March of Dimes today kicked off the 2022 March for Babies: A Mother of a Movement™. After 52 years as the organization’s largest fundraiser—and the nation’s oldest charitable walk—this awareness and fundraising campaign is bigger than ever, and aims to support every family throughout their pregnancy journey and raise critical funds to help March of Dimes provide research, programs, education and advocacy so moms and babies get the best possible start. The U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth, especially for women and babies of color. By joining the movement, people everywhere are fighting to make America a more equitable country to have a baby.
“March for Babies is a moment to step up for something big—to be part of a national movement,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes. “Our amazing community is coming together to end preventable preterm birth and maternal death as well as close the health equity gap. No matter where you live, you can join this movement on behalf of all moms and babies and help March of Dimes ensure we can be there for every family. This is a time to pay tribute to those we’ve lost, honor babies born preterm or with birth defects, and connect with others committed to advancing our mission. I invite everyone to join us by signing up today.”
This year, the March for Babies campaign will include both in-person and virtual events to help give every family the best possible start. Through the “Step Up Challenge,” people are encouraged to take as many steps as they can—at home, in their neighborhoods or at an organized walk event hosted by March of Dimes. By downloading the March of Dimes: Charity Cloud app from an app store, people can take action today to set up their challenge, get moving and encourage others to join as well. People can also join March for Babies by creating a unique DIY fundraiser or hosting their own community walk with a walk-in-a box kit from March of Dimes.
The March of Dimes 2021 Report Card shows that for the first time in six years U.S. preterm births declined slightly from 10.2 percent to 10.1 percent, with the nation keeping its C- grade. Even with this slight decline, there are still unacceptable preterm birth rates in the U.S., particularly among communities of color where rates slightly increased for the Black and American Indian/Alaska Native communities. The same disparities exist with infant death, which has slowly declined over the past several years, however, Black and American Indian/Alaskan Native babies are still twice as likely as White babies to die before their first birthdays.
“We’re in the midst of a maternal and infant health crisis that’s been particularly devastating for women of color. Black women are three times more likely to die than White women from pregnancy-related causes. That’s not acceptable and we must end this crisis for all women,” said U.S. Olympian and March of Dimes Celebrity Advocate Council member Allyson Felix. “That’s why I’m joining March for Babies: A Mother of a Movement, so together we can improve the health of every mom and baby.”
More than just a walk, March for Babies will lift up communities for health equity, open the door for every mom to have access to care and protect the health of families through advocacy. Through in-person and virtual experiences, March for Babies is a time to honor motherhood, babies and families and come together with thousands of others to share experiences while raising critical funds to help every mom and baby.
“I’m thrilled to be supporting March for Babies: A Mother of a Movement once again. It’s crucial that we work together as a community to protect the health of all moms and babies during these difficult times,” said actress, singer and Celebrity Advocate Council member Tatyana Ali. “By marching together across the country, we can help shine the spotlight on the need for more research and more solutions because every baby should have the best chance to start.”
The Color Street Foundation, the charitable arm of Color Street, an innovative beauty brand that manufactures and sells nail polish strips, is joining the fight for all moms and babies as a National Signature Partner with a $1 million pledge for March for Babies. As part of their support, Color Street is creating two limited edition nail strips to raise awareness of maternal and infant health and the need to support every family.
“Through the Color Street Foundation, I’m proud of what we do together to support so many important causes,” said Fa Park, Color Street Founder and CEO. “We will now come together as a company and as a community to make a big difference in the lives of families, moms and babies with our biggest financial pledge to date. We’re proud to support March for Babies so that every mom and baby gets the best possible start.”
Join the Movement
March of Dimes invites everyone to step up and come together to end preventable preterm birth, end maternal death and close the health equity gap. There are a number of ways to get involved, including:
- Register for March for Babies: A Mother of a Movement | Register today at MarchforBabies.org or download the March of Dimes Charity Cloud app, which you can do at any time.
- Join the Step Up Challenge | While registering, sign up for the “Step Up Challenge” and be part of something big by pledging to take as many “steps” as you can to help moms and babies—at home, in your neighborhood, or at an organized walk event hosted by March of Dimes or one you host yourself! You have until May 16, 2022, to get in as many steps as possible.
- Last thing to do… Get Moving! | Look for an in-person event in your area, or simply get stepping on your own at home. Feeling like hosting a small gathering? Check out our DIY and Community Walk options. No matter what you choose to do, every step you take and every dollar you raise matters!
As an organization focused on public health, March of Dimes is committed to ensuring that event attendees come together safely during the pandemic. While all events will take place outdoors, the organization will be adhering to all safety protocols such as encouraging vaccination, masking and social distancing.
Check out our latest PSA, “Unspoken,” which showcases stories from diverse families that bring to life why each family is a part of the movement. Our social media press kit also provides information on March for Babies to help energize public support. For more information on March for Babies, including how to sign up and find an event, go to marchforbabies.org and download the March of Dimes: Charity Cloud app from your favorite app store now to track progress against friends and family and encourage others to join as well.