Black Lives Matter: Resources for Showing Up

We strongly support the movement to end police brutality, ensure dignity, safety, and respect for all people, and bring justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our communities.

To continue to remain silent while countless lives are lost to structural racism and violence in our communities, in our policing systems, and in our maternal care systems, is to be complicit with white supremacy. We seek to lift up the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and so many others who should still be with us.

We recognize that these issues are not new and that it has taken too long for Birthingway, the birth community, and white folks in general to step up and devote our full energy to ensuring justice and equity are centered in all of our work. We are committed to moving forward in courage and humility. We commit to a continual effort to improve and learn. In our shared efforts to do our own work, we are gathering the following resources. As adrienne maree brown so powerfully exhorts us in her book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, “We will not wait to be perfect, because we believe the time to act is now and we would rather be held accountable for our mistakes than forgiven our inaction.”

Members of our community continue to read, protest, attend classes, learn from each other, and share new information. We hope that these resources can add to your repositories of materials around issues of equity, anti-racism, and reproductive justice, and we invite you to share your resources with us. We hope that they can help people in our community show up for racial justice effectively regardless of our starting place and with empathy for ourselves and for each other. If you have additional resources you think should be shared, please send those to info@birthingway.edu.

Below you will find links that may have some overlap. In general, there are resources that focus on reading, learning, and personal work for equity in general; resources about how to process your own and receive other people’s feelings; and resources that focus on actions we can take to support the anti-racism movement now and in the future; and intermingled throughout, resources that support reproductive justice and perinatal equity specifically.

Does your solidarity last longer than a news cycle?
Does your solidarity make you lose sleep at night?
Does your solidarity take away time from other things you could be doing?

GENERAL RESOURCES

The following spreadsheet is a robust document FULL of great resources that would take many months to thoroughly sift through and is focused specifically toward white folks who want to be allies in taking steps take along a spectrum of awareness. It came to us through Resolutions Northwest. Please note that you can donate to one of three organizations to support their work.

Scaffolded Anti-racist Resources : tools for white folks who want to be allies and move toward becoming accomplices for anti-racist work. A donation was made to Project MotherPath to support this work.

An important takeaway from this resource:

Reject the desire to ask black folks, indigenous folks or people of color (BIPOC) to explain racism for you. Instead, find resources created by BIPOC to help educate yourself, or offer to financially compensate BIPOC folks who are educating you!

10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship by Mireille Cassandra Harper: A guide for white people to move beyond superficial expressions of support and toward working alongside People of Color to address systemic racism.

Does your solidarity happen when no one is looking?

The following page was shared with us by the people who brought us the Home Birth Summit.

Birth Place Lab: Resources for Taking Action: a variety of action and learning resources revolving around anti-black racism, general racism, oppression of indigenous people (focused on Canada), and oppression of LGBTQIA folks.

NACPM Equity Resource Guide: A nearly 20 page document highlighting NACPM’s commitment to equity and the efforts they are making and asking their chapters to make to move anti-racism and gender equity forward. There are dozens of links embedded throughout the document.

Elephant Circle: An organization focused on birth justice with expertise in the health, legal and biological systems related to the perinatal period. They offer coaching to leaders, families, and individuals to help them tackle whatever they are facing in the perinatal period, and consult with individuals and organizations seeking to increase their capacity to address bias on internal, external, structural and organizational levels.

Equity in Midwifery Education Webinars: An excellent series of webinars for classroom educators and midwifery preceptors on topics such as incorporating anti-racism coursework into midwifery curriculum and equity and diversity in clinical teaching. These webinars are available for free on their YouTube channel and you are encouraged to receive free CEs on these webinars through Hive Continuing Education for the rest of the month of June.

Racism & Privilege in Birth Work: Online course offered by Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings that discusses how privilege can show up in the context of birth work, the impact of racism on birth outcomes, and tools for participants initiating or continuing work to advance conversations about racism & privilege at their own lives and organizations. Please note the cost for this 5-hour course is $97.

Midwives’ Association of Washington State (MAWS) also has some excellent anti-oppression materials available on their website: Resources on Disparities, Anti-Oppression, and Anti-Racism

Learn about the history of and problems with policing in the US:

The Nib: A Graphic artist’s portrayal of health disparities in the perinatal year.

The Oregon Midwifery Council is forming a new group to help white birth workers uncover personal and systemic racism and to find action steps to move us into anti-racist action.  They will be meeting every other week for 1 1/2-2 hours starting at 9:00 AM on July 23rd on Zoom.  This group has been created to educate, encourage, support and illuminate what needs to be seen to move toward ending white supremacy and into anti-racism accountability. If you are interested in joining this group, please RSVP to omcpresident@gmail.com by July 17. The first session will focus on these articles:

FEELINGS

Regardless of where we might be in our anti-racism journey, people will experience a lot of strong feelings: from shame and surprise to exhaustion and grief. Birthingway hopes that those who strive to become allies can keep empathy and relationships the focus of conversations with themselves and others, and that our BIPOC community members can be received with empathy and grace and can find compassion from others and for themselves.

A basic principle for appropriately processing these feelings is summarized in ring theory for grief and allyship. The rippling rings of support are centered on the people most impacted, so that empathy, comfort, support and assistance is always focused inward toward the people at the center and all processing and requests for support and understanding are always directed toward supportive rings outside. This requires us to honestly evaluate where we are located in the circle of impact before giving support inwards and processing outwards. Giving advice is not part of the equation.

Does your solidarity ever cause you to shut up when you want to say something?

Courageous Conversation/Pacific Education Group: Provides seminars and workshops and trainings focused on talking about race. From their About page: “COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION™ is our award-winning protocol for effectively engaging, sustaining and deepening interracial dialogue. Through our Framework for Systemic Racial Equity Transformation, PEG is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations address persistent racial disparities intentionally, explicitly, and comprehensively.”

This is a baby starting point document to begin using the Protocol. Folks should get trained or read the book, but this can be a first step to learn how to begin.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad: A book with information and practices to support white people in dismantling internalized white supremacy “so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too”

ACTION

Movement 4 Black Lives: Week of Action: From their website: “The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) . . .was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy. Under the fundamental idea that we can achieve more together than we can separately.”

Most of the actions described on this site are on-going. Please assess what might be possible for you.

Portland Black Lives Matter Event Calendar

Color of Change: Take Action: From the Prosecutor Project webpage: “The prosecutor accountability movement has developed a winning approach to ending the most unjust, unconstitutional, destructive and racist practices of prosecutors: money bail, over-charging, over-sentencing, over-policing, the drug war, attacking immigrants, sending our kids to adult prisons and keeping secrets about what’s really happening in their offices and in police departments.”

Western States Center: Authoritarian State or Inclusive Democracy? – 21 things we can do right now. This article is informative and a call to action, both internally and externally.

Participate in the 8 can’t wait campaign to reduce police violence
https://8cantwait.org/

Donate

One way to act if you have the means, is to donate now to organizations doing important work advocating with communities of color.

The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery (FAM) sent the following note with links to organizations founded by and serving people of color:
“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

Does your solidarity change the way you spend your money?

Local, Black-led organizations & initiatives that could use your donations and support

More organizations that might be of interest to join or donate to: