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 Members

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Mashariki Kudumu, MPH
Maternal and Child Health Director, Greater Los Angeles
March of Dimes
Serving 2020-2023
Adjoa Jones, MBA

AAIMM Outreach & Engagement Director 

 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health 

Serving 2020-2023

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Wenonah Valentine, MBA
Founder & Executive Director
iDREAM for Racial Health Equity
Serving 2020-2023
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Brandi Desjolais, Ed.D

Co-Director, Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Serving 2020-2023

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Diamond Lee, MSW, ACSW

Director of Birth Equity and Community Collaboration, MAMAs Program

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services

Serving 2022-2023

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Yolonda Rogers-Jones

Program Coordinator

Black Infant Health Program

Serving 2020-2023

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Michele Rigsby Pauley, R.N., MSN, CPNP,

Former Program Director

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Serving 2020-2023

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Anju Kane, MPH

Executive Director

Soul Food for Your Baby

Serving 2022-2023

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Mercedez Johnson, CLES

Full Spectrum Doula

Serving 2022-2023

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Raena Granberry

Senior Manager of Maternal and Infant Health

California Black Women's Health Project

Serving 2022-2023

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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. 

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“Medical professionals can work on not making assumptions about Black women (medical history, present circumstances, etc.) and see us for the individuals we are.”
- Black Mother, Sister Circle Participant, October 2021

July 2020 Sister Circle 

October 2021 Sister Circle 

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. 
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