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Actor Tatyana Ali explains why she's raising capital to address the Black maternal health crisis

Through her company Baby Yams, the Grammy Award winner and "Abbott Elementary" actor is funding midwives' education.
Tatyana Ali
Posted at 2:08 PM, Jun 17, 2024

You may have seen her on the hit comedy series "Abbott Elementary" or as Ashley Banks on the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," but now Tatyana Ali is using her platform to advocate for Black maternal health.

According to the CDC, Black women are almost three times more likely to die due to a pregnancy-related cause.

Ali, a Grammy Award winner and longtime activist, joined Scripps News to discuss the crisis, how her passion led her to testify before Congress and the bill she's hoping gets passed to "completely change our outcomes."

"I came to this work after the birth of my first son," Ali told Scripps News. "I experienced obstetric violence at a hospital in Los Angeles. After that, I started working with the reproductive justice community really to learn more during my second pregnancy. I ended up working with a wonderful Black midwife for that pregnancy and birth, and my experience was completely different. I was cared for, I was listened to and I was safe."

Ali's company Baby Yams sells quilts, with the profits funding scholarships for Black and Indigenous midwives at the National College of Midwifery in New Mexico.

"After all of that work, all that advocacy work for the last 5 years, that's why I've turned to trying to raise capital because what is inspiring and what powers me is how much we as a community have decided to take matters into our own hands, come together and care for each other," Ali said.

To view the full interview, watch the video above.