I started this blog one year ago this month as I was gearing up to become a midwifery student. How exciting. Happy anniversary to us!
Earlier this month, I attended the CLPP (Civil Liberties and Public Policy) conference at Hampshire College, which was amazing. I learned all sorts of stuff that I’m still processing and got great feedback at a panel discussion on empowering birth about bringing reproductive justice into midwifery even more. I also got a chance to sit in on a long workshop with Mia Mingus and Sebastian Margaret about disability justice.
Mia Mingus and Sebastian Margaret’s workshop was absolutely fantastic. The most exciting part for me was when we broke down disability justice into all of its myriad components and learned how to analyze each piece. I’ve long been a fan of the environmental and reproductive justice movements, but it was the first time I was given the tools to be able to analyze and understand all of the moving parts and interactive pieces of what makes a movement about social justice for all, and not just an anti-ableism movement, a pro-choice movement, or a green the environment movement. As Margaret said, no one is going anywhere unless we can move all of the pieces of this sticky wicket forward together. That means that if we are to achieve disability justice, we can’t just fight against ableism or for accessible buildings, but we have to look at how that interacts with racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, the top-down power structures of the school system, the prison industrial complex, etc. etc. etc.
Over the course of the coming year, I will begin writing pieces that take a look at reproductive justice, piece by piece, and finding ways to incorporate that into midwifery – both in my individual practice and learning, and as a broader part of the homebirth movement as a whole. I welcome your thoughts, questions, disagreements, and discussions. We certainly aren’t going to be successful at incorporating reproductive justice with midwifery unless there are a lot of us talking about and thinking about and doing this work. Together.
What should we talk about first? Let’s get this discussion started!