Dear Members, Supporters, and friends of MAWS,
In an effort to eliminate racism throughout our organizations and do more than pay lip service to addressing the needs of communities of colors and the disparities perpetuated by systemic and personal racism, we are offering free memberships at all levels to people of color wishing to join (or renew membership in) MAWS in 2018. We are doing this in accordance with our Equity and Inclusion Values Statement and in solidarity with the Missouri Midwives Association Midwives of Color Chapter (MMA-MOC), which stated its hope to hold its state organization “accountable to the work of eliminating racially-based disparities, increasing racial diversity, and ensuring the promotion and perpetuation of anti-racist policies and procedures” that manifest in state organizations and throughout the midwifery community. We are inspired by the efforts of the MMA-MOC to actively recruit and retain candidates of color, and by their commitment to addressing “personal, organizational and structural racism inherent in all American social structures and at all strata of human interaction” that these efforts require. [see below the full statement of the MMA-MOC]
One of MAWS’ primary goals is to ensure that all families have access to safe, effective, and quality care. However, we recognize that systemic inequities as well as the personal privilege, biases, prejudices, and limited perspective of our predominantly white-led professional association are a hindrance to that goal. We acknowledge that we have a long way to go but will constantly strive to be more aware, more welcoming, and actively inclusive. And we cannot do it without creating more space in our organization for the participation and leadership of people of color. We humbly open our doors, our hearts, and our minds so that MAWS can become a truly representative professional midwifery association, able to deliver on its promise.
The Board of Directors of the Midwives' Association of Washington State
To claim your free membership, please email email@example.com. We want to hear from you!
Click here for our Equity and Inclusion Values Statement
MMA-MOC Statement in Support of Black Midwife Demetra Seriki
In the summer of 2012, the Missouri Midwives Association held their annual retreat in Kansas City, MO. At this meeting a discussion was introduced concerning the active recruitment of candidates from the Black community into the Missouri midwifery community. At that point there were no midwives of color and only one student of color in Missouri. Missouri Midwives Association was informed at this time, that an influx of Black candidates would mean that change would have to occur within MMA to accommodate women of color. The midwives present wanted to know what that change would consist of. That change meant dealing with the personal, organizational and structural racism inherent in all American social structures and at all strata of human interaction.
In the Fall of 2017, there were enough student midwives of color, according to MMA bylaw to form our own committee, the Midwives of Color Chapter. This committee has now formed, and we would like to issue as our first official statement, our solidarity with Colorado midwife, Demetra Seriki in her fight against continued marginalization and oppression. As an official chapter of the Missouri Midwives Association, we stand against racism, oppression and inequity in any of its insidious forms. We commit to one another, to our state organization, and to the African-American community at large that we will use our collective energies to fight those forces that have kept our communities locked in perpetual poor health outcomes, especially when it comes to maternal and infant health. Many give lip service to the concerns of our community, but we will show up to do the work of supporting, protecting, and promoting maternal and infant health in Missouri’s long neglected African-American communities.
We recognize that Missouri is not only not immune, but in some ways particularly at risk for replicating some of the issues seen in other states in the midwifery community. We hope to take preventative action by holding our state organization accountable to the work of eliminating racially-based disparities, increasing racial diversity, and ensuring the promotion and perpetuation of anti-racist policies and procedures manifested in our state organization and reflected throughout the midwifery model of care as practiced in the state of Missouri.
Missouri Midwives Association- Midwives of Color Chapter
Hakima Tafunzi Payne- Chapter President
Brittany Tru Kellman- Chapter Secretary
A message from the leadership of MAWS
The Midwives’ Association of Washington State joins the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives and the American College of Nurse-Midwives in publicly denouncing and condemning white supremacy, bigotry, and racial prejudice in all its forms.
We must all take this moment to examine ourselves, recognize our own places of privilege, and level the playing field wherever possible. What are our conscious and unconscious biases? How have most of us benefited from our white supremacist society, and how do we continue to uphold it? To our professional members, we urge you to evaluate your practice for openness and inclusivity. Do your practice handouts contain images of people of color? Do your informed consents use gender inclusive language? Birth Center members, do your facilities create a welcoming space for all people? Teachers and preceptors, are you raising the next generation of midwives to be more awake? Students, are you actively listening to your cohort of different backgrounds? Parents, how do you talk to your children about race? About gender?
Everything MAWS does is centered on the goal that ALL families, regardless of race, religion, income, sexual orientation, or gender identity, should have access to safe, effective, and quality care. We acknowledge that we have a long way to go, but we are constantly striving to be more aware, more welcoming, and actively inclusive. Please join us in declaring that bigotry, prejudice, and bias have no place in our hearts, our practices, and our communities.
To our friends, colleagues, students, and clients who are Black, Hispanic, Muslim, Jewish, undocumented, and transgender, we care about you. You are safe with us. Your lives matter. You are not a distraction. You are our family.
With love and solidarity,
The Midwives’ Association of Washington State
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Banner photo used with permission.