December 2020 | Spotlight on Anti-Racism
A GUIDE TO ADDRESSING OUR MEDICAL RACISM
CNMA is working towards becoming an antiracist organization. In 2019 new bylaws were approved that recognize CNMA’s responsibility to actively address racism and the resulting health inequalities suffered by communities of color. Importantly, we must actively support efforts to increase racial diversity in our profession while engaging actively in self-education. “Spotlight on Antiracism” is a new section of the newsletter where you will find a monthly educational offering. We encourage our membership to check it out and share widely in your workplaces.
Many non-Black people have experienced times when we should have spoken up but stood by silently as we witnessed racism and perpetrated it. White individuals, institutions and systems must be intentional in dismantling white supremacy that perpetuates systemic racism. One space where it is critical that we address anti-Black racism is in the exam room. All Non-Black providers must step back, make space, listen and invite our Black colleagues and clients to guide and direct care for our Black clients. All healthcare providers can take the necessary steps to make this happen. For non-Black people having a conversation like this requires self-study, practice and feedback. In the NYT article, Protecting Your Birth: A Guide for Black Mothers. How racism can impact your pre- and postnatal care — and advice for speaking to your Ob-Gyn about it,the authors address medical racism and highlight four ways medical providers can actively address their own ant-Black racism:
1) Acknowledge race and racism in the room
2) Create a care plan with the patient anticipating the racism may impact pregnancy
3) Identify how racism may impact labor
4) Identify how racism may impact postpartum
The article offers further insight into how to incorporate these strategies into practice so we improve the care we provide to Black clients.