An Open Letter from Two Black Midwives to our Community
by Aiyana Davison and Lodz Joseph
Hope that the new year is filled with joy and purpose.
We are writing to you today because we are committed to shedding light on the aftereffects of an event that took place in late 2019. As the World Health Organization deemed 2020 as ‘The Year of the Nurse and Midwife’, we wanted to share our experience. This letter serves to inform and remind the public and our community of critical issues faced in our healthcare system.
We attended the Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH) conference where incorrect information regarding the origins of midwifery in the United States, the role of Frontier University in midwifery history, and Margaret Sanger's legacy, were shared. We took the time to address the keynote speaker and the fallacies but recognized there is more work to be done in nursing and midwifery regarding tradition, history, legacy, and racism. This event was not the realization of such information, but it was a trigger that led to the continued inspiration for this letter and current and future work for both of us.
Although the plan is to never have to write another letter like this again, we will continue writing, speaking, advocating, and fighting for the decolonization of midwifery, the integration of reproductive justice and its place in midwifery, and the consequential work that follows these changes.
This is a labor of love and a reminder of our lives as black womxn and black midwives. Thank you for taking the time to read and share. We hope that as you read it, you too will be further inspired and willing to share our words with others so that not only will there be the correction of misinformation, but also impactful action.
With our everyday blackness and in solidarity, Aiyana and Lodz