Showing Up for Black Lives

Showing Up for Black Lives

Dear CEA/MNY community,

As a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to childbirth education and advocacy, we recognize that we cannot talk about or teach about childbirth without addressing the racist system that causes black families to experience disproportionate perinatal death, emotional and physical trauma, and medical abuse. CEA/MNY’s role in dismantling systemic racism is an ongoing process. In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor (and so many others spanning the entire history of our nation), we stand firmly in solidarity with the nationwide protests and Black Lives Matter. We know these issues are inseparable from childbirth and the long-standing deep disparities faced by Black and Indigenous People of Color when it comes to birth outcomes.

Part of the process of dismantling systemic racism involves self-reflection to determine where we can do better as an organization. So in addition to amplifying the current ongoing work of and making donations to Black-led childbirth organizations, we are also identifying 3 key areas where CEA/MNY can improve when it comes to equity and racial justice.

Internal Organizational Structure: Increase representation of BIPOC in organization leadership (board of directors) to better reflect the diversity of NYC and develop a formal system for addressing grievances related to racism, inequity and discrimination within the organization.

Teacher Training Program: Continue to expand and support the scholarship program; Continue to re-work the curriculum, reading lists and other program requirements to be more equitable; Continue to be conscious about those who teach workshops in our program and how they reflect the diversity of our city.

External Coalition Building: Increase coalition-building work with BIPOC-led birth organizations and advocacy efforts at the local and state level on issues that affect black perinatal mortality. CEA/MNY was originally founded as an advocacy organization before we had a training program and advocacy is a part of our organization’s mission.

Here is a list of community resources and organizations that we are currently donating to. We encourage CEA/MNY members to consider supporting these Black-led birth organizations by amplifying the work they are doing, making referrals where appropriate, and making financial contributions when possible.

Ancient Song Doula Services
Caribbean Women’s Health Association
Bx Re (Birth)

We invite those in our community to share other organizations that you support.

No organization is beyond reproach and we welcome your feedback on how we can continue do better. Childbirth does not exist in a vacuum and we cannot have equitable, safe, and family-centered childbirth as long as the disease of systemic racism continues to exist.

In solidarity,
CEA/MNY Board of Directors