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MTV, Lena Waithe Sound Alarm on Maternal Mortality

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

As Mother’s Day Approaches, ‘Save Our Moms’ Campaign Launches Across MTV and MTV News on All Platforms

In response to the shocking rise of maternal mortality in the U.S., MTV – the brand that created the “16 and Pregnant” franchise, which helped reduce teen pregnancy – as well as Emmy® Award-winner Lena Waithe, Christy Turlington Burns’ Every Mother Counts, and the Black Mamas Matter Alliance are joining forces this Mother’s Day to provide life-saving resources for expectant mothers, their friends, and families. In the past 30 years, deaths from pregnancy-related complications in the have doubled in the United States. Today, it is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth.*

Kicking off today, the “Save Our Moms” campaign will activate across MTV and MTV News on all platforms with original content and educational resources, articles and op-eds, and talent testimonials. The centerpiece of the campaign will be an original video piece directed by “HALA” filmmaker and Sundance Film Festival sensation Minhal Baig and produced by Waithe’s Protest Art Productions.

“Every mother deserves the right to go home with their child,” said Waithe.

This campaign was inspired by three students from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs – Maria Jose Diaz, Justine LaVoye and Jenise Ogle – who pitched MTV leadership on their idea to leverage the brand’s platforms as a way to shine a bright light on this overlooked crisis.

“It’s shocking that the U.S. is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth,” said Chris McCarthy, President of MTV. “The positive news is that 60% of these deaths are preventable and that’s why we launched this campaign.”

Elements of the “Save Our Moms” campaign will include:

  • PSA
    • Produced by Waithe’s Protest Art Productions
    • Helmed by Sundance maverick Minhal Baig and narrated by Waithe
    • Airing in primetime on MTV and its suite of brands, appearing across all platforms with a combined reach of more than 700 million
  • Digital action hub (saveourmoms.mtv.com):
    • Joint effort between MTV, Every Mother Counts and Black Mamas Matter Alliance
    • Provides educational resources for expectant mothers and their partners, friends and families
  • MTV News and talent activations:
    • MTV News will include short features and op-eds to raise awareness
    • Marquee MTV talent will throw their weight behind the campaign, sharing personal stories

*According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Lancet, as reported in USA Today:

  • The U.S. is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth.
  • Every day, 2-3 women die in the U.S. from pregnancy-related complications, doubling in the past 30 years.
  • The risk is 3-4 times higher for black women than for white women.
  • 60% of these deaths are preventable.

About MTV

MTV is the leading global youth media brand in 180 countries, reaching 450 million households in nearly 30 different languages across every platform. A unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), MTV operations span cable and mobile networks, live events, theatrical films and MTV Studios.

About Black Mamas Matter Alliance

Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance that centers Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice. We envision a world where Black mamas have the rights, respect, and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy. Learn more about our work at blackmamasmatter.org.

About Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts (EMC) is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. EMC works to achieve quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care for all women by supporting quality programs through grants and working collaboratively with partners and thought leaders to increase awareness and mobilize communities to take action. EMC currently supports programs that improve access to maternity care in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Tanzania and the United States. Learn more at everymothercounts.org.

About the Congressional Caucus on Black Maternal Health

On April 9, 2019, Congresswomen Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood launched the first-ever Congressional Caucus on Black Maternal Health. They established this Caucus to call greater Congressional attention to the national crisis of worsening maternal health outcomes, specifically the intolerable disparities experienced by Black women. Through bold policymaking, collective action and stakeholder engagement, the Caucus will work to reverse current trends and achieve optimal birth outcomes for all families. The Caucus will raise awareness within Congress to establish Black maternal health as a national priority, and explore and advocate for effective, evidence-based, culturally-competent policies and best practices for improving Black maternal health. The Caucus will ensure that Black women and infants have the rights, respect, and resources needed to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy.

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