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Healing Haiti and #HowWeHeal

In December, Native women gathered in Window Rock, Arizona, to confront high rates of maternal mortality. The Changing Woman Initiative targets indigenous women living in or around Santa Fe, Albuquerque and the Navajo reservation. These women who have centuries of ancestral and traditional health knowledge, come to the Navajo reservation to be trained as doulas to provide guidance for pregnant women up to and through labor, and sometimes beyond. They came to Window Rock, capital of the Navajo Nation, to learn how to help their own, but also to help confront this epidemic that plagues women in Indian Country and across the country.

In Mexico, too, WKKF grantees are addressing racial inequities with roots in colonization. In an El País article entitled, “The Racism that Mexico Does Not Want to See,” Patricio Solís of COLMEX (College de Mexico) is quoted explaining the structural nature of ethno-racial discrimination in Mexico, and Judith Bautista Perez, of COPERA (Collective for the Elimination of Racism in Mexico), weighs in on the toll that discrimination takes on self-esteem. WKKF is working with COLMEX and COPERA to encourage participation in Mexico’s March 2020 census, which will be the first in that country to ask about Afro-descendent identity.

As Jan. 12, the 10-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, approached, the negative news mounted with report after report on the many rebuilding projects that failed and the grim state of Haiti today. There were some exceptions. While a piece from Miami’s WLRN focused on the lack of progress in Haiti since the tragedy, it also featured ECODA, a WKKF grantee and partner in the Sustainable Village and Learning Community,and its effort to drive local, economic growth with its major ongoing development project in Arcahaie, Haiti.

There was also some deep and glowing recognition of our grantees’ work in Haiti since the earthquake. An example is the powerful CBS News video about long-time WKKF grantee St. Boniface Hospital. After his visit, reporter Jeff Glor called St. Boniface “one very bright spot that could provide a path for the future.”

“With the right neighborhood conditions, a child’s potential is limitless,” said WKKF President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron. “I’d like to see leaders across the country — at every level and in every sector — tap into [newly released] data and work together to make every child’s neighborhood one of equitable opportunity.” Our dedication to thriving children is not slowing nor will we remain quiet on important matters like this. Our children deserve better. Make sure to check out the Child Opportunity Index 2.0 for more information.

And yes, we are still glowing from the powerfully moving and creative ways the National Day of Racial Healing was honored this year with concerts, community celebrations, art shows, history seminars and racial healing circles. Actress Storm Reid joined La June Montgomery Tabron to discuss the value of racial healing and how she is working to inspire her generation. Make sure to check out other news from the event by visiting the website or by searching #HowWeHeal on social media.

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