Nominations for MANA board opening soon!
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Issue #61, August 23, 2017 (Corrected)

FAM Fundraiser: Get On the Boat!

Come join in the fun with the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery (FAM) and the Midwives Alliance (MANA) for a beautiful evening cruise on Long Beach Harbor. We will set sail on the "Harbor Breeze" at 7:00pm on Friday, November 3rd.

Enjoy good company for music and dancing while looking out on the spectacular city of Long Beach lit up at night. We will also be honoring some special people, a doctor and a midwife who are esteemed for their work in the local birthing community (names to be announced soon). This fund-raising event will benefit both FAM and MANA and the important work they do towards increasing access to midwifery care through education, research, public policy and promoting equity in maternity care. 

We leave from 100 Aquarium Dock Way, please arrive at 6:30pm. Tickets are $100 per person, including the boat ride, finger food, and fun. Cash bar on board. Space is limited so order your tickets early!

ReproJustice Village Unschool Event at #MANACAM17

How might the reproductive justice movement create a more supportive space for its parents through involving their children in our work with intention?
This is the question that Jasmine Burnett asked herself and explored at the start of her CoreAlign Generative Fellowship. At the close of her fellowship, she landed with a purpose to launch a ReproJustice Village Unschool that supports parents who are leaders in our work by cultivating the personal learning journey of their families through the Reproductive Justice framework. As a self-proclaimed "Radical ReproJustice Teacher" she has developed a curricula that allows Movement Kids to bring their full selves to a space that explores Reproductive Justice through wonder, art, creativity and expression. She is thrilled to prototype her ReproJustice Village Unschool curriculum at the Midwives Alliance of North America conference!

Each day will have a focus where the Radical ReproJustice Teacher will provide guidance and support, and the Movement Kids will self-direct their learning. The first day will focus on building community through culture and art, and will end with the Movement Kids naming their village. At the close of the first day, there will be homework focused on a shared learning method where Movement Kids will talk to their parents about what they learned, and parents will share with their children how what they are learning will help them in their movement work. The second day, Movement Kids will teach back what they taught and learned from their parents, and begin production on their creative performance for the closing day. On the closing day, Movement Kids will take up space at the closing plenary to teach the conference attendees about who they are, what they learned, the village they created and how they will share the ReproJustice Village beyond this space with their friends and communities.

The ReproJustice Village Unschool will be accepting applications for Movement Kids ages 5-16 years old. There may be a sliding scale fee for families to make sure as many families that want to participate in the RJ Village Unschool will have access. If you are interested in getting more information about signing up, please contact the Division of Access & Equity here.

What is Reproductive Justice? SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.

Childcare at #MANACAM17

Group childcare will be provided during conference hours. Guardians may have their children supervised for a session or two (not all day, please). The service is free, with donations appreciated. Parents will be asked to sign a liability waiver in order to participate, and to be immediately responsive if called back by the care provider. If you are considering bringing your child to the event and utilizing childcare services, please let us know before October 1 so that we can ensure coverage. Email events here

Learning Our History at #MANACAM17: The Politics of Place: Joseph DeLee, Home Birth, and the Rise of Modern Obstetrics

With Wendy Kline, Ph.D, Author and Professor at Purdue University

This #MANACAM17 plenary addresses the increasing bifurcation of birth practices in the mid twentieth century (home vs. hospital) by looking at the influential role of Dr. Joseph DeLee and his Chicago Maternity Center in promoting obstetrics. DeLee is one of the most influential figures in 20th century American obstetrics, and was determined to wrest control of childbirth from midwives to obstetricians. Yet he was also keenly aware of the value of exposing medical students to the natural process of birth that occurred outside of the hospital. His creation of the Chicago Maternity Center in the 1930s played a pivotal role in promoting the study of obstetrics – at home. Despite his desire to see childbirth move into a medical setting, he viewed home birth as a safe, cost effective, practical procedure in working-class Chicago. His desire to promote the home birth setting as an effective learning environment for medical students inadvertently provided justification for sustaining home birth practices in urban areas later in the twentieth century. The data and arguments created by DeLee ultimately provided key evidence that later home birth activists would use to denounce the very shift to hospital birth promoted by DeLee. Scholars should embrace the complexities embedded in the history of midwifery and home birth, recognizing their relevance to today’s reproductive politics. This history includes moments of collaboration, not just conflict, with obstetricians. It also includes shared experiences that served not to polarize but to promote infant and maternal health across the professions. Our depictions of midwifery and obstetrical care simply must allow for unlikely alliances.

Learn more about this and other #MANACAM17 presentations here

Nominations Opening Soon for Positions on the Board of Directors

Do you have an opinion about the best way to care for people during pregnancy and birth? Does it concern you that one in three US births are by cesarean section? Are you horrified at the knowledge that the US is the only country in the entire world with a rising maternal death rate, and that those statistics are driven by a black maternal death rate quadruple that of white women? Do you have an opinion? Of course you do, you’re a midwife!

MANA will begin accepting nominations for the Board of Directors on September 1, 2017. This is your opportunity to not only make sure your opinion is heard, but to make sure your work has an effect that reaches far beyond your immediate community. This year the positions available are Vice President, Treasurer, and Director of Events. Nominees must be Voting Members of MANA. Non-profit board experience is helpful, and the ability to make a commitment of time and expertise is essential. Basic computer skills and access to the internet is a must. 

Full job descriptions can be found here in the members-only section of


In addition to being able to take over for the president if needed, the Vice President assists the President with strategic planning and systems coordination and is responsible for communication between the board and membership. The VP runs the Membership Advisory Council online meetings, and is the first to see email coming into contact_at_mana_dot_org. All committees and sections are coordinated by the VP as well as communications with entities internal and external to the organization. Sarita says the best part of the job is working with so many dynamic women leaders. Prior experience on the MANA board in any capacity is highly recommended.

The Treasurer has financial knowledge of the entire organization and needs accounting abilities to prepare and manage budgets and grant funds and maintain financial records. Must be willing to learn enough about non-profit tax structure to be able to work with a CPA to take care of taxes and audits. Vicki’s favorite part of the job was being involved in all aspects of the organization. Bring your commitment, and we will provide training and guidance.

The Director of Conference and Meetings coordinates all the elements of the annual conference and other meetings and events. The best candidates for this position are friendly, bright, good multi-taskers who can manage groups easily and oversee merchandising. Nicole describes it as being at the helm of one of MANA’s biggest cornerstones, where midwives come together for education and to celebrate. Her favorite part of the job is how fun it is! Previous experience overseeing a conference or event is a plus. The Director of Conference and Meetings facilitates several committees, volunteers, negotiates with vendors, and keeps a “big picture” of conference. They will work with the Conference Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and Director of Organizational Development. 

Watch the website! Nomination forms and instructions will be located here starting September 1 and will be open through Conference.

MANA Statement on Charlottesville

Last Monday, MANA shared on social media a statement of solidarity and grief with victims of the weekend’s racist violence in Charlottesville and beyond. We are reprinting it here below:

We condemn the philosophy and actions of white nationalists and Nazis.

We condemn the appalling lack of response from national leadership that creates a climate of acceptance for racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia. We condemn the reluctance to name it terrorism when white nationalists and Nazis carry out violent acts of terror.

We condemn white supremacism of any kind. As an historically white organization, with majority white membership and leadership, we recognize our specific responsibility to address white supremacy in our own communities, families, and organizations and we call on our members to take a stand with us. The violence in Charlottesville is one symptom and there are others: disparities in infant and maternal mortality are symptoms of the same disease, and it is our responsibility to do everything we can. We are committed to this fight not only because it is right and just and moral, but also because we know that safe, equitable systems are essential to health.

Get CEUs and Support MANA!

Want a sneak peak of all that MANA conferences have to offer while earning CEUs? Select recordings from #MANA16 are now available through GOLD Learning, at a special discount for MANA members. Learn more in the members-only section of here.

Save the dates:


Oct 12: Hotel Early Bird Rates End

Oct 13: Conference Program Ads Due

Nov 2 - 5: MANA CAM 2017, Long Beach, CA

Copyright © 2017 Midwives Alliance of North America, All rights reserved.

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