SHIFTING THE FRAME: A report on diversity and inclusion in the American College of Nurse-Midwives


“Shifting the Frame” highlights the strengths and positive values midwives can draw on to improve our ability to work in a multicultural world. And it also challenges us to do more to actively listen and learn about ourselves and others who have had different lived experiences. To all midwives whose lives have been touched by injustice and inequity, we honor you and extend our compassion. This report urges us to do more to support you and to create a more just and equitable society.


The D/I Task Force was formed to help provide ACNM with a better understanding of our organizational strengths and barriers related to diversification and inclusion. “Shifting the Frame” is based on interviews, focus groups, and a survey of ACNM members, as well as observations about how we function as an organization. While we have long recognized the overwhelming gender, ethnic, and racial homogeneity of ACNM and the US midwifery profession, this is the first time ACNM has purposefully explored the impact of this homogeneity for our members, our organization, our profession, and the women and families we serve. We applaud the courage and leadership of the Task Force and MOCC in bringing these issues forward, and recognize that many of us are still developing our skills for engaging in conversations on this topic. At the same time, we are appalled by the devastating inequities of our health care system and in maternal and newborn outcomes in particular. While these disparities disproportionately occur in African American families and other communities of color directly, they impact all of us. How can the midwifery profession do more to address this reality? “Shifting the Frame” helps us come to a deeper understanding of ourselves and discuss how best to move forward with intention into the future.</