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Building Women’s Resilience

We know that in Rochester, families are living with trauma. That we are first in child poverty. That our infant mortality rates are double the national average. What we don’t hear as often are the stories of strength. Every day our mothers and families are achieving extraordinary victories. Parenting in the face of adversity. Creating positive change despite systemic barriers. Raising thriving children in loving homes. At Healthy Baby Network, we are shining light on the profound resilience of the mothers and families who inspire our work. We’ve gathered stories from mothers, fathers, and community members about their experiences with pregnancy, parenting, and resilience: to help you be better prepared. Come celebrate with us!

“People either saw me as a high risk pregnancy – not A WOMAN with a high risk pregnancy, but a high risk pregnancy or as a wife [of a man with cancer].” – Melanie Funchess of the Mental Health Association at Healthy Baby Network’s Women’s Health Day


“My mother grew up in Mount Morris, New York, but she was the only black female in a predominantly all-white and Italian town. So resilience for me, my genes, my DNA, almost immediately begin with that struggle. I can’t tell you about what that does to your identity, your sense of self, your self-esteem, your dignity. Yet still, she persevered, came an hour north here to Rochester, met my father, and here’s the man speaking before you all today.” – Adrian Hale of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce at Healthy Baby Network’s Annual Meeting

“In a room with so many strong, powerful, hard-working women, I don’t have to be a woman to recognize that women’s rights are important. Just like for all of our non-people of color, you shouldn’t have to be a person of color to recognize people of color’s rights and freedoms are important as well.” – Adrian Hale of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce at Healthy Baby Network’s Annual Meeting


“It’s been an amazing year, the tide has turned and I’m proud to say that this year I have earned my high school equivalency. I was honored to be selected to attend the Annual Black and Hispanic Caucus in Albany, where I was able to share with our local politicians the tremendous need for affordable child care. Without affordable and accessible childcare, parents in Rochester will continue to struggle while trying to build a better life for their children.”

“Everything in life has led me to this point, and soon in the fall I will begin the next chapter, earning my registered nurse degree at Monroe Community College. The tide has indeed turned and it is now my chance to make my dreams a reality.” – Niah DelCarmen, Healthy Moms participant