Photos Courtesy of Hummingbird Indigenous Services and Surge Reproductive Justice

 

Rooted In Love: Birth Justice Collaborative

At the end of 2023, St. Joseph Fund (SJF) wrapped its Education Initiative’s inaugural year. The initiative worked to build relationships with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community partners in Washington state to strengthen capacity building and organizational infrastructures. The program designers took their learnings forward to redefine goals for the initiative’s second year. An opportunity arose to dive deeper into community power-building within one subset area of the Education Initiative, which is the prenatal-to-three and birth justice advocacy space.

 

This year, we are dedicated to enhancing grassroots non-profits’ and groups’ organizational capacity and power by building a Black and Indigenous birth justice collaborative centered on peer-to-peer learning, solidarity, and healing. Collaborative partners play a crucial role in supporting birthing parents; understanding pre- and post-natal care and access to equitable birthing options are critical to strong education outcomes. Our approach is to steward participatory and general operation grants to a network of birthing partners throughout Washington state to continue their existing efforts of organizing while creating a space for collective analysis and exploration of experiences and challenges of birthing individuals and birth workers that have systemically harmed Black and Indigenous communities.

 

We are excited to introduce you to two partners serving as the collaborative’s lead: Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services and Surge Reproductive Justice.

 

Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services believes that every parent is the perfect parent for their baby and that healthy mothers and babies build the foundation for healthy communities. Their work centers Indigenous people. Through programs like Birthkeepers, they provide family planning support and perinatal education through culturally relevant doula care, reducing the barriers that disproportionately affect Indigenous parents while strengthening the bond between parents and connections to the community. Other programs include Storytelling, Pilimakua Family Connections, and the Nest. All offerings intend to create connections and healthy communities.

 

Surge Reproductive Justice mobilizes communities to build a world where all people can make powerful, self-determined choices for their bodies, families, and communities. They center Black women, women of color, and queer and trans people of color. Some of their programs include Doulas For All, a coalition organizing toward Medicaid reimbursements for birth doulas, and the Black Perinatal Health Campaign, an opportunity for Black people to build and strategize for holistic solutions to supporting our birthing and pregnant people, their families, and the Black birth workers who support them.

 

Please consider following us on LinkedIn to learn more about the Birth Justice Collaborative and meet more participants.