Campaign to Establish a Black Midwives Day

Campaign to Establish a Black Midwives Day

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National Black Midwives Alliance started this petition to Local agencies that make decisions about education and healthcare and

The National Black Midwives Alliance (NBMA) is launching a campaign to establish March 14 as Black Midwives Day.

Why is NBMA campaigning for a Black Midwives Day? 

The first Black midwives on American soil were African people who brought with them traditional knowledge, beliefs, ideas, rituals, tools, approaches, and methods that existed in Africa for thousands of years.  

Ancient birth practices and rituals were passed down from generations to generations through a calling to midwifery.

A nationally recognized Black Midwives Day venerates the work and contributions of past and present birth attendants who have served to usher in new life despite a history fraught with persecution, enslavement, violence, racism and the systematic erasure of community Black midwives throughout the 20th century.

The resurgence of Black midwifery is a testament to the resilience, resistance, and determination of spirit in the preservation of healing modalities that are practiced all over the world. The focus on holistic care, which involves caring for the whole person, family and community, is what makes a difference in midwifery. 

It honors a birthing person’s right to bodily autonomy; can be facilitated at home, in a birth center, or hospital; and works in tandem with doulas, community health workers, obstetricians, pediatricians, and other health care providers.

Black families need access to Black midwives to receive culturally sensitive and  congruent care established through trust and respect; backed with the wisdom of time honored technique and best practices.

NBMA is campaigning for a Black Midwives Day:

To strengthen the base of Black midwives and their supporters

To preserve the cultural history of Black midwifery as an important part of the story of America

To provide advocacy tools that eliminate barriers to education and resources for Black midwives

To build power by developing a national unified voice that advocates for Black midwifery

To address perinatal health disparities that impact Black communities

To elevate the consumer demand for access to midwifery and community birth

Join us in commemorating the legacy of black midwifery on March 14th, forevermore to be known as Black Midwives Day!

Why March 14th?

In 2019, Jamarah Amani, was honored by the City of Miami, Commission of the Status of Women for her contributions to social justice and was presented with the Trailblazer Award along with an official proclamation that declared March 14 Jamarah Amani Day in the City of Miami. 

Her vision for this day was to aim higher than the recognition of a sole midwife.  She believed a day honoring the legacy of black midwifery would be a greater value and has repurposed the day of celebration to include the collective body of past and present midwives.

Jamarah is a mother of four, activist, teacher, healer, Licensed Midwife, the executive director of the Southern Birth Justice Network, and the co-founder and director of National Black Midwives Alliance. Her work as a community organizer began at the age of 16 and has included 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. 

In her acceptance speech, one of the things Jamarah said was, “I learned from elder midwives about birth goddesses and patience, what it means to support a mama with grace, how to maintain joy and self-care as a midwife. My elders gave me the story of the Black midwife, our legacy, which I carry in my heart always.” 

By centering Black midwives in the community we gain access to a channel for cultural knowledge, methods, tools, and values that will remedy poor maternal health outcomes through the extension of black birthing traditions that are rooted in African, African-American, and other indigenous people. 

Our goal with this petition is to garner public support for Black midwives' contributions to American history and healthcare. If you are in support, please sign to let us know. For more information, go to: blackmidwivesalliance.org.

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