By Salam Fatayer 88Nine Radio Milwaukee Published Nov 16, 2022 at 4:01 PM

They lift your spirits, prompt you to think, make you feel grateful, and inspire you to do more. They connect you to our community – in a positive way -- shining a spotlight on what is good about Milwaukee. These are Radio Milwaukee’s Community Stories.

Data doesn’t just reflect numbers and facts. It fuels discovery. It creates knowledge. It helps us navigate common problems. Data reflects the state of our community and tells a story – sometimes, a painful one.

An abysmal and growing number is our city's infant mortality rate, which measures how many infants die before their first birthday for every 1,000 live births. In Milwaukee, that number is three times higher for Black babies.

“In Milwaukee, between 2018 and 2020, the number was two 10.2, which means about 10 babies die for every thousand live births,” said Erica Olivier, deputy commissioner of community health with the city of Milwaukee.

It’s no surprise our healthcare system treats them differently; this pattern is longstanding in history. A study published in the National Library of Medicine shows that white patients are more likely than Blacks to be prescribed strong pain medications for equivalent illnesses.

We can reduce this number, but only if we start listening to Black mothers. On this episode of Uniquely Milwaukee, I spoke with Olivier to talk about medical accountability and how to reverse the staggeringly high death rates.

Listen to "Black babies are dying, and it's time to listen to Black mothers" on Spreaker.