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Black Women's Political Leadership & Diasporic Movement

Black Maternal Health Conference Caption at Tufts University School of Medicine on April 8

Jallicia Jolly joined MA Representative Liz Miranda, Senator Elizabeth Warren, IL Rep. Lauren Underwood, Dr. Viveka Prakash-Zawisza, and others in an imaginative group of scholars, medical practitioners, legislators, and community organizers + members to combat the embodied and systemic impacts of racialized gendered violence in medicine and health care. The stories of Black women continue to fuel our passion and drive to create a better, more equitable healthcare system.

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I serve as co-chair of the Steering Committee of Massachusetts COVID-19 Maternal Equity Coalition, which is a reproductive health equity group that centers Black and Brown leadership and the creation of a broad and inclusive table, elevates the voices and experiences of birthing people, advances maternal health policy, and builds community power through a lens of justice and equity. As a multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary body, we bring together clinicians, researchers, community organizations, advocates, legislators, and stakeholders to implement evidence-based interventions to improve birth outcomes while addressing obstetric racism and medical violence in the care that birthing people receive.

JamHealth! Encouraging Holistic Health & Empowering Communities

Evolving from Fulbright research, support from the U.S. embassy in Kingston, Jamaica and through partnerships with local organizations, I launched JamHealth! This holistic health initiative used collaborative, evidence-based community engagement work to address the disconnect between public health interventions and the social realities of marginalized girls and women. As the principal organizer, I collaborated with a team of volunteers, worked alongside community members to invite participants and supervise health events, and partnered with embassy staff and the Ministry of Health as well as grassroots organizations and community leaders to deliver culturally-informed services. Being immersed in both prolonged ethnographic research and “JamHealth!” offered spaces to support inner-city youth, and particularly girls and women, to build their capacities and organize on their own behalf.

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