Past and present systems of oppression have resulted in many pregnant people being marginalized from access to optimal care and support, resulting in tremendous disparities in health outcomes. Birthing From Within is dedicated to addressing these disparities within the birth world, our organization, and ourselves individually.
Birthing From Within believes that culturally competent care from Doulas and Childbirth Educators working within their communities can improve outcomes for parents from historically oppressed groups.
Birthing From Within's commitment...
inequity within our organization and streamline our programs to enhance accessibility.
scholarships to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Disabled, and LGBTQ+ birth professionals.
pathways to leadership for BIPOC to amplify their voices and ensure culturally relevant curriculum.
our predominantly white leadership and facilitators about the impact of white supremacy, structural inequity, and implicit bias.
Crossing the Threshold for BIPOC
All Birthing From Within trainings and workshops are designed with the explicit goal of cultivating and protecting diversity, inclusivity, and equity. In addition, the contents of all of our Crossing the Threshold retreats are standardized so that all participants across the country - and around the world - can have a common, shared experience. That said, the Crossing the Threshold for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color offers something special.
Limiting participation in certain trainings to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color allows us to...
- Provide a safe space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to focus on inner work and community-building without the potential distractions of white supremacy, white privilege, and/or white fragility.
- Center the perspectives and contexts of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color by providing the time and space to consider Birthing From Within practices and approaches specifically in light of their birthing experiences.
- Provide facilitators who are themselves Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.
So, while all Crossing the Threshold retreats are appropriate for all aspiring or experienced birth workers of all backgrounds, communities, and identities, we offer these retreats specifically for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who feel that they could benefit from learning in an environment shaped by the factors above.
Do you identify as Black, Indigenous, Person of Color, LGBTQ+, or Disabled?
Do you want to help support this initiative? Contributions will go directly to...
Our Statement on Becoming a More Equitable Organization
While many people believe birth in the United States to be inherently safe, birth outcomes for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as other marginalized people, are substantially worse than they are for cisgender white people. Sadly, these statistics continue to decline. Today, in 2020, Birthing From Within recognizes that what this moment calls for is a commitment to the work of anti-oppression— specifically, the work of dismantling the system of racism and white supremacy that so clearly impacts pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
What is our responsibility as a predominantly white birth organization when Black birthing people are dying at four to five times the rate of white birthing people? What privileges will need to be dismantled and left behind? What insights will be gained? How can we step into greater accountability around the work of examining whiteness? How do we continue Birthing From Within founder Pam England’s decades-long legacy of pushing back against systemic beliefs and cultural norms?
Our responsibility is to look within at how this historically white organization can work to dismantle systems of white supremacy from the inside out. We commit to make Birthing From Within more accessible and relevant to BIPOC parents and birth professionals.
This is our commitment:
- Address inequity within our organization.
- Create programs that support people who are working directly with the communities most impacted by inequity in the healthcare system.
- Streamline our programs to enhance accessibility on multiple levels.
- Continue to offer scholarships to BIPOC who wish to bring BFW into their communities.
- Train and educate our predominantly white leadership and facilitators about how white supremacy and implicit bias operate.
- Create pathways to leadership for BIPOC within our organization to cultivate true inclusivity and equity.
- Amplify the voices of BIPOC to help ensure a culturally relevant curriculum.
Read our full equity statement on the Birthing From Within blog...