Learn more about HB1—Pregnant Workers Fairness Act this Sunday, Feb 27, with the BPL

Flyer for the HB1 discussion with Neil Rafferty and Washington
Join us for a discussion on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Flyer by Lisa Mitchell. 

In January of 2022, the Archives and Manuscripts Department hosted Dr. Teneasha Washington to discuss Black Maternal Health in the Southeast, and specifically in Alabama. 

As a follow-up to that program, we are discussing the new bill on the floor of the Alabama State Legislature, HB1—Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

This bill, introduced by House District 54 Representative Neil Rafferty, would provide workplace protections against pregnancy discrimination and related medical conditions. 

Join Rafferty, Washington, and the BPL this Sunday, February 27, on Zoom at 6:00 p.m. central time to be a part of this discussion. 

Representative Neil Rafferty smiles at the camera in a blue suit
Representative Neil Rafferty

Representative Neil Rafferty is the state representative for House District 54 in the Alabama House of Representatives. He is a Birmingham native and a Marine Corps veteran. After his term of service in the military, Rafferty used his G. I. Bill benefits to earn degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). 

Rafferty's lifetime of service has been at the core of his career. He has worked to advance the interests of our community's underserved as the Director of B-CHIP Program at Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO)

His B-CHIP team addresses health disparities through intensive collaboration with community members, partner non-profits, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and county health departments, and clinics to implement community-coordinated, public health strategies. 

Since entering the legislature in 2018, Rafferty has been an outspoken and avid advocate for women's health, minority health, LGBTQ and racial equity, veterans issues, and Medicaid expansion. He has led way on ensuring accountability of law enforcement, expanding access to mental and medical healthcare for all Alabamians, pushed for women's health and reproductive justice, and fought for expansion of voter rights. 

He chairs the Democratic House Caucus Platform Committee. In the legislature, Rafferty sits on the Sunset, Health, Economic Development and Tourism, Transportation, Infrastructure and Utilities Committees. He has been appointed to the Alabama Challenge Veterans Suicide Task Force, the Opioid Overdose, Addiction, and Treatment Council, and the 988 Implementation Study Group. He resides in the Crestwood North Neighborhood with his partner of 17 years, their dog and cat. 

Teneasha Washington, PhD, MPH

Community Engagement Lead, National Center on Health Physical Activity and Disability, Lakeshore Foundation

Assistant Professor, University of Alabama Birmingham School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior 

Washington's current research focuses on serving as the lead of community engagement efforts for the Mindfulness, Exercise, Nutrition, to Optimize Resilience (MENTOR) program developed in collaboration with the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, Lakeshore Foundation, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham

In this role, Washington develops micro-funding announcement opportunities for local communities. The focus of the micro-grants is to provide funds, so communities can implement programs relevant to their needs. In addition, she develops and provides in-person and online training focused on community engagement, program implementation, and building sustainable partnerships among communities, non-profits, and academia for awardees with the long-term goals of providing a public platform for communities to access training, funding, and other necessary resources for sustainability.

Washington is also a QM-certified professor teaching undergraduate and graduate students in the UAB School of Public Health on community organizing, social and behavioral sciences, intervention development, and research methods. Washington holds degrees from UAB (BS, Biology; MPH, Public Health; PhD, Health Education/ Health Promotion, Public Health; Present MBA, expected graduation summer 2022). 

By Catherine Oseas Champion  | Assistant Archivist, Archives and Manuscripts Department