With anger and grief over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and too many others, the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery unequivocally affirms that Black Lives Matter. We also affirm that Black Mamas Matter and acknowledge that racism and violence harm maternal health. We uplift the lives of Amber Rose Isaac, Erica Garner, Shalon Irving, and all the mothers we have lost due to racism.
We offer our words of action to support the development of a long overdue conversation about how to walk into a space of healing justice through practicing deliberate intention to acknowledge the feelings of anger, pain, and trauma surrounding the events happening in the Black community. As an organization that supports, uplifts, and amplifies racial justice, we are calling in those who seek to make a difference and serve Black communities. Racism is a public health crisis. We must work together to actively dismantle racism in our society, in our health care systems, and in midwifery.
The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery commits to being an anti-racist organization as central to our mission for improving maternal and child health through midwifery. Midwifery and obstetrics in the United States, like all of our institutions, are built on a legacy of racism. We uplift the work and legacy of the Grand midwives. We uplift the lives of Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy, the mothers of American gynecology. We uplift the Black midwives, midwifery students, and aspiring midwives who serve their communities and still face discrimination and structural barriers to the profession due to racism today. The midwifery profession in the U.S. today is disproportionately white, yet we so urgently need Black midwives whose holistic, culturally relevant, and community-based care promotes healthy outcomes. Justice requires us to build an equitable and high quality maternity care system that values the lives, dignity, and health of Black mothers and their families.
FAM commits to continuing to invest in equity in midwifery education and in the midwifery profession. FAM supports the work of grassroots and community-based organizations founded by and for Black and Indigenous midwives and communities and are proud to uplift such grantees past and present: National Black Midwives Alliance, Birth From The Earth, Birthing People Foundation, Commonsense Childbirth, Center for Indigenous Midwifery, Changing Woman Initiative, Uzazi Village, Mamatoto Village, Ancient Song Doula Services.
To be anti-racist is a journey that must be persistent and purposeful. We must always strive to learn and do better, as individuals and collectively. For further reading and learning, we are sharing a list of anti-racist resources assembled by esteemed author and poet Cleo Wade: https://www.cleowade.com/antiracism
The National Black Midwives Alliance membership drive is still open. Not a Black midwife? Join as an ally member to support advocacy, education, and mentorship. Blackmidwivesalliance.org
ICYMI, we would also like to share, again, FAM’s April post about how we are operationalizing equity. Read Operationalizing Equity at FAM.
All of us at FAM