For musical power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z, everything is love. Two Pittsburgh-based organizations are taking a cue from the stars in an effort to help local pregnant women, new mothers and infants of color.
Black Femme Excellence Co. and CoCoHaus will host a free community Bey-B Shower on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at Navus House on the North Side. In addition to distributing baby items and other domestic supplies to more than 20 black women who registered for the event, organizers will provide food, entertainment, childcare and a maternity photoshoot for participants.
But perhaps the most valuable part of the event will be the workshops with doulas and midwives and lactation consultants that focus on pre- and post-natal education.
“Education is a huge part of it,” says Tye Clarke, co-founder of CoCoHaus, a consulting firm that helps creative people of color advance Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape.
Last year, the first Beyoncé-themed shower — which was inspired by the singer’s own pregnancy — helped 25 women through $20,000 in donations and knowledge about the birthing process, breastfeeding, holistic wellness, post-partum depression, homeschooling and parenting.
Clarke, of Polish Hill, hopes that through education, events like this can reduce the infant mortality rate in Pittsburgh — which for babies of color, she says, is one of the highest in the nation.
She says that CoCoHaus and Black Femme Excellence Co., which is a collective focused on black female leadership, plan to continue collecting donations throughout the year for future events. And they aim to eventually expand their reach to include local black fathers.
Supporters can donate directly to the GoFundMe page.