“Beauty for Ashes: Stories of Black Women’s Maternal Hope” is a collaborative journalism project exploring black women’s maternal health and infant mortality in Cleveland through the perspective of restorative journalism. The black women of Cleveland, suffering from this crisis yet persevering, are the project’s face, source of information, and guidance. Our collaborative partners assisted the black women in unearthing their stories as personal narratives. The women are resident media makers.

Over the next few weeks, we will put forth their voices so that the world can hear their stories.

Part of the strength of our project is its diversity of media and community partners. Likewise, AACE, CCC, WERE 1490 AM, and Radio-One 107.9 are uniquely positioned to reach our targeted media audience of black persons in Cleveland impacted by poor maternal health and infant mortality.

  • American Association of Clergy and Employers (non-profit, faith-based organization)
  • Charlotte Morgan (hyper-local journalist)
  • Cleveland Clergy Coalition (non-profit, faith-based organization)
  • FreshWater Cleveland (traditional legacy media)
  • Karin McKenna Photography (hyper-local photojournalist)
  • Literary Cleveland (hyper-local non-profit)
  • Ohio Representative Stephanie Howse (local government representative)
  • Radio-One 107.9 FM (traditional legacy media)
  • Shana Black of Black Girl in CLE
  • WERE AM 1490 (traditional broadcast media organization)

Media partners worked together to produce, publish, and broadcast these hyper-local stories as sources for restorative and solution-based journalism. The strength of this approach is that both the narrator and audience are emotionally invested to engage with the problem, seek solutions, and become activists for change. News influences the quality of our lives, our thoughts and our culture; news is a community builder. Writers advocate for ending the infant mortality crisis and motivate involvement.

This project was made possible by funding from the Cleveland Foundation, Akron Community Foundation, and the Knight Foundation as a part of the CLE AKR Informed Communities Grant.

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