CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – On Saturday night dozens of people gathered inside Dr. Ato Wright and Dr. Tonya Wright’s home for an evening of education and awareness through art.

The benefit is to raise awareness for Black Maternal Health.   

“Black women are 2 to 3 times higher risk of dying during childbirth compared to other races,” said Radiation Oncology Dr. Ato Wright.

Dr. Tonya Wright works in the Penn State Health’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.

“Also, a way to create education around the maternal health crisis that affects black women, really all women but disproportionately black women in this country,” said Dr. Tonya Wright.  

The benefit, of “It Is True, I Was Created In You,” is raising money to establish the maternal health endowment at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Penn State Health.

“This was really brought from the idea of creating funds for black maternal health week which happens every year between April 11th and 17th and that week we do community events, we do talks and engage nursing staff and residents and fellow faculty,” said Dr. Tonya Wright.

The Wrights commissioned 29 artists from around the world to create an art piece around the theme of motherhood.

“You know just being a black woman and you know, knowing black women. I see the issue and I hear stories; you know I’ve never given birth myself but it’s definitely something that could happen in the future,” said curator Brianna Beckham.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, 1,205 women died of maternal causes in the United States. In 202, 861 women died of maternal cases.