African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Prevention Initiative

The Village Fund

Background

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with the Department of Health Services and First 5 LA launched the AAIMM Initiative in 2018 to address persistent disparities in birth outcomes between Black and white babies, as outlined in the report: A Pathway to Equity, which showed that Black/African American babies are two to three times more likely to die before their first birthday than babies of other races, and Black/African American women are four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy complications than women of other races in LA County. The Initiative uses a racial justice framework to strengthen systems of support for Black moms and babies by centering Black/African American communities and leaders. The goal is to transform public health systems and build critical community infrastructure in places and spaces that Black families trust.

While the initiative is countywide, AAIMM prioritizes two communities where the disparities are highest: South LA/South Bay and Antelope Valley. In addition to allocating its existing resources to launch a doula pilot for Black expecting mothers and expand access to home visitation, in 2019, DPH also received $1.4MM in funding from the state’s Perinatal Equity Initiative to implement locally-driven solutions, including those supported by The Village Fund.

Purpose

The Village Fund (Fund) seeks to support community-led efforts that reinforce the broad goals of the AAIMM Initiative. In the spirit of “it takes a village to raise a child,” the Fund will partner with organizations, service providers and networks that provide valuable support and services to Black birthing mothers and their families but are likely ineligible to receive or administer county contracts directly.

The Fund will be administered by the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment and capitalized by a combination of public and private philanthropic dollars. The LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment is a project of the California Community Foundation Community Initiatives Fund (CCF-CIF), a US-based, 501(c)(3) public charity.

A Public-Private-Community Collaboration

Investors

The AAIMM Village Fund is made possible through funding from the Baby Futures Fund and our partners:

  • The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation

  • First 5 LA

  • W.M. Keck Foundation

  • Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Perinatal Equity Initiative

  • Tieks by Gavrieli

Village Fund Design Committee

Sonya Young Aadam, California Black Women's Health Project

Dr. Debby Allen, LA County Department of Public Health

Dr. Melissa Franklin, First 5 LA

Raena Granberry, LA County Department of Public Health

McKinley Kemp, Antelope Valley Partners for Health

Mashariki Kudumu, March of Dimes

Zahirah Mann, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

Kaci Patterson, LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment

Brandi Sims, First 5 LA

Wenonah Valentine, iDREAM for Racial Health Equity