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A brand new event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Ujima, Inc. hosted its first Coffee & Conversation: Black Maternal Health at Busboys and Poets in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC on Monday, October 14, 2019. Moderated by Megan Simmons, Senior Policy Attorney for Ujima, Inc., the panel discussion provided insight into the intersection of violence and Black maternal health. The conversation centered on violence, bias, and preventable deaths experienced by Black women throughout the duration of their pregnancies.

Panelists for the event included:

  • Jamila Perritt, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Jessica Pinckney, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Vice President of Government Affairs

Dr. Perritt shared practical experiences and how her medical care is guided by trauma informed skills. Ms. Pinkney offered her knowledge on policy implications on Black women’s maternal health, as well as policy recommendations to improve outcomes going forward. Dr. Perritt and Ms. Pinkney, both activists and advocates, often work together to educate others on reproductive justice.

Both women shared their personal experiences on how they arrived at incorporating reproductive justice into their professional lives.

If you missed the event, click here to view the entire discussion on our Facebook page.

During the month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), The Person Center (TPC) partnered with Ujima, Inc. to engage the member and community partners of DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) in raising awareness about domestic violence. Collectively, they educated communities on how to promote safety, respect and accountability by changing the way we talk about relationships across the Diaspora.

Ujima, Inc. and TPC, in collaboration with DCCADV, kicked off DVAM on the campus of Howard University at their Paint the Campus Purple event on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, hosted by Howard University’s Violence Prevention Program. The event gave both programs the opportunity to engage the student body in discussion on raising awareness about DVAM and healthy relationships, while also distributing culturally specific literature and resources.

Following the Howard University event, Ujima, Inc. and TPC took part in DCCADV’s signature DVAM event, Paint the Town Purple. This year, organizations from across the District of Columbia joined us at various Metro stations throughout DC where we educated the community about domestic violence by distributing resources and other materials.

Other exciting events that took place throughout the month included:

  • US Attorney’s Office and the East of the River Family – The US Attorney’s Office and the East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative hosted an Inter-Faith Health Resource Fair in Ward 7. This outreach and tabling event focused primarily on domestic violence and intimate partner violence and included over a dozen organizations and resources available to Washington, DC residents, specifically in Ward 7. Organizations and agencies that were represented included: The University of the District of Columbia, Interfaith Advisory Board to the Mayor, MedStar Health Hospitals, the Metropolitan Police Department, DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Person Center and Ujima, Inc., just to name a few.
  • Spread the Love Trivia Night – An exciting event where locals had the opportunity to show off their smarts while raising awareness about healthy relationships. Trivia Night is an annual charity event that supports the work of the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  • Purple Thursday Fest – A day of unity in the community to commemorate the annual Purple Thursday Awareness Community Fair across the DC metropolitan area. The event showcased the strength of the DVAM member organizations and community partners. Located on the steps of The National City Christian Church, the event included awareness activities, performances and a declaration by the Mayor of Washington, DC.

Other DVAM events TPC attended included, Coffee & Conversations, a movie screening of the classic 1940’s film “The Heiress,” and a presentation on the Public Charge ruling around housing in DC and Surviving DC: The Cost of Safety, a discussion about domestic violence and the actual cost of assisting survivors.

The Person Center also had the opportunity to engage with the community, organizations and advocates through various training sessions. In partnership with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Person Center conducted three, all-day trauma informed trainings at the Hill Center in Southeast, DC. Shelter organizations from across the city participated in a group discussion about trauma and its impacts, as well as how to address trauma when supporting the clients we serve. The groups also discussed systemic challenges and barriers when responding to trauma and defining trauma informed care that is shared across the spectrum.


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