Bringing Together Health Care Organizations & Black Leaders to Advance Birth Equity
About Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies
Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies is a multi-sector collaborative working to reduce Black infant deaths and improve patient experience and safety for Black families in Los Angeles County.
Grounded in data and Black women's experiences, we bring together decision-makers from local hospitals, public health departments, health plans, and Black community leaders. Together, we co-design systems-change solutions at the clinical, institutional, and community levels.
About the Collaborative
Cherished Futures is a two-year, cohort experience that focuses on institutional accountability and redefining the narrative about Black birthing families in Los Angeles.
Year 1, the capacity-building year, prepares teams for action through a series of workshops and technical assistance sessions. Together, we examine anti-Black racism as a root cause of unequal medical treatment and birth outcomes, its impact on Black bodies. We explore clinical and community data, discuss systems-change strategies and regional collaboration opportunities. The year concludes with hospital teams developing actionable, community-informed implementation plans across 3 domains: clinical, institutional, and community.
Year 2—the implementation year, puts hospital plans into action. We support successful change processes through a series of learning convenings, technical assistance and coaching sessions, and storytelling.
Cherished Futures Hospital Teams
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we successfully launched a pilot cohort in 2020 with five high-volume hospitals, drawing nearly 80 clinicians, Black women community advisors, the public health department, and health plan partners to engage in a year-long planning and capacity-building process. Authentic dialogue is a distinguishing characteristic of Cherished Futures. The collaborative provides a unique space where different sector leaders can move through difficult conversations while learning from each other.
2020-2021 Cherished Futures Pilot Hospital Cohort
" Black women need to be listened to and respected."
- Black Birth Worker
Centering Black Voices and Experiences
We believe this work cannot be done for Black women without Black women. We center Black voices and experiences, ensuring that we [Black women] bring our lived experiences, wisdom, and community-defined solutions to the front and center of the discussion.
To inform hospital quality improvement strategies and ensure that Black women are part of the decision-making process, Cherished Futures embeds Community Advisors as members of each hospital team. Our Community Advisors are respected, Black community leaders, researchers, philanthropists, and clinicians that are deeply rooted in our priority communities. Community Advisors as a collective, support individual hospital teams, provide strategic input into the Cherished Futures project design, and give voice to Black experiences—making the data real and embodied for those less proximate to these experiences.
2020-2021 Cherished Futures Community Advisors
Mashariki Kudumu, MPH
Maternal and Child Health Director, Greater Los Angeles
March of Dimes
Adjoa Jones, MBA
Associate Director, SPA 6
LA County Dept. of Health Services- Whole Person Care
Wenonah Valentine, MBA
Founder & Executive Director
iDREAM for Racial Health Equity
First 5 LA
Black Infant Health Program
Bita Amani, Ph.D, MHS
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Jessica Wade, CLE
President and CEO
Mighty Little Giants
Michele Rigsby Pauley, R.N., MSN, CPNP,
Former Program Director
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
“Thank you for launching Cherished Futures to close the birth equity gap. Social justice and health equity are not common themes, unfortunately in clinical services, but you all are truly paving the way.”
— Holly J. Mitchell, LA County Supervisor, Former CA State Senator
Meet the Team