In 2007, the Center for Research on Women (CROW) at the of Memphis celebrated its 25th year of research on social inequality as it relates to gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. Although Center scholars have conducted research on a broad range of women's issues over the last two and a half decades (including work, wages, and immigration in the U.S. South), this past year's work focused on some pervasive health-related inequities among genders, races, and classes in our own community. These included infant mortality rates, unintended pregnancies, sexual harassment in schools, and violence against women in college.
Infant Mortality in African American Communities
Memphis has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation. The rate at which children die before their first birthday in Memphis is more than twice the national average. In fact, there are poor neighborhoods in the city where babies die at a higher rate than they do in some developing countries. Babies born too soon and too small account for a growing proportion of infant deaths. And, infant mortality rates for African American women are double to triple those of Caucasian women.
In January 2008, the Center for Research on Women (CROW) began a comprehensive, four-year evaluation of "Community Voice," a new intervention by the March of Dimes intended to reduce infant mortality in …