We wish to recognize our postpartum doula colleagues as well. Please read on for a statement from NAPS.
Dear PALS Doulas community
NAPS stands in solidarity with Black communities and the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand with those who are protesting centuries of systemic oppression and inequalities. We stand with Black queers, Black women, Black men, and Black trans folx. We stand behind our fellow Black birthworkers and doulas. We hear the long-standing call to join in the work that must be done to reform the structures that perpetuate racial injustice, and to recognize the pain, anger, and frustration of Black people who live through oppression in the United States. We honor Black folx, and how they choose to protest, demonstrate, and amplify their voices.
NAPS acknowledges the privilege within our predominantly white organization. We call on white birthworkers and doulas to examine how we participate in, perpetuate, and are benefiting from white supremacy. The NAPS Board stands to challenge white supremacy as an organization in an effort to constantly work toward being an accomplice, toward creating social equity, toward building a safe and supportive world for all families and those who serve them.
“The NAPS board feels strongly that we must make a stand to challenge white supremacy as an organization in an effort to be constantly working toward allyship, toward inclusivity, toward building a safe and supportive world for all families and those who serve them. We must center the truth that Black, Brown and Indigenous babies die at more than twice the rate of white babies. We must center the truth that Black, Brown and Indigenous birthing parents die at more than 3 times the rate of white parents. Systemic racism, racist bias, systemic poverty, and intergenerational trauma are driving worsening outcomes for Black and Indigenous families. This is a crisis and we must not continue to be silent.” (NAPS Anti-Oppression Statement)
In our commitment to racial justice, we have the NAPS Alliance for Social Equity (NASE), our Annual Person of Color Scholarship, host cultural learning opportunities amplifying BIPOC birthworkers’ leadership, and have an ongoing examination of certification training content with a social equity lens. We strive to hold ourselves and other birthwork organizations accountable to racially harmful actions. We know this is only a beginning, and it is not enough. We can and must do more.
NAPS recognizes the broken promises made to Black communities, the constant dismantling of opportunities of equity for Black communities, and the appropriation of their customs and traditions. NAPS is committed to practices that promote equity and justice in the community of birthwork:
NAPS will refer Black birthworkers to full paying clients.
NAPS will create a document of resources for those who seek support and provide support.
NAPS will compensate Black folx for their time, voices, and labor.
What you can do right now:
Refer Black birthworkers to full paying work
Educate yourself on individual and systemic racial inequities
Get involved with organizations working to end racism
Boost #BlackLivesMatter, #SayHerName, and #AmplifyMelanatedVoices on social media
https://blacklivesseattle.org/ - Black Lives Matter Seattle - King County
https://m4bl.org/ - A space for Black organizations
https://tinyurl.com/y7rxcsac - 30 day crash course for white women
https://tinyurl.com/y8fgl2p9 - 4 week course addressing Racism/Privilege in Birth Work
https://tinyurl.com/y86jvjpk - How to help from home if you can't attend protests
https://www.riseupmidwife.com/products/35-gift-card BIPOC Birthworkers Donation Fund
Books to read:
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Eloquent Rage by Brittany Cooper
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Kahn-Cullors and asha bandele
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Oates
Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Julia Chinyere Oparah and Alicia D. Bonaparte editors
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race Gender and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin
We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood by Dani McClain