Trusted Links Celebrates Advocates
On Friday, December 13, the Partnership recognized advocates from the Trusted Links program. Generously supported by a grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Trusted Links is a program that recruits and trains community advocates to lead discussions about reproductive health and empower other women.
While the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has been rising since the 1990s, Black women are 3 – 4 times more likely than White women to die due to pregnancy complications. The infant mortality rate has been decreasing; however, Black infants are 2 – 3 times more likely than White infants to die during the first year. The Trusted Links program engages Black women of child-bearing age to discuss the disparities and reproductive health.
Advocates complete an extensive training session and pledge to recruit additional advocates to join the program. In 2018, Trusted Links engaged 500 women in Newark for this dynamic program.
Stacy Rodgers volunteered because she liked the opportunity to network, education, and support other women in the community. Ms. Rodgers also valued the discussion groups, “People felt that they could share in safe space. The groups were non-judgemental and provided a place to think about how we can change the narrative when it comes to our health.”
Renee Jackson shared her experience as a Trusted Links leader, “One thing I really enjoyed is that it brought me out of my shell. It was a great learning experience.”
Fifteen advocates were recognized for their leadership by Estherlene Phanord, Health Educator for Trusted Links, and Amy Gole, Director of Education. Liliana Pinete, Chief Operating Officer, thanked the advocates for their outstanding efforts. Friends and family joined in this festive celebration to honor their commitment to the community.