How to do your part in making tangible changes in Black Maternal/Infant health
Over the last couple of years we have seen a lot of media covering the Black Maternal/Infant Mortality and Morbidity crisis in the United States. I have a dozen of the most popular listed here. And to be honest, I’m burnt out on discussing this topic. I even made the decision to stop doing interviews about it. I’ve been waiting for the conversation to pivot to tangible solutions. While this website was created for Doulas, being a student midwife has given me a different perspective on solutions. We need to create spaces where the Doula is not acting as a body guard for the client. We need safe spaces for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) to birth outside the Hospital industrial complex. A safe space for people to receive well person care without implicit bias and abuse. And that looks like more than having a Black or Latinx OBGYN. Or a racists white midwife (there’s an abundance of them). So how do we do that? We put our energy and finances into FUBU organizations, birth centers and midwifery schools. We help fund licensed Black midwives to teach Black students. They’re people who are doing Birth Justice work and we need to support them so that this framework will be our norm. Below is a list of organizations to donate time and/or money too. If you are a white midwife who is also a NARM preceptor and can take on a BIPOC student please email me.
This is a working list, please email me if something is missing. The list is for organizations focusing on policy work and/or training BIPOC midwives, not a doula directory.
Black Mama’s Matter Alliance Atlanta, Georgia
Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. We center Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice.
Sista Midwife New Orleans, Louisiana
A national directory of Black Midwives and Doulas/Birth Workers
The Afiya Center Dallas, Texas
The Afiya Center (TAC) was established in response to the increasing disparities between HIV incidences worldwide and the extraordinary prevalence of HIV among Black women and girls in Texas. TAC is unique in that it is the only Reproductive Justice (RJ) organization in North Texas founded and directed by Black women. Our mission is to serve Black women and girls by transforming their relationship with their sexual and reproductive health through addressing the consequences of reproduction oppression
Ancient Song Doula Services Brooklyn, New York
Ancient Song Doula Services is a international Doula certifying organization founded in the Fall of 2008 in Brooklyn, New York with the goal to offer quality Doula Services to Women of Color and Low Income Families who otherwise would not be able to afford Doula Care and training a workforce of full spectrum Doulas to address health inequities within the communities they want to serve .
Usazi Village Kansas City, Missouri
A non-profit organization dedicated to improving health inequities in our community, with models of care that can be community supported and sustained and replicated throughout the country. Usazi village has been established to decrease the maternal and infant health disparities found in the urban core, particularly African-American women.
Southern Birth Justice Network Miami, Florida
In spite of an increasingly violent medical environment, midwifery care creates space to have safe, gentle, and empowered birth experiences. Midwifery care is holistic, healing, and humanistic. It has rich herstory, legacy, and roots in communities of color. Our vision for Southern Birth Justice Network is to make this care accessible and central to all, especially Black, Brown, immigrant, indigenous, queer, transgender, low-income and other marginalized communities.
Roots of Labor Birth Collective Oakland, California
Roots of Labor Birth Collective (RLBC), is committed to support, empower and care for birthing members of our community. RLBC consists of birth and postpartum doulas of color. We strive to reflect the communities we serve, while uplifting and caring for ourselves. Our mission is to provide a training platform to encourage the sustainability for entrepreneurship in the doula profession.
Village Birth International Syracuse, New York and Northern Uganda
foster humane birth practices and increase access to maternal and infant health through collaborative and equitable international partnerships and trainings.
Jamaa Birth Village Ferguson, Missouri
St. Louis's first Equal Access Midwifery Clinic with expanded and comprehensive care, providing expectant women and families with prenatal and postpartum care at any phase of pregnancy . JMV mission is to provide affordable access to midwives, doula's and childbirth education for at-risk women in the St. Louis region in an effort to lower premature births and infant mortality through a network of health professionals and peers
Mamatoto Village Inc. Washington D.C.
Mamatoto Village is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, devoted to creating career pathways for Women of Color; and empowering women with the necessary tools to make the most informed decisions and choices in their maternity care, their parenting, and their lives. The mission is twofold: to provide accessible support services to women and their families during pregnancy through the first six months of the child's life, and to facilitate the increase of qualified women of color serving in the Maternal Health and Human Services profession. By promoting and centering reproductive justice we aim to foster healthy individuals, healthy families, and healthy communities.
Birthing Hands Midwifery and Birthing Services Washington D.C.
Birthing Hands offers a full range of home birth midwifery and birth services to pregnant persons and their families in the DC, Maryland and NOVA area. (Midwife Claudia also hosts trainings for Black student Midwives)
Boderlands Birth Education and Advocacy Project El Paso, Texas
is a local, non-governmental network of midwives and birth workers in the tri-state area (Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua). Borderlands Birth works to reduce barriers to reproductive healthcare access while promoting reproductive justice on all sides of these state and national borders. Borderlands Birth focuses on education, community collaboration, and health promotion in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez; and is currently working with Promotoras in Palomas, Mexico to help improve outcomes for pregnant and parenting families.
Crimson Fig Midwifery Los Angelos, Californa
Racha Tahani Lawler is a California licensed midwife, skilled in the midwifery traditions of her Southern U.S. and South African ancestors. She is the direct descendent of midwives, dating back four documented generations. Racha obtained her formal education in hospitals as a nursing student and at the historically accredited midwifery school Maternidad La Luz. She ultimately chose traditional midwifery without nursing school, and obtained her license to practice midwifery in 2004 after the home waterbirth of her first born son. All three of her children were born at home in water, post due date and they have attended well over 180 births either carried on her back or sitting at her side. ( Racha also hosts trainings for BIPOC student midives)
ROOTT (Restoring Our Own through Transformation Columbus, Ohio
ROOTT is a Black women-led reproductive justice organization dedicated to collectively restoring our well-being through self-determination, collaboration, and resources to meet the needs of women and families within communities.
NBMA's goal is to have a representative voice at the national level that clearly outlines and supports the various needs and interests of Black midwives.
To bring forth a world in which Black women and persons achieve their full birthing potential, and thrive during the childbearing year.