Black Mama: Endangered – A Live Storysharing Event on Black Maternal Health

Nationally, black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. In places such as Georgia or New York, that statistic is as high as twelve times more likely. Black Mama: Endangered is a live storysharing performance of ten true stories – all shared by local storytellers – that unpacks the experiences of black women and their trials with the healthcare system. The theme is healthcare issues that black women face, including prenatal care, delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, illness, death, and the impact on families.

On Saturday, October 19, from 12:00 p.m. – 4 p.m., at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, over 100 people gathered to hear:

✅10 stories that came from all black women written by a black women.
✅10 black women storytellers ready to share and speak these stories to honor the experiences of their sisters.
✅4 black women who are working in the community to reverse these statistics ready to lead an impactful community conversation.

The stories were raw, intimate, and powerful. Written by Hannah Hasan of Epoch Tribe, the stories revealed experiences of trauma, heartache, disparate treatment, loss, love, racism, family, and strength.

Listen to Hannah talk about her process for finding stories here.

The 10 stories were told on stage by 10 black women storytellers who moved the audience with their presence and talent:

  1. “I’m Coming Home” shared by Keya Hamilton
  2. “The Inside” shared by Lakashanna Corpening
  3. “Birth Plan” shared by Lasondra Oates
  4. “What is the Cost” shared by Saffiyah Baldwin
  5. “Empty” shared by Amandla Awethu
  6. “He Saved My Life” shared by Kelly Greene
  7. “The Doctor Said” shared by Danielle Sanders
  8. “On Healing Wounds” shared by Hannah Hasan
  9. “An Open Letter to My Sister” shared by Zahra Mahdi
  10. “I Knew” shared by Juanita B. Greene

Watch the stories shared live here.

Following the powerful storysharing, attendees participated in a community conversation led by the amazing Melanie Anderson.

We heard from community leaders working to advocate for black women and reproductive justice in their communities. Our speakers included Tiawna “Tia” Brown, founder of Beauty After The Bars and Mothers and Infants Nursing Together (MINT) and Sharne Haywood, Public Policy Coordinator for Planned Parenthood.

Listen to Tia tell her story here.

Listen to Sharnee explain why she does this work here.

We also heard from Brandi Calhoun, full-spectrum doula and Director of Reproductive and Maternal Health at the YWCA Greensboro. Brandi shared her story and her mother’s story and emphasized how important it is to continue telling these stories.

Watch Brandi share her story here.

Attendees also had an opportunity to participate in a community art project, with “Airing Out” the Dirty Laundry. Together, a beautiful quilt of stories was created.

Several CRAN partners were also present to provide information on community resources and volunteer opportunities. Attendees were able to connect with community organizations working on reproductive healthcare, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice in North Carolina.

We are grateful to Hannah Hasan and Epoch Tribe, to our storytellers, to our speakers, to our partners, and to each and every one of our attendees for making this event a success. We must continue to tell these stories and address the disparate treatment of black and brown women within the healthcare system. For more information on how you can get involved with this work, please reach out to our network.

We look forward to seeing you at our next event.

#blackmamaendangered #reproductivejustice #storytelling #storysharing #community

Expose Fake Clinics: How CPCs Harm Our Communities

Did you know that your tax dollars fund deception and manipulation of patients seeking medical care?

On Thursday, September 5, CRAN was joined by Tara Romano, Director at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, and Senator Natasha Marcus, NC District 41, for a revealing conversation on crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina. In addition, Brandi Collins-Calhoun, birth worker and Director of Reproductive and Maternal Health at the YWCA Greensboro, joined us for a workshop highlighting her on the ground work to protect a patient’s right to be informed of all their options. We heard about what is happening at the local, state, and national level in regards to funding for crisis pregnancy centers. We also wrote postcards to our representatives urging them to not include money for CPCs in our state budget. What a great educational opportunity for our community!

Fake health centers are fake health-care clinics that lie to, shame and intentionally mislead women about their reproductive-health-care options to block them from accessing abortion care. A woman facing an unintended pregnancy deserves medically accurate, comprehensive and unbiased information.

There are more than 4,000 fake health centers across the country. There are 11 in Charlotte. In at least 12 states, fake health centers receive direct state funding to mislead women. The NC State budget currently includes $2.5 million for crisis pregnancy centers.

Government support for these anti-choice organizations creates the false impression that fake health centers are part of the mainstream medical community. They are not. They are not regulated or licensed. They do not provide medical care. The government should not support anti-choice fake health centers. Women should have all the facts to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

Find out more information at and help us expose fake clinics!

CRAN 2019 Candidate Forum and Endorsements

On Monday, August 12, CRAN hosted a Candidate Forum for candidates running for Mayor and City Council seats in Charlotte. Over 60 people packed into EastSide Local Eatery to hear from 17 candidates on where they stand on reproductive rights, reproductive healthcare, and reproductive justice. It was a great night filled with rich dialogue!

Check out CRAN’s voter guide here. The only thing more important than being a voter is being an informed voter!

After careful review and consideration of candidates’ survey responses and forum remarks, CRAN is proud to support the following candidates for the 2019 Charlotte City Council Election*:

At-Large: Dimple Ajmera (D), Julie Eiselt (D), Jorge Millares (D), and Braxton Winston (D)

District 1: Larken Egleston (D)

District 2: Jeremy Arey (D)

District 3: Caleb Theodrus (D)

District 4: Sean Thompson (D)

District 5: Matt Newton (D)

District 6: Gina Navarrete (D)

District 7: No Endorsement

Thank you to all the candidates who participated in the survey and forum!

Dimple Ajmera
Sean Thompson
Jorge Millares
Larken Egleston
Gina Navarrete
Jeremy Arey
Julie Eiselt

Don’t forget to vote! Early voting starts August 21. Early voting locations can be found here. The primary election is September 10. The general election is November 5. Find your polling site for election day here.

* Please note that CRAN’s endorsement of candidates reflects the majority opinion of CRAN leadership. CRAN’s endorsements should not be construed as an official endorsement by any individual member organization.

CRAN’s 2019 Voter Guide

The Charlotte Reproductive Action Network presents its bipartisan 2019 voter guide for the upcoming 2019 elections in the City of Charlotte. The primary election is Tuesday, September 10. The general election is Tuesday, November 5. Don’t forget to vote!

Download the voter guide below to see where Charlotte mayoral and city council candidates stand on reproductive rights, reproductive healthcare, and reproductive justice so you can be an informed voter on election day.

Download CRAN’s 2019 Voter Guide Here