Monday, January 9, 2023

Dear Stakeholder:

Recent conversations among known midwives have brought a deeper attention to the structural and institutional racism within midwifery communities across our country. Midwives College of Utah (MCU) boldly denounces the harmful comments that have been brought to light, and we share in the outrage that the role that racism, implicit bias, and microaggressions unfortunately continue to play in the midwifery profession, in midwifery care, and in midwifery education. Words have power. The racially hostile conversation between highly visible midwives continues to allow a system of disenfranchisement, which refuses to understand the experiences and culture of those vulnerable populations, particularly the Black community, that keeps the community marginalized, and their concerns unrecognized. Those who uphold these beliefs have no place at MCU. 

It is appalling that we, as a midwifery community, continue to go down this road allowing true sustainable progress of racial justice and equity to escape us. ALL midwives, midwifery educators, midwifery leaders, and other birth workers must take ownership of these inequities and work diligently to redress. This requires us to trust, listen to understand and not respond, as well as to acknowledge the experiences of Black, Brown, and other people of color. We must believe people of color when they say they are harmed by actions, inactions, and words. 

We must engage in courageous and uncomfortable conversations that address the root cause of racial disharmony, beginning with unpacking white supremacy, privilege, and fragility. These conversations must remove the defensiveness that is typically associated with addressing racial harm and allow for people of color to make recommendations on how to heal and repair the harm that is done. 

It is our hope that each and every one of you will stand with MCU in addressing and dismantling the systemic, structural, and institutional racism that continues to plague not only the midwifery community but our nation as a whole. 

Yours In Solidarity,

Kristi Ridd-Young, President
Whitney Mesyef, Director of Compliance
Dr. Jermain Cooper, Vice President of Student Success & Institutional Equity
Megan Koontz, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean

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