University of Connecticut (United States)


This small, qualitative study seeks to examine the ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the landscape of maternal health in the United States. Given the significant racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes, this research will focus on community-based projects that serve Black pregnant and parenting individuals. This project seeks to answer the following question: How is the current health pandemic impacting the landscape of Black women’s maternal and infant health? Utilizing qualitative methods such as online focus groups and interviews, this project seeks to shed light on (1) Black pregnant women’s healthcare access and care during the pandemic, (2) the experiences of community-based organizations during the pandemic who are serving Black pregnant and parenting women, and (3) the resources needed to support these organizations. Covid-19 mortality data thus far has revealed, yet again, racial disparities in health and the widespread impact on Black communities across the nation. Hopefully, this project will not only continue to shed light on maternal and infant health disparities in the country but also help to identify key resources to support communities and families.

Principal Investigator

Haile Cole

Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

Haile Eshe Cole is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut. She received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in African diaspora studies and a portfolio in women’s and gender studies. Broadly, her scholarly interests include community-engaged/social justice research methodology, motherhood and reproduction, and health. Over the years, she has conducted research on women’s mass incarceration in both Texas and New York, and her most recent project examines Black women’s maternal and infant health disparities in Texas. Her research on maternal and infant health builds upon applied public health experience and years of community organizing and reproductive justice work in Austin, Texas, and nationally.