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Professors Discuss Black Maternal Health

When Tori Bowie, the former fastest woman in the world and three-time Olympic medalist, recently died at age 32, it was revealed that her death was due to complications from childbirth while she was eight months pregnant.

According to a recent opinion piece published by Venezia Michalsen, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice, and Anuli Njoku, associate professor of health equity and health promotion, along with their colleague Sadie Witherspoon from the CT Center for School Safety and Crisis Prevention at Western Connecticut State University, “This incident serves as a reminder of the alarming rates of maternal death, particularly among Black and brown women, not only in Florida, where Bowie passed away, but also in Connecticut.”

In their opinion piece, Michelsen, Njoku, and Witherspoon go on to discuss maternal death in Connecticut and point out that “Similar to national trends, Black women in Connecticut faced higher mortality rates than white women.” The professors propose that Southern’s Sociology and Criminology Department and Department of Public Health have the potential to address these issues effectively.

Read the full opinion piece: “Pregnancy and childbirth should not be deadly for Black women in CT” (by Venezia Michalsen, Anuli Njoku, and Sadie Witherspoon, CT Mirror, July 6, 2023)


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