Every month, Birthing From Within sends a letter to our membership and the public, containing our reflections on happenings in birth, in the world at large, and in our organization. See a selection of our monthly letters on the blog here; sign up to receive our newsletters directly in your inbox.
As we assemble this newsletter, the international community is in a state of uncertainty and flux, with people’s personal, professional, and health situations changing by the day and sometimes by the hour. We are all overwhelmed by information about the world, our leaders, our families, and our neighbors. Given this situation, we considered not sending out this letter until the return of relative stability in our communities and the world.
At the same time, we had been intending for several weeks now to give the BFW family a clear picture of the current state of the organization after the many changes of the past two years. After some thought, we have decided to move forward with that intention. With that in mind, here is an update on the leadership and direction of Birthing From Within.
We are and always have been fundamentally an organization of people who are passionate about birth and supporting childbearing families in a way that meets them where they are, with respect and reverence for their history, their needs, and how they move through the world.
Pam England was the founder and director of Birthing From Within until January, 2018, when she selected us – Erika Primozich, Nikki Shaheed, and Carrie Kenner – to be the new owners and directors. Pam has subsequently chosen to step away from her involvement with Birthing From Within due to philosophical differences related to inclusivity and equity measures. We support her with gratitude for her great contribution to birthing people around the world.
The three of us come from a long history with Birthing From Within, and each of us brings a passion for racial and social justice to this work. We work collaboratively to continue the legacy of Pam England’s heart-centered work to change birth in our culture.
We also recognize that conversations about changing birth in our culture are incomplete without acknowledging the systemic injustice that results in health disparities among marginalized and oppressed groups. We are therefore firmly committed to creating an anti-racist, inclusive organization.
For the last two years, we have worked tirelessly to carry out the vision that Pam England dreamed of for the future of Birthing From Within. The work of rebuilding Birthing From Within has included the creation of brand new workshops, online courses, a streamlined certification process, a facilitator training program, a Board of Directors, and expanded marketing to reach more people. A fundamental thread woven into the rebuilding of Birthing From Within is the recognition of how racial and social justice issues impact birth. We have changed the organizational language to be gender inclusive, and we highlight reproductive justice in the content of our courses.
In 2020 and beyond, we will continue to deliver the same Birthing From Within magic to parents and birth professionals, helping them to reduce birth trauma and cultivate deep inner knowing. We will continue to nourish the dynamic Birthing From Within community with enriching offerings for connection, growth, and inspiration. In addition, we will work to create an anti-racist and inclusive organization whose irresistible programs are accessible and relevant to all birth workers. We want to join the movement to end healthcare disparities in vulnerable communities by giving birth professionals in those communities the amazing and heart-opening gift of Birthing From Within. We believe that our philosophy and tools can make meaningful steps towards reducing trauma in hostile birthing environments.