The Dane County Board Thursday night unanimously passed a resolution to recognize the week of April 11-17 as Black Maternal Health Week in Dane County.

The resolution says that Black Maternal Health Week is an appropriate way to bring awareness to an issue that directly affects Black pregnant people and Black infants in the community. It also states that Black infants have two times the infant mortality as non-Hispanic whites, and are nearly four times more likely to die from complications as non-Hispanic whites.

Systemic racism is prevalent in many healthcare systems, the resolution adds, and prevents Black pregnant people and Black infants from receiving proper care.

“We need to raise awareness of this issue,” said State Representative and County Board Supervisor Shelia Stubbs (District 23) in a statement. “Black women and babies need our help.  We need to change the systems that have resulted in the disparities in healthcare for Black families.”

At the meeting, the County Board also agreed to recognize Donate Life Month, which promotes a greater understanding of the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation, and National Infertility Awareness Week.

“Infertility is incredibly common, yet often not openly discussed, and is often paired with physical, emotional and financial stress.  By bringing awareness to this issue we are helping to remove barriers and support people’s family building experience,” said County Board Supervisor Cecely Castillo (District 4) in a statement.