The Minnesota Dignity in
Pregnancy and
Childbirth Project

Project Purpose

This project is part of an initiative whose goal is to ensure that Black and Indigenous women and birthing people achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives. The overall goal of the project is to empower perinatal care providers with the foundational knowledge, insights and skills they need to ensure that Black and Indigenous women and birthing people receive fully equitable patient-centered, respectful, high-quality care free of bias and discrimination.

The Problem

Studies show that perinatal care providers are committed to, and place a high value on, providing high-quality and equitable care to Black and Indigenous birthing people.

Unfortunately, a large body of research shows a significant gap between perinatal care providers’ value of equitable care and Black and Indigenous birthing people’s experiences and outcomes.

In the US, Black and Indigenous people are twice as likely to experience a preterm birth (PTB), give birth to a low birth weight (LBW) infant, or experience the death of an infant before age 1 compared to white women. Similarly, Black and Indigenous women in the US are more likely to die during or in the year following childbirth. Current estimates are the a full 80% of these deaths are preventable.

These profoundly disturbing inequities have endured for as long as data have been available. These outcomes persist through recent declines in the total infant mortality rate and despite efforts aimed at improving access to prenatal care and early childhood initiatives. They persist after controlling for socioeconomic status and education. Decades of medical and public health research have documented the magnitude and persistence of racial inequity in maternal and child health.

This Course is Part of the Solution

Black mother and newborn baby reproductive justice

Providers have a direct and vital role in reducing care inequities by providing equitable, compassionate, patient-centered care. They also have opportunities to protect or buffer their patients from the impact of structural racism in health care delivery. This course equips perinatal care providers with the ability to provide unbiased care and help buffer their patients from the detrimental effect of structural racism.

We are proud to work with the Minnesota Department of Health and project director Rachel Hardeman, PhD and her colleagues at the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE, pronounced “care”) at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health to develop and provide an interactive and engaging eLearning course that will equip clinicians and providers to interrupt racism and provide bias-free and equitable perinatal care for Black and Indigenous Birthing People.

Through this training, healthcare professionals have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the impact of structural racism on the health and healthcare of Black and Indigenous birthing people. They will learn strategies to interrupt institutional racism and racial bias and protect the health and well-being of Black and Indigenous mothers, birthing people, and infants.

The learning modules will also serve as a starting point for many organizations in addressing health equity and structural racism organizationally. A shared knowledge base and language can serve as common ground for future dialogue, advocacy, training, capacity building, and policy changes that will ultimately create the institutional change needed to improve the health and well-being of all patients.

The course is tailored for Minnesota providers and will specifically meet the training requirements outlined in the Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (MN § 144.1461),  which went into effect in January 2023.

Key Curricular Strengths

This Course is Evidence-Based and Endorsed by Experts

The development of the e-Learning Experience (LE) is fully responsive to cutting-edge evidence from a wide array of relevant disciplines. The evidence base can be placed in three broad categories of evidence: 1) Evidence that drives knowledge and behavioral learning objectives, 2) Evidence that guides our approach to engaging providers in anti-racism and bias-prevention interventions and activities. This includes evidence on the factors that help empowers learners and enhance their ability to absorb and act on difficult or distressing material, and 3) Best practices in using digital e-Learning modalities to promote adult learning.

The Course is Learner-Centered and Responsive to Stakeholder Input

Our approach respects perinatal care providers (learners) as active agents that bring their backgrounds, challenges, experiences and existing circumstances, knowledge and beliefs, sociocultural values, and ideas. We teach learners to bravely walk in the worlds of their patients by promoting a growth and learning mindset that allows them space to practice new anti-racism skills and learn from mistakes. The course, designed with extensive stakeholder input, uses compelling and realistic stories and provides evidence-based strategies that learners can put to use right away.


What resources are available?

An engaging hour-long eLearning course provides learners with understanding and insight into the nature and causes of inequities in perinatal care and specific, evidence-based, and feasible strategies to prevent racism and provide high-quality and equitable care to all patients. This course focuses on Black birthing people and is broken up into three segments for ease of completion. This course is available now.

A 45-minute eLearning course focuses on eliminating inequities and providing high-quality, respectful, and equitable care for Indigenous women and birthing people.

Printable job aides / supportive handouts and references for further learning.

(Diversity Science also provides facilitated workshops that build on these powerful learning resources. You can learn more by contacting us at [email protected].)

How can individuals complete the courses?

The Minnesota Department of Health has provided funds to ensure that Minnesota providers have free open access to this course on the Diversity Science Learning Management System.

Click the orange button below to go directly to the courses.

If you have not registered before, you will be asked to register. Please use your organizational email address if you have one.

Take the course without CE credit. Choose the free course if you only need a certificate of completion and do not wish to earn CE credit. If you later wish to earn CE, you can come back and take the exam without completing the course again. Upon course completion, you will receive a printable Certificate of Completion and an email documenting your achievement.

Or, take the course with CE credit. If you wish to earn CE, choose the course with the words “receive 1 hr CE” in the title. After completing the course and passing a brief exam you will receive one hour of CE credit (ACGME or ANCC).

How can organizations provide the courses to their staff?

Health care organizations have three options, all funded by the Minnesota Department of Health and free to Minnesota organizations.

Option One: Have your employees self-enroll and complete the course on the Diversity Science LMS.

In this option, organizations ask their learners to visit this website, click the red button (above) to go directly to the course, self-register, and then provide the organization with their Certificate of Completion. You may want to embed this website link in a place that is easy for your learners to find. 

Option Two: Ask Diversity Science to enroll learners on the Diversity Science LMS, track progress, and provide quarterly completion reports.

In this option, Minnesota organizations will provide Diversity Science with a list of learners in a specially formatted file. Diversity Science will enroll learners, track completion, and provide the organization with completion reports every three months. The organization can submit updated learner lists once a month (adding or subtracting learners based on personnel changes). After you complete the License Agreement (see button to go to License Agreement Below) you will receive information and guidance of file formatting. 

Option Three: Provide the course on the organization’s existing LMS

In this option, Minnesota organizations with an existing LMS for e-learning delivery may license the e-Learning modules. These are provided in SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) formats. These formats are compatible with the vast majority of LMS. After you complete the License Agreement (see button to go to License Agreement Below) you will receive access to the course file transfer.

Are these resources for Minnesota only?

Multi-ethnic group of nurses in a classroom

These resources meet the requirements of similar laws in other states, such as Maryland and California.  However, the State of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota CARHE sponsored this project, and the course is geared towards Minnesota providers. Minnesota organizations are prioritized for relevance and access.

At this time, we expect that all of the e-learning modules and resources developed for this project will be available free of charge to providers and organizations in Minnesota due to the sponsorship of the Minnesota Department of Health.

The course and certificate of completion are provided for free. Learners that want CE credits (1 hour) will pay a small fee to complete the CE exam and be awarded credits.

Questions? Email us at [email protected].