SVP Cleveland and Birthing Beautiful Communities (BBC) have come together for a two-year engagement to further BBC’s impact serving Black birthing people and babies. SVP will offer organizational support to BBC through $30,000 in unrestricted grant funding and collaboration with our Partnership to build BBC’s capacity.
Founded and run by a collective of Black birth-workers and doulas, BBC provides holistic social support to pregnant individuals to deliver full-term healthy babies, reduce infant and maternal mortality rates, and achieve more equitable birth outcomes. BBC was established in 2014 with a mission to address and improve the systemic and community structures that lead to poor birth outcomes. Black mothers in the USA are three times more likely to die in childbirth than others, with 60% of those deaths being totally preventable.
This year, BBC participated in SVP’s newly updated investment cycle—reimagined in 2020 to make its application, evaluation, and outcomes more equitable. Our Partners recognized the crucial work BBC is doing in the community and overwhelmingly voted to select the organization as our newest two-year grant recipient.
“I am thrilled that SVP and BBC have launched this partnership,” our executive director, Abby Westbrook, shares. “I say this not only as SVP’s executive director, but also as a mother and community member. BBC is saving lives as well as going deeper to address the inequitable systems that perpetuate this country’s epidemic around Black maternal health and infant mortality. Collaborating with this organization is an opportunity to address this issue right here in Cleveland and to set a national model for a standard of care centered on equity, compassion, and the unique needs of each birthing person.”
President and CEO of BBC, Jazmin Long, adds, “BBC wanted to work with SVP Cleveland because of the unique way it supports nonprofits – both with unrestricted grant funding and hands-on capacity building support. They offer thought-partnership and a chance to talk through some of the challenges BBC is facing as a growing organization. I believe that, together, we are stronger and am excited to see how their support helps further BBC’s mission.”
Jazmin selected Cyndy Dunn to be her SVP Partner Liaison for the engagement. Together, they will chart a course to tackle BBC’s capacity-building challenges and bring in other Partners with expertise in those areas for collaborative advising. Already, Partners Marcia Levine and Jaime Buehl-Reichard have rolled up their sleeves. Marcia has been collaborating with Jazmin on transitioning BBC’s founders board to an agile group ready to direct next steps. Jaime has been working with Jazmin on setting up a financial foundation in preparation for exciting new projects.
Waiting in the wings are an abundance of Partners, eager to work with BBC as it works on critically important health care policies and community needs to address the Black maternal health crisis in Cuyahoga and Summit County. BBC accomplishes this through investments in social determinants of health that influence maternal health, such as housing, transportation, and nutrition. For the past two years, BBC has maintained zero infant deaths amongst program participants. The organization’s work ensures that pregnant individuals are able to bring healthy, thriving, and surviving babies into this world.