Birth Justice Now
In 2021, WDN hosted Uplifting Birth Justice, a series in partnership with 18 birth justice organizations and partners. Amanda Coslor, a WDN member and board member of the Birth Justice Fund at Groundswell Fund and the Thriving Women’s Initiative at Seven Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, told us what’s been happening on the birth justice front since the series.
Remind us what birth justice is and how caring at the very beginning can transform our world.
Even though birth justice is integral to reproductive justice rights work, the Uplifting Birth Justice series was the first time there had ever been a mainstream philanthropic event about it.
In the series, we had the privilege to hear from birth justice leaders and organizations working to ensure a just and equitable world from the very beginning of life. There are huge disparities in maternal and infant health that stem from racism, classism, and economic vulnerability. Birth justice seeks to eliminate these disparities through culturally respectful care for all birthing people. Caring for mothers, parents, and infants through prenatal, birth and postpartum stages is where we form our foundational values of belonging in our society. We can transform our world and align ourselves with our humanity by welcoming the next generation with respect and care.
How have you seen resources move toward birth justice after the series? What have birth justice organizations been able to accomplish as a result?
Since the series, there has been movement towards the speakers’ goals and visions. WDN’s Opportunity & Equality Collective moved $300,000 to the birth justice organizers featured on the calls, namely Groundswell’s Birth Justice Fund, National Birth Equity Collaborative, and Birth Center Equity Fund. Not only has more funding come to the field since the series, but also more visibility for the speakers’ work. For example, only a week ago, Time magazine named Jennie Joseph from Commonsense Childbirth as woman of the year.
When WDN brings our attention to community work, magic happens. In this case, it led to funders organizing around birth justice and reproductive rights through partnership with Midwifery Funders Group, Groundswell, and others.
Following the series, Midwifery Funders Group, one of the series’ co-sponsors, is launching a public donor learning group. Can you tell us more about this effort and how people can get involved?
Midwifery Funders Group, an informal learning group of over 20 funders, has increased in membership since the series leading them to open the group to the public.
Are there any calls to action you’d like to share with readers?
I encourage you all to join Midwifery Funders Group’s donor learning circle. You can visit their website for more information.