Our hearts are heavy witnessing Black and Indigenous/People of Color (herein known as BIPOC) fighting for their lives. Witnessing the death of George Floyd has rocked the country. It’s important for the nation to remember him, and all those who have died at the hands of racial injustice, such as Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Emmitt Till, Korryn Gaines, Alton Sterling, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, and so many more. There have been centuries of trauma and devastating loss that needs to stop.
It is not just systemic injustice that takes the lives of BIPOC. Their lives are on the line from the moment they’re born and it is unacceptable. As birth workers, we often feel helpless, despite our empathy and compassion because we struggle with how to help. Black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth in comparison to their white counterparts. Black babies are twice as likely to die during their first year of life compared to their white counterparts. These disparities are significantly reduced with the access and care of midwives. Most importantly, access to midwives of color.
On behalf of the Colorado Midwives Association, we cannot remain silent for our BIPOC families and community members. Our minimal funds raised are primarily dedicated to legislative efforts, keeping midwifery legal as well as our laws current to meet the needs of birthing families in Colorado. This is the passion and purpose of the CMA. However, we can do more. We must do more.
The CMA will be donating throughout the year to BIPOC centered organizations, with a focus on organizations that support the development and education of student midwives of color. At this time we are donating @projectmotherpath (venmo), owned by Rebecca Polston at Roots Community Birth Center in Minneapolis. They have been directly impacted by the tensions between protests and law enforcement. Please consider donating as well.
Melissa Sexton, CPM, RM,
President of the Colorado Midwives Association