MAH: Black Lives Matter
Dear Friends of MAH: Midwives Alliance of Hawaiʻi Board condemns the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the centuries long tolerance for murder of Black people by our Country’s public and private individuals. We eagerly await charges against the officers and those responsible not only for these cases, but the countless other cases that received less acknowledgement, but were no less horrific and unacceptable. Midwives Alliance of Hawaiʻi joins in the raising of our voices against the historical, systemic oppression and dehumanization of especially Black women in our society. We acknowledge that starting with pregnancy, birth care and infant feeding, and continuing throughout the lifespan of Black women, racism affects every aspect of her and her family’s life in terms of health care, housing, criminal justice, education, and employment. Midwives Alliance of Hawaiʻi stands in support of Black mothers and acknowledges their deep love and daily work to provide the best care for their families despite inadequate systems of support. We believe Black Lives Matter. This year we have been listening, learning and educating ourselves about what an anti-racist organization looks like. We still have much room to learn and grow, and we welcome your feedback and voice. We are listening. We have identified some immediate steps forward:
NO MEMBERSHIP FEE: For the first time ever, we have drastically restructured the organization's membership and welcome everyone to join Midwives Alliance of Hawai’i (MAH) with no fees. We have dismantled the ‘old’ membership structure, therefore being inclusive to all people who wish to participate as “Friends of MAH”.
DEDICATED BOARD POSITION: We appreciate many perspectives and encourage diversity amongst our board members and volunteers. To ensure an investment in the diversity of midwifery and our community for many years to come, MAH has a dedicated student midwife board position for a student identifying as BIPOC. Board positions have always been open to Black, Indigenous, POC and/or LGBTQIA+ midwives and allies, and now most positions, with a few exceptions, no longer require a person to be a midwife to serve in a board position.
TRAINING: MAH, as an organization, has agreed to actively seek out opportunities for growth through cultural awareness and sensitivity training for all board members and volunteers. We are actively looking at opportunities to bring these educational trainings to our Friends of MAH and community.
REPRESENTATION: MAH will continue to strive to show the diverse tapestry that Hawaiʻi encompasses with the material we use in our print and digital distributions, being ever mindful to show representation to all. We are actively working to update our website with additional resources. Here are some fabulous organizations that have been continuously doing strong work! National Black Midwives Alliance. Black Mamas Matter Alliance. National Association to Advance Black Birth. Commonsense Childbirth Institute. Sister Song. Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere.
ADVOCACY: MAH backs systemic change to better support our BIPOC community and clients. We will continue to advocate for the construction of a system in which all people can expect a high level of respect and care.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
We look forward to collaborations with midwifery organizations and our community on today's midwifery matters. May we as an organization, and as individuals, continue to grow, listen and learn so that we can be a part of the solution towards equality and justice.
We would love to hear from you. Please share your suggestions for changes and voice your needs with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In peaceful protest with you,
Midwives Alliance of Hawaiʻi