The 2020 ACNM Annual Meeting coincided with a national conversation about racism incited by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As racism within midwifery and midwifery education exists, the national conversation served as impetus for the College to appoint a Racism in Midwifery Education Task Force to evaluate and address racism in midwifery education. Beginning in August of 2020, the Task Force formed 4 subgroups of volunteer ACNM members to address racism within policies, faculty and preceptors, and program content as well as the impact on students. Below is a summary of the work accomplished so far.
The student group has focused on 2 main areas. First, they partnered with the mentorship program for BIPOC students to provide support and counteract isolation encountered by students of color in midwifery programs with regular meet and greet opportunities. Secondly, they are partnering with other professionals within the birth community and ACNM to create a CNM program at a HBCU. The group is working on a proposal for the school and funding.
The group has also identified the need for a midwifery education program assessment tool that would be informed by students’ experiences with the purpose of informing prospective students and placing positive pressure on programs. A potential tool would be based on the whitecoats4blacklives.org Racial Justice Report Card.
The policy subgroup is working on a hotline housed within the College to provide a safe space for students experiencing racism to both report their concerns and receive support.
Program Content Subgroup
The program content group has developed a toolkit for faculty of midwifery education programs with 5 components
1. Textbook evaluation tool
2. Curriculum assessment tool
3. Self-assessment tool
4. Scripting exercise for classroom use
5. Glossary of terms
All components of the toolkit have been reviewed by the ACNM Board of Directors and are being reviewed by committees within the ACNM for comment and suggestion.
Finally, the group has made recommendations to the Board of Directors that ACNM fund a staff position to oversee the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging/Antiracism work within ACNM and continue the work of the Task Force long term
Faculty and Preceptors Subgroup
The faculty and preceptors subgroup made the following 3 recommendations to the ACNM Board of Directors which were approved:
1. ACNM collaborate with ACME to develop Preceptor, Faculty & Students Code of Conduct.
2. ACNM collaborate with AMCB to include anti-racist module preceptor content that is mandatory for all CNM/CMs.
3. ACNM collaborate with AMCB to include professional discipline standards that address faculty and preceptor misconduct.
Working together with the program content subgroup, they are engaging with ACME on implementation of an antiracist module as mandatory within midwifery education programs
The Task Force is moving forward with plans for dissemination of its work to midwifery educators and the ACNM membership.
This is an interim report of the ACNM Racism in Midwifery Education Task Force. The authors (listed alphabetically) are all members of the Program Content Subcommittee of the task force.
Heather Bradford, PhD(c), CNM, FACNM
Nancy MacMorris-Adix, MN, CNM, FACNM
Laura Manns-James, PhD, CNM,WHNP-BC, CNE,FACNM
Emily K. Stallings, CNM, MID, BA