Public Statement Following the #MANACAM17 Conference

11/16/2017 4:31 PM | Jeanette McCulloch (Administrator)

Did you attend #MANACAM17? Were you in the room when the amazing Jhoanna Galvez asked the CAM Board to stand as she and her community addressed us? Were you there to bear witness as CAM leadership stood, together, in commitment to taking action against racism and the oppression of 2SLGBTQIA+ midwives and midwives of color?

Jhoanna and her community stood and asked the room if we could do the following:

  • Continue the practice of making space for POC, Queer, and Trans folks at conferences, workshops, and schools.
  • Create culturally responsive NARM Preparation study guides and practice test.
  • Re-write the NARM to be culturally responsive and unbiased.
  • Change preceptor requirements for midwives to allow them to take students on and train them up to the assist level.
  • When decisions are being made on how to formulate resolutions, these decisions need to be created by and approved by our community.

We all stood with Jhoanna because these issues are important to us. CAM is a work in progress, but we are putting our resources towards all of the above and will continue doing the following:

  • Sponsoring full memberships to our sister organization, the California Association of Licensed Midwives, for any midwives of color and student midwives of color.
  • Offering as many complimentary conference registrations for midwives of color and student midwives of color as possible to our educational conferences and workshops.
  • Working with midwives of color and student midwives of color to create a culturally responsive NARM study program.
  • Partnering with Elephant Circle to pilot two anti-racism trainings in 2018 for licensed midwives and student midwives.
  • Never tolerating bullying or hate speech of any kind at any in person event or on our Facebook page.

We have heard from many midwives at our sister organization of their desire for language that honors their role in serving women, while also being inclusive of members of our 2SLGBTQIA+ communities who birth. We believe that achieving both aims is possible. We will work to become more gender inclusive by adopting language that is sensitive to our 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, and developing trainings with groups like Elephant Circle on issues that impact our 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. We will actively seek funding for scholarships/financial support for 2SLGBTQIA+ student midwives/midwives as well.

We recognize that there is work to do to move forward. There is work to do to heal. As a midwifery community we need to be able to work together respectfully to take on the challenges we face. We envision a future where working together does not mean setting aside our differences, but embracing all of our differences and all of our assets to improve birth for all families. CAM is willing and able to offer educational materials, and we can be reached for phone calls to process and unpack the emotional toll. We can also refer folks to our partners to help process if necessary. 

If you have questions or need a place to land and process, please email us at birthequity@californiamidwives.org.  We are happy to take your questions.

2SLGBTQIA+ = Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual


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