black infant mortality

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Two community groups hope to start a conversation about infant mortality in Kalamazoo County. They're holding two public forums about the link between racism and the county's high death rate for black babies.

Dr. Arthur James Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Is it the "stigma" of getting mental health services that keeps more African-Americans from seeking them? Not entirely. Dr. Arthur James, one of two keynote speakers at the May 2nd Breaking the Stigma: African-American Mental Health Symposium, a new conference in Kalamazoo, cites access as a factor as well.

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A new conference exploring African-American mental health issues opens on Thursday, May 2 in Kalamazoo. Maternal and infant health expert Dr. Arthur James is one of the two keynote speakers at the daylong Breaking the Stigma: African-American Mental Health Symposium. He specializes in the role of race in health disparities, especially black infant mortality.

Gabi Menashe / Flickr

The CEO of YWCA Kalamazoo says “In 30 years we don’t want to be talking about infant mortality in Kalamazoo.” Grace Lubwama says Cradle Kalamazoo will include a new hotline to help connect pregnant women to resources. 

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The board has also appointed seasoned public health official Jim Rutherford to lead its Health and Community Services Department.