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Celebrating Maternal Health Awareness Day: A Day of Advocacy, Recognition, and Unity at the Georgia State Capitol

Celebrating Maternal Health Awareness Day: A Day of Advocacy, Recognition, and Unity at the Georgia State Capitol

At the Georgia State Capitol on January 23rd, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA) celebrated Maternal Health Awareness Day with a series of events that promised to resonate long after the day was done.  

The Moms Tour set the stage for a day filled with connection and understanding. Honoring 30 remarkable Georgia-based birth givers, this tour was an immersive experience, bridging the gap between the community and key stakeholders. It was an opportunity for attendees to engage, learn, and discuss the pressing issues surrounding maternal health policies. 

In a conversation with Miriam Goodfriend, Policy Manager at HMHBGA, Denielle McCray, a mom of 3 from Albany, shared her enthusiasm for the Moms Tour. “It is about recognizing the incredible strength of Georgia’s mothers and understanding the challenges they face. Every step we take is a step toward building a community that advocates for the well-being of mothers across our state.” 

The day continued with the Maternal Health Advocates Lunch, a celebration of dedication and commitment. The Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year Award, which recognizes the hard work and efforts of our State’s lawmakers to improve maternal and child health through policy change, was bestowed upon Congressman Buddy Carter and Congressman Sanford Bishop, shining a light on their unwavering support for maternal health initiatives in Georgia. 

The Advocacy Lunch, a cornerstone of the day, was not just about recognition; it was a gathering of minds dedicated to shaping policy changes. It brought together key partners, honored mothers, Georgia State Senators, Representatives, and policymakers to discuss, plan, and collaborate. “This lunch is more than just a ceremony; it’s a platform for collective action. It’s about lawmakers and advocates sitting together, sharing ideas, and working towards a common goal,” said Madison Scott, HMHBGA’s Director of Development.  

To close the day, we gathered for the Chalk It Up Community Rally – a grand finale uniting mothers, birthers, parents, providers, and advocates. Creating a space for personal stories, for policymakers to voice their legislative priorities, and for the community to stand in solidarity. “The rally fostered a sense of community and collective responsibility, emphasizing that every voice matters in the journey towards a healthier future for Georgia’s mothers and infants,” said Ky Lindberg, HMHBGA CEO.  

What made this day truly special were the voices from the Mom Cohort. These were not just faces in the crowd; they were mothers, advocates, and champions of maternal health with lived experience in the state of Georgia.  

In the words of one Mom Cohort members, Melinda Pettway, “Maternal Health Awareness Day was more than I could have expected. I have never been to the State Capitol before. But it felt right – standing side by side, sharing our stories, and advocating for the well-being of every mother and child in Georgia.” 

Blog Writer: Miriam Goodfriend

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