Voices/Voces english logo.

To ensure broad dissemination and utilization of the results of The Voices|Voces Initiative: Moving Forward through Women's Voices to Address Pregnancy and Birth Inequities in South Carolina, the Institute for Families in Society (IFS) at the University of South Carolina (USC) funded the development of a theatrical performance based on the interviews with women using Medicaid for pregnancy and birthing related care during COVID-19. The resulting performance captures the Voices|Voces of Black and Latinx women during a crucial time in their pregnancies–a time of uncertainty regarding the best ways to access health care services and obtain safe outcomes for themselves and their babies.

Focus Populations

  • Black and Latinx women,
  • Recent immigrant women who are low income/with legal documentation challenges, and
  • Women using Medicaid to cover pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum related costs (regardless of race).

Focus Audiences

  • Health care providers as well as students of health care services (physicians, nurses, midwives, doulas, social workers, mental health professionals);
  • Health care administrators;
  • Insurance providers, including Medicaid and private providers;
  • Social service providers, legislators, policymakers, community organizations, Community Health Workers (CHWs); and
  • Consumers.

Who are the women shaping pregnancy and postpartum narratives? What are their experiences and insights? How can those experiences and insights help inform policies and practices moving forward? The Voices|Voces Initiative aimed to answer these questions and bring women's voices directly into discussions of health insurance priorities, strategies, and decision-making.

The performance elevates women's voices and demonstrates the importance of including diverse groups of people and consumers in shaping responsive and inclusive health care systems and services. Achieving equitable health care requires diverse voices in the discussions and decision-making processes that ultimately define policies and programs.

We recorded the Voices|Voces performance and created a series of video and print learning tools to make this invaluable material available to different audiences to generate and facilitate discussions about core issues, including equity and justice, as practiced (or not) within and among systems of care.

The research that formed the genesis of these materials was conceptualized and supervised by Ana López - De Fede, PhD, Research Professor & Associate Director of the Institute for Families in Society in the College of Social Work (COSW) at USC. Under Dr. López - DeFede’s leadership, IFS provided financial support for this research-based theatrical performance and the final development into an online series of learning materials.

Deborah Billings, PhD, Faculty Affiliate and Researcher with IFS, led the original research and a multidisciplinary, multilingual team that made this work possible, as part of a contract partially funded by the SC Department of Health and Human Services.

Alyssa Robillard, PhD, Faculty Affiliate with IFS at USC, and Associate Professor at Edson College, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Arizona State University conducted interviews and collaborated on analysis and dissemination of Voices|Voces findings.

Chloe Rodriguez Ramos, MPH, Research Associate/Policy Analyst with IFS at USC, conducted interviews and collaborated on analysis and dissemination of Voices|Voces findings.

Patti Walker, MFA, Senior Instructor, Speech Communication & Rhetoric, Department of English Language and Literature (College of Arts and Sciences) at USC, adapted the Voices|Voces content to create and direct the Voices|Voces performance.

Project Resources and How to Use Them

There is no prescribed way to use these videos.

We suggest that organizers/facilitators review the videos and read the Voices|Voces Technical Report before facilitating an online or in-person discussion. The storylines that arise from central themes highlight and shape the performance. We have provided questions, with their associated themes, that emerged from the research process and were captured in the technical report as a separate Themes and Discussions handout. Facilitators can use these to initiate discussion or build on their own questions generated by the performance.

The Voices/Voces Initiative to Address Pregnancy and Birth Inequities Learning Toolkit is available in English and Spanish.Please click here to download the toolkit.

Herramientas de Aprendizaje de la Iniciativa Voices/Voces para Abordar las Inequidades en el Embarazo y el Nacimiento está disponible en inglés y español. Haga clic aquí para descargar.

Making Effective Use of These Videos

Dr. Deborah Billings gives an overview of the project, providing context for the understanding and use of the videos. Video length 5 minutes.

Video 1: Introduction and Series Overview – Deborah Billings, PhD

Dr. Deborah Billings gives an overview of the Voices|Voces Initiative, providing context for the understanding and suggested uses of the video series with different audiences. Video length 5 minutes.

A Call to Action

Dr. Ana Lòpez-De Fede provides a call to action to recognize and address the disparities seen in maternal and child health for Black and Latinix individuals. Video length 3 minutes.

Video 2: A Call to Action: Listen to Women – Ana López - De Fede, PhD

Dr. Ana López - De Fede provides a call to action to recognize and address the disparities seen in maternal and child health for Black and Latinx individuals. Video length 3 minutes.


Social media is a powerful tool and can be used to show your support for improving services for pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people, as seen in the Voices|Voces Initiative.

We encourage you to share the campaign messages and material and to use them as tools to create conversations about the importance of LISTENING and how to translate that into policies and practices that will directly impact the health and lives of pregnant, birthing, and postpartum women, especially Women of Color.

Below we provide graphics and messaging for easy sharing on your social media channels.

Be sure to tag us and use the campaign hashtag: #VoicesVoces #HearTheirVoices

Tag Us 💬! Let us know what you think on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

(To use these images, right click on each one and select "Save Image as..." to save them on your device)

You can be your own best advocate; speak up when something doesn't feel right.

Visit https://www.schealthviz.sc.edu/voices-voces-initiative to learn more.

#VoicesVoces #HearTheirVoices

If you had a choice, what would be different for your next pregnancy?

"I'd choose the best option, where they treat me better, where I'm more comfortable, and all that."

This mom wanted a better birthing experience.

Visit https://www.schealthviz.sc.edu/voices-voces-initiative to learn more.

#VoicesVoces #HearTheirVoices

The Voices|Voces Initiative research findings were transformed into a theatrical performance to share the stories of SC women using Medicaid to cover the costs of their pregnancy related care.

View the full performance at https://www.schealthviz.sc.edu/voices-voces-initiative

#VoicesVoces #HearTheirVoices #ResearchbasedTheater

"They kept telling me, it's ok, it's ok. But you know your body...I knew that something was wrong. But they didn't want to listen to me...this could have been prevented."

Visit https://www.schealthviz.sc.edu/voices-voces-initiative to learn more.

#VoicesVoces #HearTheirVoices

Voices/Voces Monologues

Seven brief monologues of key themes and a full-length theatrical performance are available to be used in classrooms, grand rounds, community forums, and other settings where discussions about social justice and equity are generated.

It is important to highlight that the words spoken by the actors are the exact words shared by Voices/Voces participants through their interviews, ensuring that all the materials directly capture the experiences and perspectives of women and providing a forum for all to heed their call of “LISTEN TO US”!

These videos linked below also can be found on our YouTube Channel.

Transcripts of the monologues are available for download in both English (EN) and Español (ESP).

Video 3: I Got You - Maternal Mortality
We hear from a Black woman about her confusing and frightening experience of delivery complications and the importance of having a Black woman doctor during her time.

Video 4: Pressure - Obstetric Hemorrhage
We hear from a Black woman about her experience of miscarrying a prior pregnancy and its impact on her current pregnancy experience, as well as how it affected her partner.

Video 5: It's Not Going Away - Pregnancy Fears During COVID-19
We hear from a Latinx immigrant woman about the impact of the fear and uncertainty that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic on her pregnancy experience.

Video 6: Carrying My Weight - Partner Support
We hear from a Black woman about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on her pregnancy experience and her family life overall. She also reflects on how her mental health has influenced her pregnancies and her husband's support over time.

Video 7: The Social Pandemic - Intersecting Injustices

We hear from a Black woman as she describes the traumatizing combination of concurrent pandemics - COVID-19 and violence against African Americans - and their impact on her pregnancy experience.

Video 8: Not Anymore - Miscarriage
We hear from a Latinx immigrant woman about her miscarriage experience and its impact on empowering her to ask questions and to speak directly about her healthcare needs.

Video 9: Experiencing Pregnancy and Houselessness 
We hear from a Black woman about her pregnancy experience while being unhoused, the multiple barriers she faced to find care, and the constant stigma she encountered.

Video 10: Full Theater Performance
This is the full-length theatrical performance voicing the experiences of participants in the Voices|Voces Initiative. This video begins with Dr. Ana López - De Fede's Call to Action (Video 2).

Please contact us with questions, concerns, feedback, and suggestions. We welcome any comments about how you used these materials and how they worked for you.

USC Institute for Families in Society
(803) 777-9124

The following organizations invited women to participate in Voices/Voces, helping the team to establish trust with each participant.
Please click on each logo to find out more about the services these organizations offer.