HealthConnect One (HC One) launched the Birth Equity Leadership Academy (BELA) in the spring of 2017, to develop effective and authentic leadership on maternal and child health within communities that are often marginalized, and to amplify the voices of these leaders through a coordinated national network.
BELA is the first national network focused on birth equity.
After approximately 18 months of implementation, we have identified six key lessons learned:
- Community and connection break the isolation of individual birth workers
- Modeling, support and mentorship impact how individuals work with families and community
- Seed grants paired with mentorship launch innovative, expansive ideas
- Developing leadership in communities means supporting both professional and personal growth
- Focusing on equity requires a significant time investment
- Time, capacity and process are crucial elements of success
For details, please download the full brief here:
A vital part of BELA is the community projects initiative, which provides mini grants and technical support in order to increase capacity for serving vulnerable and marginalized communities around maternal and child health.
HealthConnect One is currently supporting community demonstration projects from BELA leaders across the country in the form of $80,000 in mini grants. The overarching goals of these mini grants are to foster collaboration, share learning, and support new or current work in underserved communities and communities of color.
For a summary of lessons learned in launching this mini grant funding strategy, please download the full brief here: