Because of the courageous voices of midwives of color (MOC) and their allies at the last ACNM Annual Meeting, ACNM was tasked with developing a mechanism to robustly fund the work of Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC) in developing the infrastructure and capacity to address the marginalization of midwives of color by the ACNM and chart the course to a more inclusive and equitable organization.
To this end, in January 2020, ACNM created an add-on feature providing the ability to contribute to a new ACNM Midwives of Color Initiative Fund when members join ACNM or renew membership. Contributions will be held in an account for MOCC to administer according to the priorities of MOC. ACNM members may contribute at any time outside of the join or renewal process via this link.
The establishment of the ACNM Midwives of Color Initiative Fund was spearheaded by a motion made at the 2019 Annual Meeting by ACNM member Ana Delgado, CNM from San Francisco, CA, with help and support from MOC and MOC allies from all over the country:
The Motion: ACNM members who identify as midwives of color (MOC) or any ACNM member should be able to indicate on the membership application/renewal form that they would like $100 of their total member dues to go directly to the Friends of Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC). This is not an additional donation. This motion was passed on the floor after being amended to include “or any ACNM member.”
At the May 2019 ACNM Board Meeting, the Board agreed to provide resources to the MOCC in their work to support midwives of color and create lasting change at ACNM. ACNM’s passion for this goal is further fueled through the recognition of the impact of racism on the health outcomes within communities of color, acknowledgement of the ways that the professions of midwifery and nursing have perpetuated oppression, resulting in a workforce where midwives of color are significantly underrepresented, and the understanding that the impacts of this troubled history has made participation in ACNM difficult and, at times, traumatic for MOC. This add-on fund is a step towards acknowledging this past and moving forward in truth and reconciliation with the aim of advancing equity both within our profession and in the communities we serve.
There was, however, a concern that the proposed mechanism to withdraw funds from the ACNM budget was not consistent with ACNM’s Bylaws. In considering several other mechanisms to support the purpose of the motion, the Board approved a plan for an add-on to membership joins and renewals to support initiatives led by midwives of color. This plan was accomplished with the ACNM Midwives of Color Initiative Fund. ACNM members can also donate to the fund outside of the normal join and renewal process.