Virginia Tech® home

Black Mothers, Black Babies, Black Fathers

event flyer. details below


December 12, 2022, 7:30 p.m.


Auditorium M203
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016

Contact Info

Ryan Bell, Black Father Family at

Presented by Black Father Family, United Way of Roanoke Valley, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Video recording

Loading player for

Please join the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine for a conversation hosted by the Black Family Father Initiative between Mr. Lewis  Townsend and Dr. Alyssa Watkins as they discuss Black maternal, child health crisis and how Black fathers can serve as advocates. Mr. Johnathan Webb will moderate.


Mr. Johnathan Webb, Moderator
CEO: Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Webb’s career has focused on public health and health equity initiatives. His work in this space has focused on the meaningful engagement of stakeholders with an emphasis on prioritizing lived experiences. Prior to joining AWHONN he served as CEO for the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, and is also on the Steering Committee of the Equitable Maternal Health Coalition, co-Chair for the March of Dimes’ Mom Baby Action Network Racism & Unequal Treatment work group, and on the Steering Committee for Pritzker’s Prenatal to Three Initiative (PN3). He lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

Mr. Lewis Townsend, Guest Panelist
Maternal Child Health Advocate

Townsend currrently serves as an Assistant Vice President with Wells Fargo Bank; and resides in Christianburg, VA with his wife Dr. Crasha Townsend, Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion within the Virginia Tech Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Even with all that life has afforded Mr. and Mrs. Townsend they still found themselves experiencing the ills of our health system. Specifically as it relates to Black mothers and babies. Mr. Townsend found himself in where far too many have been before him. He joins this conversation to unpack and explore their lived experinces across three major health systems, and how their fight constinues even after the passing of their daughter 18 months after birth.

Dr. Alyssa Watkins, Guest Panelist
Obstetrics and Gynecology: Carilion Clinic

Dr. Watkins is a gradute of the Morehouse School of Medicine. After earning her BS, Dr. Watkins spent a year at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Center in Baltimore, MD. In addition to student medical associations and organizations, Dr. Watkins is a member of the American Medical Women’s Association and the National Medical Association.

Statement about accessibility and accommodation

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible event. All virtual events will have automated captions. Recorded events will have edited captions available soon after the event. If you desire live captioning or a sign language interpreter, please contact the organizer two weeks before the event. 

For in-person events, the main VTCSOM building at Riverside 2 is wheelchair accessible from the elevators inside the parking garage. Blind or visually impaired users may need assistance finding the elevators under the building, or using the stairs in front of the building.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to attend an in-person event, please contact the organizer of the event. All reasonable accommodation requests should be made no less than 2 weeks before the event. We will attempt to fulfill requests made after this date but cannot guarantee they will be met.