May 28, 2018
Have you ever considered how the systemic and institutional racism, implicit bias and disempowerment of women might be played out with birth? This is especially true for Black women, many of whom are experiencing discrimination, bias, racism and/or poor care while pregnant, birthing or postpartum. Today’s show explores these dynamics, the findings of a research project and the recommendations that have come out of that research.
We are talking with Professor Chinyere Oparah and Dr. Sayida Peprah, who are part of the Black Women Birthing Justice collective. Today we are discussing some of the research they have done and the report called Battling over Birth. Highlights from our discussion include the power dynamics in the birthing environment for black women, history of sexual survivor issues and how that might impact the birthing experience, empowering Black women in the birth space and some glimpses into what the Battling over Birth report recommends.
Julia Chinyere Oparah is a social justice educator, collective leader, activist scholar, and experienced community organizer who has spent over two decades producing critical scholarship in the service of progressive social movements. Oparah is Provost and Dean of the Faculty and professor of Ethnic Studies at Mills College, and she was educated at Cambridge University and Warwick University
Oparah is the author of Other Kinds of Dreams: Black Women’s Organizations and the Politics of Organization, the only comprehensive history of the black women’s movement in Britain. Her most recent book, Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy and Childbirth, places Black women at the center of debates around childbirth and highlights their role in the emerging birth justice movement.
Dr. Sayida Peprah became certified through DONA International Inc., as a Birth Doula and began assisting mothers professionally in their journey of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
She is currently a Psychologist and founder and director of Diversity Uplifts, Inc. through which she regularly offers cultural competency, mental health and maternal mental health trainings and consultations throughout the US. Dr. Sayida is also an active member of the Black Women Birthing Justice collective, promoting research, education and community-based services to positively transform birthing experiences in the Black community.
Professor Oparah: https://www.juliachinyereoparah.com/
Dr. Sayida: www.DrSayidaPeprah.com
To learn about Dr. Sayida’s non-profit click here: www.DiversityUplifts.org, To learn more about the Black community-based doula program and COVID19 doula initiatives Dr. Sayida is working on, click here: www.FrontlineDoulas.com
Please find out more by reading that Battling over Birth report at Find the report here: http://www.blackwomenbirthingjustice.org/battling-over-birth