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Importance of Diversity on Maternal Health and Birth Equity

August 31st, 2023 at 5:30PM 
2201 Lawton Ave, SLO - Unitarian Universalists Social Room

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We all have heard about the importance of diversity in a decision making room, but how do those decisions impact our everyday lives and systems? How dangerous can lack of diversity be when it comes to our health? How wide are health disparities nowadays? How are racial biases affecting the way we understand preconception, conception, pregnancy and postpartum?


Our amazingly qualified speakers will tackle these and similar questions, share data around maternal health and birth equity, and will touch on how recent Supreme Court decisions can widened existing disparities.

  • Check-in & resource sharing by partner organizations starts at 5:30PM

  • Speakers program starts at 6:00PM

Virtual streaming available. Register to get link.



Dr. Joni Roberts

Joni Roberts, DrPH, CHES,  is a certified health education specialist with research interests in maternal and child health and global health issues surrounding the preconception, conception, and post-partum periods of a woman's life. She received her educational training from Washington Adventist University (BS Political Science), American University (MAT Elementary Education), and Loma Linda University (DrPH Health Education). Her journey to public health was not a straight path, but her interest in women's health began with her health issues which she later realized applied to other women of color. Her current focus is studying the connections between sexual health and obesity, particularly its connection to sexual activity and contraceptive use. Dr. Roberts frequently volunteers for professional organizations locally and internationally, reflecting her passion for community engagement. She is an enthusiastic participant in cross-cultural work that changes perspectives and improves women's lives globally.

Catherine Prentice 

Catherine Casupang Prentice has devoted the last 37 years to Women’s Healthcare as a Labor and Delivery, Mother-Baby, and Nursery Registered Nurse; Board Certified Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner;  Adjunct Obstetric Clinical Instructor; Urogynecologic Surgical Medical Mission Volunteer for International Organization for Women and Development in Africa; and trained DONA International Birth and Postpartum Doula.  

As a former Active Duty Military Member in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps, long term Hawai’i Resident, and Travel Nurse during the recent COVID pandemic, and medical mission volunteer, she has had the opportunity to work with Black and Indigenous women and birthing people and other people of color.  She is aware of the role that implicit racial bias and racism affects the way healthcare is delivered and how it contributes to racial disparities in Maternal outcomes.  She continues to find solutions to educating and empowering childbearing families to advocate for dignified and respectful care that honors their choices.  She is also committed to educating healthcare professionals to create changes in the way we deliver care and have an impact in reducing the racial disparities in Maternal and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity.

See you there! 

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