A Beacon of Hope

Black midwifery is still being challenged with their traditions being challenge throughout the African Diaspora and their titles changing from traditional midwife to traditional birth attendants, from direct-entry to certified professional midwife, and from certified nurse midwife to certify nurse midwife with a master’s in nursing.

However Black midwifery is on the rise as beckon of hope in the Black communities across the globe, as a profession of trust and respect. Black midwives are keeping it real and are honoring the legacy of Black midwife.

As midwife students, we call for a world view of midwifery, to ensure that the history Black and midwives of color is included throughout our educational learning and practicum training.  As student midwives, we expect our midwifery institutions and preceptors to be knowledgeable on global midwifery, and to integrate it throughout our learning experience. As students, we request the ICTC recommended book list be required readings for all students, and their recommended DVD be added to the curriculum.  And that training visuals will include people of color.  And that the social determents that contribute to the higher infant and maternal mortality rate in the Black community, be included in all learning modules.   At the same time the strengths of the Black family should be taught and stereotypes not perpetuated.   And that jargon such as,  “high risk”, “disparities”, “single parenting”,” poverty” “high need communities”, “sub-populations” and “minorities” be used parallel with words such as, “systemic racism”, “White privilege”, “dominance” , “red lining”, ” exclusion” and “cultural incompetent” to show evidenced based cause and effect of health inequities.

The national organization, the International Center for Traditional Childbearing is the official organization for Black midwives throughout the United States and the official sponsors of  the International Black Midwives and Healers Conference; and recognizes, that all women  have a right to access midwifery education, and be positively reflected in the educational materials, and pregnant women need access to cultural competent midwives, and to reach this goal, than the history of the Black midwife in the US and aboard must be incorporated in midwifery education. The history of the Black midwife and midwives of color must be entrenched in all curriculums, the physical sciences, social sciences, philosophy and the practicums.  As students we expect exposure to instructors and guest speakers of color equal to that of white instructors and guest speakers.  And that our educational institutions and trainings put us in contact with community based organization of color for continuing education of lived experiences, community service, and practicums that will help us to reduce infant and maternal mortality and strengthen our cultural competence as midwives.

WHEREAS:   Black Midwives and Healers Conference theme, “ Rising from the Ashes, The Resurrection of a community, Listener, Healer, Nurturer”, is specially unique in that it allows black midwives and healers to develop the gift of healer in each of us

WHEREAS:   The Black Midwives and Healers Conference  galvanizes midwives and healers from through out the world to acknowledges the important role midwives play in community health , whether they are assisting women giving birth, or providing personalized  health care.