Birth justice is a vision held in the hearts and hands of elder midwives. It is born from the struggles of childbearing people on the frontlines of surviving and fighting systemic oppression: Black, Indigenous, immigrant, undocumented, young, and LGQBTIA peoples. Birth Justice evolved from the reproductive justice rights framework, and from a human rights perspective to support birthing people during all stages of their pregnancies. Birth Justice exposes the truth that white supremacy (racism and colonization), cis-heteropatriarchy, and the medical industrial complex are the reasons why maternal and fetal health disparities exist.
Birth justice also tells a story of hope, that the solution lies in the traditions in the people most impacted by birth inequity. Birth justice stands on the shoulders of people who continued to care for their communities in the midst of genocide, slavery, Jim crow- and state oppression and criminalization of their traditional practices. Birth Justice stands on the shoulders of healers, midwives, and all birth workers, like Mary Cole and Biddy Mason who cared for people against the massive oppressive forces of white supremacy and left us a daring legacy.
This workshop will introduce participants to the Birth Justice framework through examining how pregnancy, birth and parenting intersect with social, racial and economic justice. Participants will have the opportunity to get involved with interactive methods and tools to engage with building the Birth Justice movement. Participants will strategize about how to utilize a radical approach to organizing education and access to birth options including midwifery care.
The vision of the Southern Birth Justice Network is to make midwifery and doula care accessible to all peoples- especially Black, Brown, youth, immigrant, indigenous, LGBTQ+, low- income and other marginalized communities. We KNOW that when we, as mothers and parents are empowered, our communities can be transformed. Given the health disprarities, we need to reconginze the healthcare crisis in this country and realize how WE as midwives need to be empowered to do our part fo fight it! This course is for midwives as well as any advocate, birth worker or parent who wants to be a part of the solution to Black maternal and infant mortality. If you are brand new to the work, or you’ve been knee deep for a while- you are welcome!
Jamarah Amani is a community midwife who believes in the power of birth and that every baby has a human right to be breastfed/chestfed. Her mission is to do her part to build a movement for Birth Justice locally, nationally and globally.
A community organizer from the age of sixteen, Jamarah has worked with several organizations across the United States, the Caribbean and in Africa on various public health issues, including HIV prevention, infant mortality risk reduction, access to emergency contraception and access to midwifery care. She is currently the director of Southern Birth Justice Network, a 501(c)3 non- profit organization. Jamarah studied Africana Studies, Women’s Studies and Midwifery at centers of learning such as University of Pennsylvania, Clark Atlanta University and, most recently, International School of Midwifery. Jamarah is also a Certified Lactation Consultant. In addition to raising four lively children (who are also raising her), Jamarah offers midwifery care, breastfeeding consultations and childbirth education to families and communities across the state of Florida.
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