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Spotlight on Equity with Dr. Angela Johnson

Angela M Johnson, PhD

Senior Outreach Specialist at Michigan Medicine

Dr. Angela Johnson currently works with the Mom Power team to assess and enhance the cultural sensitivity and cultural responsiveness of program content and process in order to strengthen the positive impact and support that programs provide diverse populations of mothers and children.

Dr. Johnson also works to:


  • Gather and incorporate ideologically and socially diverse insight and feedback from key community stakeholders (mothers and providers who serve them) to enhance the social, cultural, and mental health impact of Mom Power
  • Highlight strengths and weaknesses around cultural sensitivity of the Mom Power curriculum including language, media, activities, facilitators’ roles, responsibilities, and application of social identities
  • Identify gaps in current content and process central to making the curriculum inclusive and responsive to diverse and changing cultural needs of the new and expectant mothers the program serves
  • Gather ideas and potential strategies to increase the racial/ethnic aptitude programs so that program approach and treatment of mothers and young children reflects an understanding and incorporation of these various viewpoints children reflects an understanding and incorporation of these various viewpoints into the design of program content and delivery

Mom Power Focus Groups

Research indicates that successful parenting requires, among many things, positive social and emotional support. Unfortunately, parents sometimes lack adequate support before, during, and after pregnancy. Programs that serve new and expectant mothers in particular, are often challenged to provide relevant, effective programming that is also culturally responsive. Recent research highlight that new and expectant mothers report high rates of mistreatment occurring within the context of perinatal health care and treatment. This was especially true among women of color. Barriers include systemic factors such as socially and culturally disrespectful communication, and disregard on the part of providers (Saraswathi et al., 2019). Results from this discussion will help inform Mom Power program design, program modifications, training content and process, in ways that strengthen curriculum’s capacity for providing culturally responsive support and assistance to new and expectant mothers.

The purpose of this project is to assess and enhance the cultural sensitivity and cultural responsiveness of Mom Power program content and process. Program review & assessment of Mom Power will use socio-cultural theory (McBride, 2011) as conceptual framework and qualitative research method of inquiry to gather quality improvement data and to help insure the program’s capacity to provide culturally responsive care.


The goal is to strengthen the positive impact and support that Mom Power programs provide diverse populations of mothers and children it serves by soliciting and incorporating ideologically and socially diverse insight and feedback from key stakeholders (mothers and providers who serve them) on the content and potential social, cultural, as well as mental health impact of the Mom Power program on these same audiences.


Specific goals of this quality improvement project are to:

  • Conduct focus groups and/or key informant interviews with program providers, mothers, etc. in order to gather perceptions, thoughts, and attitudes about Mom Power. Focus group discussions and interviews may include individuals who have participated in Mom Power (i.e., as participants in the program, as leaders in the program, and trained in the program) as well as those who have not experienced Mom Power
  • Highlight strengths and weaknesses around cultural sensitivity of the Mom Power curriculum including language, media, activities, facilitators’ roles, responsibilities, and application of social identities
  • Identify gaps in current content and process central to making the curriculum inclusive and responsive to diverse and changing cultural needs of the new and expectant mothers the program serves
  • Gather ideas and potential strategies to increase the racial/ethnic aptitude of Mom Power so that the Mom Power approach and treatment of mothers and young children reflects an understanding and incorporation of these various viewpoints into the design of program content and delivery

Dr. Johnson also works with the Department of Community Health Services, Program for Multicultural Health where she designs, develops, implements, and evaluates culturally responsive health initiatives through education, research, and outreach activities.