So, what exactly is the Birth Activist Collective? Our vision for the Collective is to bring together all of the brilliant people who are out there, on the ground, making a difference for moms and babies in their communities. We would like to serve as a hub where folks can exchange ideas and inspire one another. Working to improve maternity care can feel quite isolating. We have certainly felt like the lone crazy ladies in our community! The retreat last year proved to us that there are countless others who feel the same way we do – the time for talk is over. We already know that the current system is broken, that women and babies are dying and suffering as a result of greed, ego, and inertia. The time for action is here.
We love what we see happening at Human Rights in Childbirth! We love the focus and drive of ImprovingBirth.org! We love how BirthNetwork National has built strong birth communities across the U.S.! We love the energy of the Birth Revolution Facebook group that formed after the Midwifery Today Conference! We agree with the folks at Birth Revolution that we need to begin modeling our movement after other successful social movements, like the Arab Spring and the Civil Rights Movement. Our vision for this year’s Birth Activist Retreat is to come out on the other side united and fully equipped with an action plan for engaging the ‘medical-industrial complex’ as well as the public.
Our primary guiding principle is being supportive of one another. In order for this movement to be successful, we all have to join forces. We are all on the same team working towards a common goal. We need to work together. We will have differences in methods. Some of us are more radical than others. Some of us are negotiating very delicate terrain. Some of us can be outspoken, others will need to operate as secret agents. This is ok. We all have a part to play and we need to support one another to be most effective. We need our differences because the problems we face are complex and the solutions will be multifaceted. Our hope with the website is that we will expose activists to each other’s amazing work and amplify our collective voice.
We are currently working to build the resource section on our website. We encourage you to post links to your blogs and favorite birth-y websites so that we can add them to our list. And if your organization has done something that improved the climate for birthing mamas in your community, we want to hear about it! We invite you to submit a blog post that can be shared with the Collective. Please share our Facebook page and website with your activist friends! Together we have the power to transform maternity care.
Anna and Kirsti