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October 16, 2023
Reimaging Birth Equity and Justice
A Pre-Conference for the 2023 National Community Leadership Summit

The Data Equity Symposium, Reimagining Birth Equity and Justice, is a limited engagement pre-conference of our 10th Annual National Community Leadership Summit. Join us as we bring together the most revolutionary innovators, advocates, practitioners, storytellers and change-agents working to transform birth justice and equity.


This Symposium is an all hands and hearts on deck experience - with active, collaborative work to craft an equitable future for all.  The symposium is designed for those seeking to build solutions, research, data and partnerships that are equitable, strengths-focused and just to ensure that all families experience care that honors dignity. 

We will not ask for permission to save our own lives.



On Tuesday, November 8th, Liz Miranda was elected to serve as the next State Senator of the 2nd Suffolk District, the seat of Black political power in Boston, representing neighborhoods in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, South End, and the Fenway. Prior to serving in the Massachusetts Senate, Senator Miranda served two terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In her first term in the House, she was a lead author in the police reform omnibus bill that passed in 2021.

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Senator Liz Miranda


In 2016 Charles Johnson, lost his wife Kira, during a routine C-section at Cedar Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, California. He founded 4Kira4Moms in 2017 as a response to his experience, to be a voice for other mothers and families facing unnecessary maternal loss, and putting an end to the maternal mortality health crisis. Mr. Johnson worked relentlessly with congress to pass the preventing maternal death act (H.R.1318) that was signed into law December 21, 2018.

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Charles Johnson

Mayhan_headshot Denise Mayhan.jpg

Y. Denise Mayhan, PhD currently serves as the Director, Practice Operations for the Talk With Me Baby (TWMB) initiative at Grady Health System, Atlanta, GA, US.  Since 2018, in partnership with the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, TWMB-trained nurses, certified medical assistants, and providers coach parents and caregivers on how to help their babies and young children build capacity for lifelong learning and health.  TWMB has touched the lives of more than 10,000 families and 6,000 Grady employees...

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Dr. Denise Mayhan


Bonnie Boswell is an award-winning producer/reporter, talk show host and speaker. Ms. Boswell is currently the executive producer/reporter of Bonnie Boswell Reports, a feature news series, and Bonnie Boswell Presents, a news magazine program, broadcasting and streaming on SoCal.

Ms. Boswell is the executive producer of “Saving Moms” a feature length documentary on the challenges and solutions to maternal health in America broadcast...

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Bonnie Boswell

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Dr. Dayna Long is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Long has been a primary care pediatrician at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland for over 20 years. For the past 7 years, she has also served as the co-Director of Center for Child and Community Health (CCCH). The mission of CCCH is to be a positive force for all children to live a full, vibrant and healthy life. Dr. Long accomplishes this mission...

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Dr. Dayna Long

Hargons, Candice Dr. Photo 2.jpg

Dr. Candice Hargons (she/her) is an award-winning associate professor in the counseling psychology program at the University of Kentucky, where she studies sexual and mental health – all with a love ethic. She is PI of the SAMHSA funded Neighborhood Healers Project, which seeks to advance mental health literacy and service utilization among Black Lexingtonians. She is also a co-I on projects funded by NIDA, HRSA, and NIMHD examining substance use outcomes, treatment, and sexual health disparities...

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Dr. Candice Hargons

Marcelin, Lilly Photo_edited.jpg

Lilly Marcelin is a community activist and organizer who has dedicated herself to a lifelong journey around racial and social justice equity. Ms. Marcelin has worked on a broad range of issues from gender-based violence, human trafficking, health and socioeconomic disparities to women’s reproductive health and rights. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Resilient Sisterhood Project (RSP). . . 

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Lilly Marcelin

About The Data Equity Symposium

The Data Equity Symposium will involve powerful roundtable discussions to inspire, followed by active design work which will encourage us all to collectively dream an equitable future. 


Please note the Data Equity Symposium is space limited in order to honor an intimate workshop experience.

The symposium begins at 12:30 pm on October 16th.

Spanish language justice and American Sign Language will be offered.


Monday, October 16th


11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

"Saving Moms" Documentary Film Screening and Discussion

Private screening of the groundbreaking documentary film "Saving Moms," followed by a discussion with Bonnie Boswell, Executive Producer, and Charles Johnson, Founder and CEO of 4Kira4Moms


12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Uniting to Secure our Birthright: Joyful and Just Birthing Experiences


The esteemed Senator Liz Miranda will open Vital Village Networks 10th Annual National Community Leadership Summit's Data Equity Symposium and discuss current legislative efforts to achieve birth equity and justice in the Commonwealth and for the nation. 


1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Speaking Truth to Power: Advancing Birth Justice through Narrative and Policy Change


What is the role of data storytelling, narrative change, and solutions journalism in activating policy and systems change to ensure equitable futures for all? Provocative presentations followed by an interactive workshop.


Workshop I. Writing Dignity Into the Story


Moving beyond inequities to design measures that capture experiences of dignity and affirmation of human rights.



2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Embracing Sankofa: Ensuring Birth Equity by Cultivating Abundance


Ensuring equitable futures will require tapping into the abundance of social and cultural wealth in communities of color and taking action to scale existing solutions and innovations.


Workshop II. Democratizing Data to Move from Crisis to Abundance 

Collective design of data storytelling tools and participatory models to scale culturally-affirming care and solutions.



4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Community Power - A New Blueprint for Transforming Birth Justice


Recognizing the importance of imagination for understanding the untapped potential of community power to advance birth justice.



4:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Strategies to Disseminate Data Stories for Advocacy and Change

Closing conversation and discussion of commitments that we can take to ensure birth justice and equity for all.

If you register and are unable to attend please contact us to cancel so another change-agent may participate.

If you are also interested in attending the Summit on October 17th please complete the registration form here.

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