Anti-Racism and Inclusivity Statement
July 21, 2020
There are many recent events that Community Midwives of Hamilton (CMOH) would like to acknowledge, honour and pay tribute to. The month of June saw an increase in protests against racism, in particular anti-Black racism; calls for action against police brutality against Black and Indigenous people; and celebrations of Juneteenth, National Indigenous History Month and LGBTQ2S+ Pride Month. We mourn the tragic loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Rodney Levi, Chantel Moore, and countless others as a result of systemic racism. We also recognize the importance of celebrating Juneteenth and the accomplishments of our Black Leaders, Lincoln M. Alexander, Daniel Grafton Hill III, Viola Desmond, Jean Augustine and many, many others.
We recognize and acknowledge our privilege to be living and working on the traditional lands of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations and within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement. We also recognize the atrocities and tragedies that the Indigenous people have faced and continue to face due to colonization. We would like to honour and celebrate the history, heritage and accomplishments of our Indigenous leaders, Thelma Chalifoux, Bertha Clark-Jones, and Phil Fontaine, amongst many others.
With the recent celebration of LGBTQ2S+ Pride month, we recognize the trauma and abuses experienced by LGBTQ and gender neutral or non-conforming folks based on their sexuality and/or gender expression and identities. In protest of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, we celebrate and recognize LGBTQ leaders, George Hislop, Jim Egan, Doug Stewart, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Vivek Shraya, amongst many more.
CMOH recognizes the call to action and adds our voices to the chorus supporting Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) and LGBTQ2S+ communities. We would like to publicly acknowledge our privileged presence, taking this opportunity to reflect and continue the necessary life-long work required to be anti-racist. We recognize the systemic racism in Ontario and in midwifery that has led to predominately white profession. There is an urgent need for BIPOC and LGBTQ midwives to be recruited, supported and promoted in the profession. This change will benefit midwives and the clientele that we serve. Therefore, we are committed to examining our processes and policies and making every effort to support the safe education of our BIPOC and LGBTQ learners and to recruit and support more BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ midwives at CMOH.
We acknowledge the public health crisis that has resulted from systemic racism and discrimination. We will work to examine and improve care for BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities to decrease the disproportionate rates of illness and death that affect BIPOC families. We strive to provide compassionate, high-quality, respectful care for our clients. Our vision for openness, awareness and activism will be a journey enacted through individual and collective reflection, continuing education, active listening, advocacy, activism, ongoing partnership with community resources and financial contributions to BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ organizations. Everyday, we commit to creating a safe, anti-racist and inclusive spaces, support the journeys of BIPOC and LGBTQ care providers and provide comprehensive pregnancy, birth and post partum care to BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ families.