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AME Announces the Adoption of its Equity Statement

Mary Yglesia  | Published on 11/14/2017

The Board of  Directors of AME believes that equity is essential to midwifery education and that this principle should guide our work to fulfill our mission.  Recently the board unanimously approved the following statement.  We invite comment and feedback from the public which may be sent to amecoordinator@gmail.com or to any of our Board of Directors.


EQUITY STATEMENT


Individuals, families and communities experience discrimination and systemic oppression based on race, ethnicity, economic status, formal education, ability, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, citizenship status and many additional identities. The Association of Midwifery Educators (AME) recognizes that these forms of oppression and systemic inequities result in poor pregnancy and birth outcomes, including higher rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, and deaths of gestational parents and babies, in addition to many other adverse health outcomes and experiences. We recognize that the communities that are currently shouldering the greatest burden of these health outcomes are African American and Indigenous communities, and we acknowledge the historical and contemporary injustices that have created and sustain these inequities.


We also recognize that midwives have always been an integral part of the fabric of the human community. Regrettably, the midwifery profession, as it stands in the U.S. today, does not adequately serve the whole human community. We believe in the strength of community midwifery and believe that midwives from the community are most often the best maternity care providers for the community.


To that end, the Association of Midwifery Educators affirms our responsibility to midwifery educators, students, and families to participate and lead in the ongoing work of creating inclusive learning environments where student midwives feel welcomed, represented, supported and safe; where students learn to care for all families in a way that is culturally affirming and respectful; and where a commitment to social justice is woven into every facet of midwifery education.


We demonstrate these commitments by engaging in anti-racism training for all board members and staff and by committing to the ongoing, lifelong work of dismantling racism in the personal, institutional and systemic realms. We commit to assisting midwifery educators to integrate and teach the histories and current issues facing midwives from many cultures and communities. We believe that all midwifery students must receive training in health inequities and the social determinants of health, and we commit to providing educational modules and resources to support this. We strive to promote learning environments that are gender-inclusive by providing faculty development resources and curriculum content that aim to teach about the interplay between sexual identities, gender identities, pregnancy and birth.


We commit to this work through ongoing examination of our organizational practices, policies and procedures to redress inequities. We seek to remain accountable to non-dominant communities through involvement in equitable curriculum development, content, delivery and assessment of learning outcomes of midwifery students. We work to support organizations led by people of color and the Queer community in the reproductive healthcare community with our time and financial resources. Our mission is to support the people, systems and processes that provide midwifery education, and we do this within a social justice framework.


Adapted from the Equity Statement of Bastyr University’s Department of Midwifery November, 2017.