By Kayla Eboreime
Black History Month gives us a sacred opportunity to honor those who blazed trails and opened doors that had always been closed. As we give our deepest gratitude to historical figures, it is essential that we celebrate the history being made today. It is important to highlight that Black fortitude and innovation is not past tense. There are so many Black medical leaders dedicated to cultivating, empowering, and healing communities in our modern world.
Joia Crear-Perry, MD, is one of those leaders. An advocate for birth equity, she has used her voice in very privileged spaces to uplift the most underserved and highlight the health disparities that Black women face and has been clear and unapologetic in her anti-racism work. Her reach is impressive: Dr. Crear-Perry has testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and addressed the United Nations high commissioner for human rights in the name of disparity reduction in maternal health, and has mobilized and educated thousands through power of organization and coalition. As the founder and CEO of the National Birth Equity Coalition, she has supported research, community-centered care initiatives, and policy. The National Birth Equity Coalition’s vision is for all Black mothers and babies to thrive; so simple, yet so profound.
Dr. Crear-Perry’s ability to captivate an audience and educate them on the roots of systemic injustice is powerful. Her ability to lead initiatives and create strategic infrastructure for change is masterful. Dr. Crear-Perry’s example is soulful, passionate, excellent, and Black. As a medical student so young in my career, it inspires me to see someone who so eloquently identifies the gaps and then boldly fills them. She is Black history.
Kayla Eboreime is a medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where she is a Neal Kocurek Scholar, Houston Medical Forum Scholar, and creator of the Unveiled Panel & Dialogue Series.