Round 50: Race, Health and Motherhood

Project Row Houses
October 12, 2019

Round 50 explored maternal mortality, with a focus on the health disparity that impacts women of color, specifically, Black women in the Third Ward community

Project Row Houses (PRH) unveiled its latest Artist Round, Round 50: Race, Health and Motherhood, on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Curated by PRH Curator and Programs Director Ryan N. Dennis, Round 50 explores how artists, healthcare professionals, practitioners, and philanthropy are responding to the Black maternal mortality rate, a national health care issue that has local ramifications in Third Ward and other neighborhoods in Houston.

Round 50 participating artists include Dem Black Mamas Podcast; Brian Ellison in collaboration with Jasmine Mans; Alexandra Folino; Lindsay Gary in collaboration with Stacey Allen, Cecilie Baxter, and Felicia Thomas; Healthy Women Houston; HTX people project; and Elise R. Peterson. The artists will create site-specific installations, which aim to have nuanced conversations that raise awareness, offer supportive services, participate in advocacy strategies that have an impact on Third Ward, and share resources and create multiple entryways to engage with the topic that is inclusive.

Round 50 was conceived and curated in response to a 2018 project titled, “Improving Maternal Health in Harris County, A Community Plan” funded by the Houston Endowment, a private foundation that convened a steering committee of leaders from a wide range of backgrounds-including healthcare, behavioral health, social services, businesses, government and philanthropy to identify the forces behind Harris County’s high rate of maternal morbidity. The year-planning and research effort produced findings from this collaborative project showed that Houston’s Third Ward is a maternal mortality hot spot.

The healthcare industry, much like other industries in the country, are fraught with a racist, biased lens that doesn’t take into consideration socio-political and economic issues that are centered around systemic racist structures that inform how people of color are seen and the health services they receive. In addition to implicit bias, factors such as lack of transportation, access to healthy food, and safe and affordable housing have an impact on maternal mortality.

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Project Row Houses Round 50 Race Health and Motherhood