Centering Black Voices
Uplifting Black Women's Wisdom
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.
Cherished Futures elevates Black voices, experiences, and thought leadership through its Community Advisors collective and listening sister circles.
Community Advisors Collective
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 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.
Community Advisors Collective Members
Mashariki Kudumu, MPH
Maternal and Child Health Director, Greater Los Angeles
March of Dimes
Adjoa Jones, MBA
AAIMM Outreach & Engagement Director
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Wenonah Valentine, MBA
Founder & Executive Director
iDREAM for Racial Health Equity
Brandi Desjolais, Ed.D
Co-Director, Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Diamond Lee, MSW, ACSW
Director of Birth Equity and Community Collaboration, MAMAs Program
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Black Infant Health Program
Michele Rigsby Pauley, R.N., MSN, CPNP,
Former Program Director
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Anju Kane, MPH
Soul Food for Your Baby
Mercedez Johnson, CLES
Full Spectrum Doula
Senior Manager of Maternal and Infant Health
California Black Women's Health Project
Cherished Futures Sister Circles
In addition to our community advisors collective, we bring together Black women's sister circles in order to identify and elevate community-defined practices. In partnership with the California Black Women's Health Project and the Los Angeles County African American and Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) Prevention Initiative, we have convened over 70 Black women from across Los Angeles to give voice to our needs and recommendations for equitable care and systems change.