Statement of Allyship

As someone who has struggled to feel a sense of belonging, inclusivity is a core value of mine. 

Despite being born into an intentional community where I lived in houses with up to 20 or 30 other people, I often felt like an outsider. In many ways, it was my craving for belonging that brought me to midwifery.  I wanted to create a space for birth where babies would arrive and immediately sense that they are loved and that they belong.  

In the same way I want to create a space where all mamas and parents feel that they belong.  It is my desire to be inclusive to all kinds of people seeking care and support from me.  I know language is one way to extend warmth and belonging. 

Along with LGBTQIA, women (and BIPOC women especially) are among those who have been systemically oppressed and assaulted. Among other things this includes ongoing human rights violations, sexual assault, being owned as property,  being denied education and contraception, being burned at the stake, being told how to dress, and what to do with our bodies.  

For this reason, I feel strongly about not erasing women and mothers from my language related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  You will see me alternating between women and people, she and they, mothers and parents, etc.

I have had the pleasure and honor of serving pregnant people of all races, religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and ethnicities.  I am committed to being part of the solution to the disgraceful and unconscionable racial disparities in both maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.   It is my hope and dream that when my daughters are having babies, should they choose to, they will not face the same dismal statistics.

I believe that autonomy around if, when, how, with whom, and where we choose to experience pregnancy, birth and parenthood is a fundamental human right.  My commitment to equity is ensuring that every human has access to high quality and respectful care during the childbearing year and throughout their life span.  

To acknowledge my own background, I grew up in a community founded by white liberal hippies, absorbing from a young age the idea that “We are all One.”  My parents generation, now in their 70’s, were in the early 20’s and influenced heavily by the Anti-War movement, the Civil Rights movement, Eastern spiritual philosophy and psychedelics.  As young children we were taught that everyone was equal. 

But I grew up in a monoculture. 

Aside from a handful of Black folks, and a sprinkling of various other ethnic minorities, the community was white, mostly middle-class, cisgender, and heterosexual.  I learned about my Sephardic Jewish roots mostly from my grandfather when he would come and visit us.

When I began to unpack my own bias and address my privilege I came to understand the harm of ideas like “I don’t see color.” 

Being involved with communities of color through midwifery, dance, beloveds, family, homeschool cooperatives, friends, and travel has not only demanded I continue to learn how to be a better ally, it has also given me ample opportunity to practice.  Having Brown-skinned daughters, nieces, in-laws, and nephew has further deepened my commitment to allyship, especially now that we have left the beautiful multicultural Miami and are living in a predominantly white community.

I believe that in order for our world to thrive, a culture of systemic love, equity, and inclusion must not just be something we strive for, but experiences we embody.  I know that we (myself included) have a long way to go to get there, but I’m up for the challenge.  If there is anything I say or do that is offensive in any way please call me "in" and let me know how I can be a better ally.