[May 13] Birth Equity during COVID-19
Date & Time: May 63, 2020 at 1pm EST (12pm CST/11am MST/10am PST/9am AK/8am HI)
Description: The ability of birthing people to access quality reproductive and maternal health services during the COVID-19 crisis is important. This is especially important for BIPOC who disproportionately experience a lack of quality care in the best of times. Join us to hear how partnerships and birthworkers are supporting birthing people and their families during this time.
Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH, is a tenured Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy & Management, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health. She is a reproductive health equity researcher whose program of research applies the tools of population health science and health services research to elucidate a critical and complex determinant of health inequity—racism. Dr. Hardeman leverages the frameworks of critical race theory and reproductive justice to inform her equity-centered work which aims to build the empirical evidence of racism’s impact on health particularly for Black birthing people and their babies. Dr. Hardeman’s research includes a partnership with Roots Community Birth Center, in North Minneapolis, one of five Black-owned freestanding birth centers in the United States. Her work also examines the potential mental health impacts for Black birthing people when living in a community that has experienced the killing of an unarmed Black person by police. Published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health, Dr. Hardeman’s research has elicited important conversations on the topics of culturally-centered care, police brutality and structural racism as a fundamental cause of health inequities. Her overarching goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge that links structural racism to health in a tangible way, identifies opportunities for intervention, and dismantles the systems, structures, and institutions that allow inequities to persist.
Stevie Merino is a Full Spectrum Doula and Owner of Sol and Roots Doula & Placenta Encapsulation. She is an Islander in diaspora with ancestral roots from Guåhan (Guam) & Borinquen (Puerto Rico) born & raised in Long Beach, California. She is a long time community organizer, activist, single mom, birth worker, and academic. Stevie is an anthropologist, where she currently is sitting as the American Anthropology Association Gender Equity elected seat, she actively does research on birth disparities & traditions of Pacific Islanders & CHamoru people. She was the co-curated of an exhibit that was the first of its kind in the United States based off her research called “Carrying the Pacific: Pregnancy, Birth, & Parenting of Pacific Islanders” at the Pacific Islander Ethnic Art Museum in Long Beach. She is co-creator of the Long Beach Doula of Color Training & Birthworker of Color Collective. Stevie is a full spectrum doula, fertility doula, postpartum support, a lactation educator & trainer, she work with herbs & placentas & different healing modalities. She is dedicated to healing, reconnecting, reclaiming, and decolonizing birthwork, community, and self.