Holiday Greetings from PTBi Leadership

Dear PTBi friends and family, 

We hope the holiday season brings joy, comfort, and healing to you, your loved ones, and your family. As another year comes to a close, we want to remind you of our commitment to anti-racism. Five years ago, we recognized that addressing structural and interpersonal racism as the root cause of preterm birth was the only way to improve the lives of women, birthing people, and their families. Because the holiday season often brings time for reflection, it is a good moment to consider how we have been able to uphold our anti-racist values and mark where we must continue to grow.

With that realization, we developed an action plan. Our first priority was to tighten our focus on Black-led and Black-focused birth research, which we have continued to do in work such as the EMBRACE study, the HOPE study, and our Voices for Birth Justice Fresno campaign. Key updates include:

  • We are proud to be a majority BIPOC organization, staffed by parents, scholars, educators, and community members, a major shift from where we started.
  • Next year, we will cultivate more opportunities for our staff through the professional development program, Year of You, ensuring that each and every individual knows the great power we hold in inspiring and creating change.
  • We have developed a Black Ancestor Appreciation, which we read and contemplate at the start of meetings, to remind us to be aware of the historical and present-day trauma Black communities, including our very own colleagues, face on a daily basis.
  • Next year, and every year after, we will continue naming racist systems and educating others on dismantling racism within their research programs and organizations.

We have also been hard at work on the next steps for the initiative and are eager to share more soon. On our radar are efforts like transitioning from a Community Advisory Board to Community Consultants, the second annual Hackers for Birth Justice event, and the expansion of Expecting Justice’s Abundant Birth Project of guaranteed income for pregnant people to 4 additional counties beyond San Francisco.

We can’t wait to welcome all the new arrivals, especially the little human ones, that the new year brings. The California Preterm Birth Initiative is your partner for information, education, and advocacy around preterm birth and birth outcomes, and we welcome your feedback, ideas, and collaboration. Feel free to reach out to us anytime at [email protected].

Wishing you safe and happy holidays,
Solaire Spellen, Alexis Cobbins, and Larry Rand

P.S. If you wish to support PTBi’s work by donating, please visit this page where you can donate online and find the info for giving by phone or mail. UCSF’s minimum online donation is $25, but you can donate in smaller amounts via physical mail or phone. Donations of all amounts are welcome and appreciated.