's why on Friday evening at the Museum of Life and Science, a Black Maternal Health Dance Party was held to save the lives of Black and Brown birthing people by providing critical care.
"One hundred percent of the money we raise today will go to local families. We serve the entire triangle region. We help cover the cost of doulas, midwives, therapy, and transportation to the doctor as well as cash assistance for baby items," said Joy Spencer with Equity Before Birth.
They partied with a purpose, but ultimately raised money for families across the Bull City.
"Black women should be vigilant," said Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards, associate professor of medicine at Duke University. "I think we have an overtaxed with health system. We have some who need more training on how to be more culturally responsive."
She recommends an overhaul with health systems analyzing where the gaps of care exist. That includes collaborating with doulas like Kelly Collins, owner of Best of Both Worlds Doula Services. She's advocated on the behalf of women in Wake and Durham counties for the past eight years.
"The numbers don't lie," said Collins. "It is very disheartening to know that Black women are still dying in what should be one of the most beautiful times of their lives."
That's what makes this party and the money raised all the more meaningful.
"What we know is wrapping mamas around support, advocating, speaking up for what we need and listening saves lives," said Spencer.