Mamas of Color Rising will celebrate the opening of Vibrant Woman/Mama Sana, a new community clinic dedicated to assisting pregnant African-American and Latina women who lack access to a diversity of healthcare options.
The celebration is scheduled on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Urban Market, on the corner of 12th and Chicon streets, and will feature a mural painting by graffiti artist Toofly. The celebration is family-oriented and will also feature fun activities for children, giveaways, food and music.
Graffiti artist Toofly will paint a public mural to serve as a permanent billboard for the clinic. Toofly is an NYC-based artist, designer and entrepreneur, recognized for her hard and fluid style, as well as her “around the way girl.” She gained popularity in the graffiti scene as a teen because she was one of the only females who stepped up to paint in a male-dominated scene. She empowered various women to follow suit, and, in 2007, co-founded an international female arts collective called “Younity.” Toofly also runs a successful independent design company called “Stay Tru,” where she consults, designs, and develops urban art youth workshops. Toofly is donating her time to support Vibrant Woman/Mama Sana clinic.
Vibrant Woman Pregnancy Clinic/ Mama Sana Clinica Prenatal was developed to address some longstanding health disparities within the Latino and Black low income communities of Austin, according to Paula Rojas, program coordinator.
“The abundance of pregnancy and birth support services available in Austin are not accessible to all mothers and babies,” Rojas said.
According to Rojas, more than 25.9 percent of Latina women in Austin receive no prenatal care compared with 7.8 percent of white women. Travis County’s infant mortality rate was recorded as 5.8 per 1,000 live births for white women and 20.5 – or more than 150 percent higher – for black women.
“The United States ranks 50th in the world when it comes to safety in birth, and Travis County rates are worse than the national averages, particularly for African American and Latina women,” Rojas said.
“The goal of project is to connect with low-income Black and Latina mothers in Austin, to foster personal and collective empowerment while providing free prenatal care and education,” said Kellee Coleman, outreach coordinator for the clinic.
Vibrant Woman/Mama Sana women’s clinic will address economic, social and language barriers, and provide free group prenantal care appointments with individual physical exams by doctors from Blackstock Family Health Center and community midwives.
This innovative approach will include on-site Mama Baila prenatal dance classes, individualized nutrition support, and an emotional support group, one for African American mothers and one for Latina mothers run in Spanish.