On last Tuesday MANA informed us that the third in the “I Am a Midwife” video series will be launched this Saturday. The topic of this video is health disparities. We were requested to write a blog of between 500 - 1,000 words on the mothering .com blog on the issue of health disparities, with internet links on research and resources and great photos, and to post the blog by Monday. We were not involved in the scripting or development of the video (though it features several midwives of color) nor have we viewed the video. Is this a topic MANA is not familiar with? While the video was being developed, could MANA or its staff have done its research on the topic? No, once again, last minute calls to the MOC to provide substance and validation of this project, without any input in the development or planning. Once again, an act of arrogant entitlement, with the MOC participation as an afterthought.
Meanwhile, the MANA leadership and the leadership of the other Allied Midwifery Organizations (excluding ICTC who was not invited) are in Washington attending a Childbirth Connection event on maternal and infant health. Did MANA or any of the other professed ICTC allies seek an invitation for ICTC?
In the last few weeks the issue of student and midwives of color scholarships to the 2012 Conference has again arisen. In March Darynee submitted a proposal that MANA open its doors to all students and MOCs who want to attend. In the last week the discussion of MOC raising its own funds to provide for MOC scholarships was again raised. Here we go again – is participation by students and midwives of color important to MANA, yes or no? If so, support your commitment with a sizable financial contribution that could make an impact!
Having suffered through the CPM Symposium, we Sisters have spent too many days trying to help MANA, its leadership and the leadership of the other AMOs “get it”. And they still do not.
We have committed ourselves to our local and global communities we serve first and foremost, doing the best we can with dignity and character knowing that our communities and our children are watching.
We can no longer continue to participate in MANA’s disrespect of us as a group, a race, as the Women our community respects. We cannot keep our heads held high and take this shit. Our view of ourselves will suffer and eventually the young ones will look at us with less than admiration. We are not “The Help - 2012 Version”. This treatment is not good for us, mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically – this is the stress that’s kills us in so many ways, drains our energy and distracts our focus.
These issues and these organizations distract us from our true mission; we have become myopic, focusing on these groups and not exploring global approaches to maternal and infant health care, increasing the number of MOCs, and better serving our communities.