In Arkansas, African Americans account for only 20% of the state’s births, however they make up 33% of the total infant deaths. In an effort to combat this major health disparity, the Arkansas Department of Health developed a community-based focused initiative with African American sororities called SISTERS UNITED. The graduate chapters of these sororities, which include Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho are working together to spread messages in the African American community aimed at reducing the state’s infant mortality rate. 

Sisters United (2013)
Acrylic on Canvas - Sondra A. Strong, Artist 
The artwork entitled, Sisters United, is a representation of African-American Greek sororities united on a campaign to address the infant mortality rate in the state of Arkansas. The image represents the bold colors of a sisterhood standing shoulder to shoulder as one. The legacy of each sorority represented in the artwork defines their pride and dedication in providing service to the community. This union to protect and uplift our children is represented by each sorority sister firmly placing her hand on the infant. The globe in artwork represents the future of our world as these sororities come together to ensure the safety and future potential of our children have in making this world a better place. By reducing the infant mortality rate, our children will thrive to become educated individuals destined to change this world.
Click here, to learn more about the artist.
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Price: $25 each
Details: 22x28 on 100 lbs silk coverstock paper
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In Arkansas a baby dies before its first birthday almost every day and African American babiesare twice as likely to die within the first year of life. The Arkansas Department of Health partnered with African American sororities to help reduce infant mortality. Together, membersof Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, ZetaPhi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho have formed SISTERS UNITED to raise awareness about the causes of infant mortality. Members of these sororities  received training and use social media such as Facebook and YouTube to reach their target population.They also hold various events across the state topromote SISTERS UNITED’s 4 focus areas which include: Folic Acid before pregnancy • Flu shot during pregnancy • Breastfeeding, and • Safe Sleep. To learn more about SISTERS UNITED, visit their Facebook page.

Folic Acid
If you are thinking about having a baby or between the ages of 14 -44 consider these facts:
  • A baby’s brain & spinal cord begins developing the first weeks after conception which is before most women know they are pregnant.
  • Folic acid should be taken at least 3-12 months before pregnancy.
  • Folic acid can decrease brain or spinal cord birth defects by 70-80%.
  • Foods high in folic acid: oranges, strawberries, avocados, beans and lentils, cooked broccoli, cooked spinach and “enriched” or “fortified” bread and pasta.
Flu Shot
The flu is a virus that affects the respiratory tract. A flu shot is made from an inactive virus and is safe for your and your baby.
  • By receiving a flu shot, during any stage of pregnancy, a mother can decrease the chance of getting the flu by 70%.
  • A flu shot can decrease the mom and baby from dying from the flu by 50%. 
  • A flu shot during pregnancy protects both mom and baby (up to 6 months) from flu.
  • Pregnant women should NOT receive nasal vaccinations.
Breastfeeding is important for all women, however African Americans are less likely to do so than White women. In 2010, 74% of white women reported breastfeeding, while only 45% of African Americans reported breastfeeding, which contributes to the higher rate of infant mortality within the African American community. There are over 100 ingredients in breast milk that cannot be duplicated in formula. There are over 100 ingredients in breast milk that cannot be duplicated in formula. Breast milk:
  • Fights disease.
  • Reduces obesity and asthma.
  • Families that do not follow breastfeeding practices can spend between $1,200–$1,500 on formula.
  • Women who breastfeed burn up to 500 more calories a day and return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.
Safe Sleep
The chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are dramatically reduced when babies are properly put to bed. This includes:
  • Putting the baby to sleep on their back.
  • No excessive toys and blankets in the baby’s crib.
  • Using a firm, flat mattress for the baby’s crib.
  • Never letting the baby sleep in the same bed with the parents.

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