Intercultural Coalition Update
As your Intercultural Director, I am Rina Rios, a DONA Certified Birth Doula, and DONA Approved Birth Doula Trainer. I’ve been a doula in New York City for eleven years and had the honor to be chosen as a Trainer candidate through DONA International’s Doulas of Color Fellowship (program ended in 2012). It is DONA’s commitment to the vision of “A doula for every person who wants one,” that has me training new doulas. I am honored to be part of an organization with such a vision.
The Intercultural Coalition is constantly exploring the many facets of being intercultural. We feel strongly that we all have a great deal to learn. We hope to bring forth programs and opportunities that will enrich our doulas and the communities they serve. One of our goals is to learn about one another. Cultural diversity and understanding is a necessity to achieve birth equity. To that end, we have added to the Intercultural Coalition Amanda Dodson as our Military Liaison and Morgane Richardson as our LGBTQIA+ Liaison.
We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for! It’s time to make more of an impact. Here are some upcoming ways to get involved:
- Black Maternal Health Week April 11-17, 2019 (local events around the world)
- Birth Equity Talk LIVE in DONA Member Group on Facebook Watch (April 19th)
- International Doula Month (May 2019)
- Press Conference on Wednesday, May 29, 201- Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) will join local representatives, community partners and President of DONA International, Ravae S.M. Sinclair, in announcing new legislation to provide coverage under the federal Medicaid program for services provided by doulas and certified professional midwives. The legislation is H.R. 2751 MAMA’S FIRST ACT.
“…seeks to find and create opportunities for our doulas to learn how different identities and cultures impact birth and the postpartum period and the way we support people.We also support education and programming to bring doulas to under-resourced communities throughout the world, which includes the training of doula trainers and doulas from diverse communities.”
Resources for you to explore:
- Evidence-based birth article on Racial Disparities
- Supporting the Physical and Mental Health of New and Expectant Black Mothers
- the AMERICAN dream with Jennie Joseph (midwife)
- Midwives Saving Black Lives | More in Common
- Transforming FAMILY
LGBTQIA+ Liaison Responsibilities
- Advise the Intercultural Director on the critical issues and opportunities facing the LGBTQIA+community related to pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.
- Assist with the development of educational training materials and DONA Doula training requirements to ensure they are/become LGBTQIA+ inclusive and competent
- Serve as a spokesperson for the Intercultural Committee to local LGBTQIA+ demographics and address public inquiries (i.e. news outlets, media inquiries, etc).
- Make recommendations for DONA International events (i.e. Annual DONA Conference, etc) to ensure that the program(s) 1. increase awareness of LGBTQIA+ life and concerns and 2. are inclusive and competent.
Military Liaison Responsibilities
- Give guidance for doulas to know how to work with base hospitals
- Provide understanding for all the acronyms in the military, rank, etc.
- Collaborate with base programs and military hospitals. Teach them about doulas. Provide continuity in an ever transient community. Our goal is to come from the top down, implementing doulas.
- Keep military doulas engaged and involved in being a doula. We need better communication and resources for military doulas training throughout DONA International.