Previous Collaboratories

Police Violence and Birth Outcomes: How Policing in Hospitals and Communities Impacts our Health | July 22nd, 2021

Communities of color understand the dramatic impact police violence has on their health and the health of birthing people; however, until 2020, there has been little research published on police violence and birth. In hospitals, the presence of police and policing has continuously caused harm, making people of color feel unsafe in the place they are seeking care.

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Preventing Evictions and Implicit Bias Training: Policy Action to Improve Black Maternal Health in California | June 24th, 2021

In California, we are facing a period of significant policy transition that could impact the lives of Black and Brown birthing people for decades to come: the California evictions moratorium is set to expire on June 30th and SB464 California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act is in its initial stages of implementation with the goal of changing the way providers interact with their patients of color indefinitely. Now, more than ever is the time to acknowledge how policies affect the wellbeing and health of birthing people, especially for Black and Brown families.

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Pacific Islander & Pregnant: How Inclusion Led To Erasure | May 19, 2021

Since the 1980's the Pacific Islander (P.I.) community has felt the effects of erasure due to their inclusion in the “Asian Pacific Islander” narrative. Rather than being a monolith, there are multiple unique and distinct cultures within the Pacific, and it is a huge disservice to categorize Pacific Islanders in the same racial/cultural group as people of Asian descent, especially when it comes to health disparities. Specifically, in San Francisco, we see that when we separate Pacific Islander birth outcomes from the aggregate data, Samoans, Tongans, and others in the PI community experience some of the highest rates of preterm birth and adverse birth outcomes. Why is this the case and how can providers build cultural competency to improve health outcomes for the PI community?

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Birthing People Behind Bars: Exposing Forced Sterilizations in State Prisons | April 15, 2021

When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. With a growing team of investigators inside prison working with colleagues on the outside, they uncover a series of statewide crimes - from inadequate health care to sexual assault to coercive sterilizations - primarily targeting women of color. This shocking legal drama captured over 7-years features extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, demanding attention to a shameful and ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States.

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Grid of SOLARS team's faces

Our Journey Towards Reproductive Justice: The Story of the SOLARS Study | March 24, 2021

The Supporting Our Ladies and Reducing Stress to Prevent Preterm Birth (SOLARS) study, is led by, in partnership with, and for women of color. Grounded in Reproductive Justice, SOLARS is funded by the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) and looks at how stress, resilience and coping affect gestational duration and preterm birth in Black and Latinx women in Oakland and San Francisco, California. This phase of the SOLARS Study was launched in February 2019 and is ending prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and budget cuts. We were able to enroll 77 Black and Latinx women and follow them across their pregnancies and postpartum periods. For the March 2021 Collaboratory, shared preliminary findings about exposures to racism and other stressors, coping and resilience, and birthing experiences and outcomes.

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How Black Mamas and Birthing People Are Redesigning Quality in Hospital Births

How Black Mamas and Birthing People Are Redesigning Quality in Hospital Births | February 23, 2021

This February, we were excited to host Dr. Karen Scott, and her work pioneering the PREM-OB Scale and the SACRED Birth Study. Dr. Scott and her team are redefining how success is measured in hospital births by centering Black birthing narratives and community wisdom. The study, designed by Black women scholars, championed by Black women advocates, and centered on Black birthing patients is a key innovation that could serve as a new standard in hospital quality improvement.

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The State of Reproductive Rights: What Has Changed, What to Expect and What We Can Do | January 27, 2020

For our January Collaboratory, we joined Amy Chen and Fabiola Carrión, both senior attorneys from the National Health Law Program, to explore what policy changes the Trump administration has made to reproductive rights and their realistic and potential impacts. We discussed what we can expect with the incoming administration as well as identify opportunities to advocate for reproductive health organizations, services, and policies that support marginalized communities.

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COVID-19, Pregnancy and Premature Birth

COVID-19, Pregnancy and Premature Birth | November 19, 2020

For our November Collaboratory, we discussed what we know, what we don’t, and what we still need to answer about COVID-19 and pregnancy, especially as it relates to preterm birth. Researchers from the PRIORITY studyEMBRACE studySACRED Birth studyCOVID-19 Hospital Restrictions study, and HOPE COVID-19 study share how their studies have shifted during the pandemic and insights they have developed into the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and preterm birth.

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Communities as the Compass: When communities are the North Star, research drives meaningful change

Communities as the Compass: When communities are the North Star, research drives meaningful change | October 21, 2020

PTBi hosted a special Collaboratory event jointly sponsored by the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi), the APHA Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) section and the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI).

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Healthcare as Sanctuary: ICE, Birthing People, and Justice for Immigrants

Healthcare as Sanctuary: ICE, Birthing People, and Justice for Immigrants | September 28, 2020

US immigrant communities are experiencing worsening perinatal health outcomes and widening health disparities at the hands of certain federal policies. For our September Collaboratory, we collaborated with UCSF midwifery students to understand the impact of current immigration practices on pregnant people and families, examine federal policies that permit and restrict U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) interaction in healthcare settings and detail points of intervention.

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Infant Feeding During COVID: Strategic Planning for Pregnancy, Postpartum and Beyond

Infant Feeding During COVID: Strategic Planning for Pregnancy, Postpartum and Beyond | August 27, 2020

In honor of Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25th – 31st), we partnered with the BreastFriends Mommy Group in West Oakland to explore why these rates look different for Black women and specifically how COVID-19 is affecting breastfeeding support for everyone. 

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From Ally to Co-conspirator: BLM Solidarity in Latinx, API and White Communities​ | July 30, 2020

The deafening cry for equity and justice by Black Americans is causing many non-Black identified people to want to support change. However, many people are experiencing confusion about how to support the Black Lives Matter movement without causing harm. Questions such as, “How do I go from performative gestures to meaningful action?” and “How do I address any implicit bias?” are common. If you are hoping to address such questions, please join PTBi and White, API and Latinx community leaders for a discussion on how to become authentic co-conspirators in the work to dismantle systemic anti-Black racism in our institutions and in our lives.

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Fathers of color posed for a picture

Research Justice for Black and Latinx Fathers: Prioritizing their Unanswered Questions about Pregnancy and Birth | June 23, 2020

For our June Collaboratory, to honor Father’s Day, we are sharing the research priorities of Black and Latinx fathers in San Francisco, Oakland, and Fresno. By sharing these detailed lists of unanswered pregnancy and birth questions, as well as the process of co-creating these lists, we are calling on funders, researchers, as well as social and clinical providers to refocus their work to include the input of those most impacted by preterm birth.

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COVID-19 Community Organizing Fresno and the Bay Area | May 28, 2020

To address the inequities that COVID-19 has further revealed in Black and Brown communities, organizations and community movements are rapidly adapting their work and finding creative solutions to meet the needs of their neighbors. For our May Collaboratory, we learned how community leaders in the Central Valley, Greater East Bay, and San Francisco are making an impact around COVID-19 education, COVID-19 testing, distribution of essential supplies, and raising funds to support vulnerable populations, including Black and Brown birthing people.  

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Rooted in Enslavement: How American Medicine Was Built on the Oppression, Experimentation and Commodification of the Black Body | February 14, 2020

The Black body has been exploited as a tool by others since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of Virginia in 1619. Many industries such as cotton, sugar cane and tobacco were built on the backs of Black people to create the wealth inequality that we see today. What is seldom discussed is the many ways in which the fields of healthcare and medicine were also developed and continue to flourish under the same systems of enslavement and Jim Crow. Dante King, a Bay Area expert in the advancement of equity, inclusion, and equality, will discuss the history and experiences of the enslaved and their descendants, and how the Medical Industrial Complex owes its development, foundation, and success to the experimentation and commodification of Black bodies.

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How Black Doctors Shaped California's History | January 23, 2020

The Black body has been exploited as a tool by others since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of Virginia in 1619. Many industries such as cotton, sugar cane and tobacco were built on the backs of Black people to create the wealth inequality that we see today. What is seldom discussed is the many ways in which the fields of healthcare and medicine were also developed and continue to flourish under the same systems of enslavement and Jim Crow. Dante King, a Bay Area expert in the advancement of equity, inclusion, and equality, will discuss the history and experiences of the enslaved and their descendants, and how the Medical Industrial Complex owes its development, foundation, and success to the experimentation and commodification of Black bodies.

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