Internship reflection

Michaela Taylor at Expecting Justice: Building innovative public health interventions that address systemic racism

I learned about design thinking and strategies to do meaningful community-based participatory research, uplifting the expertise of the communities while simultaneously investing in them
February 8, 2021
Michaela Taylor

This summer I interned at Expecting Justice, a collaborative mobilizing leaders across San Francisco to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes for Black and Pacific Islander communities in San Francisco. Through this internship, I gained valuable practical experience and expanded my perspective on what it means to practice anti-racism and build innovative public health interventions that address systemic racism in maternal, child, and adolescent health. The two projects I worked on were the Health Equity and Anti-Racism Training (HEART Up) and the Abundant Birth Project (ABP). 

HEART Up is an online heart-centered anti-racism training for providers, public health professionals, and institutional leaders who interact with pregnant people. While working on HEART Up I built my knowledge of anti-racism practice and skills with curriculum planning and development, scriptwriting, and beta testing (including designing the survey for qualitative data collection, coding the data, and presenting it to the team). 

ABP is an innovative, collaborative intervention to provide unconditional income supplementation during pregnancy to 150 Black and Pacific Islander pregnant women in San Francisco; addressing structural inequities in wealth correlated with negative maternal and infant outcomes. Through ABP I learned eabout design thinking and strategies to do meaningful community-based participatory research, uplifting the expertise of the communities while simultaneously investing in them. I gained essential skills with qualitative data analysis (specifically rapid assessment process), synthesizing and writing data summaries, creating reports for funders, and much more. This work also helped me conceptualize how to support public health interventions that are for the community designed by the community. 

My internship experience with Expecting Justice was deeply personal and provided me an opportunity to bring my culture and story to the work. I am grateful to the Wallace Center for making this opportunity possible and thank you to the Expecting Justice Team for investing in me, allowing me to learn, and modeling for me how to be an anti-racist change agent.

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