Black Leadership Council’s Aftershock Film Screening, Panel Discussion, and a Call to Action

We’re elated to share about an incredibly impactful event of which we were a part. On Wednesday, April 12, the Black Leadership Council (BLC), an initiative of PRC, and partners First 5 Alameda County, Alameda Health System and Alameda County Public Health Department’s BElovedBIRTH Black Centering, and the California Black Health Network held a screening of the powerful documentary Aftershock and a post-film Panel Discussion. The event took place at Oakland’s historic Grand Lake Theatre during Black Maternal Health Week, which aims to inspire awareness, activism, and community-building to amplify the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of Black Moms and birthing people.

This film highlights the devastating inequities that Black birthing women face as they relate to maternal morbidities. More specifically, the film follows the preventable deaths of two young African-American women in New York City, whose bereaved families turn their pain into power and galvanize activists, birth workers, and physicians to reckon with the US maternal health crisis.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion with one of the filmmakers, Tonya Lewis Lee; two of the featured fathers, Omari Maynard and Bruce McIntyre; California Black Health Network Executive Director Rhonda Smith; and Alameda Health System & Alameda County Public Health Department’s BElovedBIRTH Black Centering Director Jyesha Wren. Their contributions to the discussion and the event were invaluable as we learned how they use film, art, innovative programming for Black birthing mothers, and policy reform efforts to find effective solutions that lead to health equity and justice. The panel was moderated by Tasha Henneman, PRC’s Chief of Policy and Government Affairs and Director of the BLC, and Kevin Bremond, First 5 Alameda County Father’s Corps’ Co-Founder and Program Administrator.

We encourage you to watch the film on HULU and then view our panel discussion embedded below.

The event ended with the Black Leadership Council’s call to action:

  • Reclaim the promise of racial justice, equity, and quality health care for ALL!
  • Commit to advancing and funding the work of all those represented and make it endure!
  • Be voices, eyes, ears, and advocates for Black mothers and birthing people!
  • Grow a broader, more resilient base of political support for racial equity beyond the brave leadership of the event’s justice warriors.
  • Become a member of the Black Leadership Council and join them in Sacramento, on June 19, 2023, for their annual advocacy day, “Black in Action.”

Check out our curated photo gallery of the event by clicking the arrow keys to the left and right below.


“So important was the feeling people walked away with. The film and panel discussion opened a door for birthing people and non-birthing people to recall their own personal experiences or those of others close to them, to reflect on the harsh realities of health inequities that Black women face, and provided education on the historical racism that has shaped the birthing/medical field.”

— Tasha Henneman, Chief of public Policy and Government Affairs, PRC / Director, BLC

Hear from our attendees, who left the event feeling inspired and activated! You can also view all photos from the event taken by Bethanie Hines Photography.

The Black Leadership Council acts as a coalition because when we improve outcomes for our community members hardest hit by inequities, we improve them for all of us.