One Book, One Community


Shared Experiences Draw People Together.
Share a Book.
Share an Experience.

We are stronger together. Everyone in the school is invited to join together in reading and discussing a shared book, Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth by Dána-Ain Davis. 

The 2020-21 OBOC book:

Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth 
by Dána-Ain Davis



"A troubling study of the role that medical racism plays in the lives of black women who have given birth to premature and low birth weight infants. Black women have higher rates of premature birth than other women in America. This cannot be simply explained by economic factors, with poorer women lacking resources or access to care. Even professional, middle-class black women are at a much higher risk of premature birth than low-income white women in the United States. Dána-Ain Davis looks into this phenomenon, placing racial differences in birth outcomes into a historical context, revealing that ideas about reproduction and race today have been influenced by the legacy of ideas which developed during the era of slavery.

While poor and low-income black women are often the “mascots” of premature birth outcomes, this book focuses on professional black women, who are just as likely to give birth prematurely. Drawing on an impressive array of interviews with nearly fifty mothers, fathers, neonatologists, nurses, midwives, and reproductive justice advocates, Dána-Ain Davis argues that events leading up to an infant’s arrival in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and the parents’ experiences while they are in the NICU, reveal subtle but pernicious forms of racism that confound the perceived class dynamics that are frequently understood to be a central factor of premature birth."


(text condensed from  NYU Press

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Upcoming Events Related to Maternal and Child Health Equity

Center for Health Equity Journal Club

Friday, March 5, 1-2 pm EST

All students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome to attend the Center for Health Equity (CHE) March Journal Club. The article for discussion is Something Was Attacking Them and Their Reproductive Organs: Environmental Reproductive Justice in an Indigenous Tribe in the United States Gulf Coast. Co-facilitators for this journal club are Antonio Gumucio, MPH Candidate, and Martha Ann Terry, Associate Professor, both in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at Pitt Public Health.

Click for more information and stream info.

4th Annual Black Maternal Health Conference:
Conference Theme: Centering the Role of Doulas in Addressing Maternal Health Disparities

Friday, April 9, 12-4 pm EST

The Black Maternal Health Conference will connect experts on Black Maternal Health and health disparities who are working to end the racial inequities and decrease the unexplainable prevalence of adverse maternal health outcomes in Black populations. This conference will benefit public health/medical professionals and students alike. Our goal is that this event will shift the scientific and public policy discussion around the issue of Black Maternal Health disparities and give ground for discussion.

Click for more information and registration info.


We recommend our community members check out the Tiny Bookstore, Pittsburgh's smallest independently-owned bookstore, to order your copy of this year's One Book. Purchase Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth via this link with the code PPH2020 for a 15% discount!

Follow the Tiny Bookstore on Facebook and Instagram to catch their updates and programming. Check out the Tiny Bookstore's feature in the Pittsburgh City Paper!


With questions about OBOC, or to suggest an event, contact Kimmy Rehak, educational programs specialist.

In The News

Black women turn to midwives to avoid COVID and 'Feel Cared For'  

Black women turn to midwives to avoid COVID and 'Feel Cared For'

MEDSCAPE - From the moment she learned she was pregnant late last year, TaNefer Camara knew she didnt want to have her baby in a hospital bed. Already a mother of three and a part-time lactation consultant at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Camara knew a bit about childbirth. She wanted to deliver at... (02/11/2021)

Black maternal omnibus package introduced by Democratic lawmakers 

Black maternal omnibus package introduced by Democratic lawmakers

THE HILL - A trio of Black lawmakers on Monday introduced an omnibus bill aimed at combating the significant health inequities that Black mothers face across the country. The Black Maternal Momnibus Act of 2021 follows a nearly identical legislative package that was introduce in the House of March ... (02/10/2021)

Florida mothers of color, seeking better care, turn to midwives and doulas 

Florida mothers of color, seeking better care, turn to midwives and doulas

TAMPA BAY TIMES - After years of feeling dismissed in hospitals, many Black and Hispanic women are working to find prenatal caregivers who listen to their concerns.  (02/09/2021)

Mendez explains how recently released health indicators fall along racial lines, again 

Mendez explains how recently released health indicators fall along racial lines, again

WESA - EPI's Dara Mendez, interim director of the Center for Health Equity, explains why recently released health data for Pittsburgh women and children continues to fall along racial lines.  (01/19/2021)

How Police Violence Could Impact the Health of Black Infants 

How Police Violence Could Impact the Health of Black Infants

NPR - George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis placed police violence again in the national limelight with protests erupting. But Black and brown communities say the effect of police violence is felt long after demonstrations die down. In fact, research shows trauma from racism and violence can leave ... (11/17/2020)
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