Celebrating Omari Maynard: A Champion for Community Healing

2024 Ambassador Family Award presented by Kennedy’s Angel Gowns

Kennedy’s Angel Gowns proudly announces Omari Maynard as this year’s Ambassador Award recipient. Omari’s unwavering dedication to community healing and his impactful contributions through the ARIAH Foundation (Advancement of Reproductive Innovation Through Artistry and Healing) embody the spirit of this honor, which recognizes individuals who profoundly support bereaved families.

Omari’s journey in this field is deeply personal. His life partner, Shamony Gibson, tragically passed away due to medical malpractice following the birth of their second child. This devastating loss led Omari and his mother-in-law, Shawnee Gibson, to establish the ARIAH Foundation. The foundation is a beacon of support for individuals, families, and communities affected by maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, offering mental, emotional, and spiritual assistance to help families navigate their grief.

Omari’s vision for creating healing spaces has had a profound impact on the community. He has emphasized the need for physical and virtual communities where people can consistently share, grieve, and heal together. This vision led to the creation of The Luxor Collective, a virtual space where men in the BIPOC community can connect and find solace through shared experiences.

At ARIAH, art serves as a powerful tool for healing. Omari describes their approach as ‘edutainment,’ utilizing art, performance, and dramatization to create space for questioning, discussion, and emotional expression. The goal is to inform the community while fostering dialogue on critical topics like reproductive health, loss, and trauma.

Omari’s work goes beyond artistry and healing. He has broadened the conversation around maternal health, emphasizing the disparities faced by BIPOC women and infants. Importantly, he has highlighted the need to involve men in these discussions, ensuring that the discourse encompasses the whole family. This inclusive approach underscores the value of every individual’s perspective and experience.

Through his leadership at ARIAH, Omari Maynard has transformed his personal tragedy into a mission to support others. His commitment to communal healing and advocacy for improved maternal health shines brightly, and we are honored to celebrate him as this year’s Ambassador Award recipient.

#pregnancyinfantlossawareness #miscarriage #stillbirth #neonatalloss #infertility #1in4 #1in8 #angelbaby #rainbowbaby

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