Anti-racism and Inclusivity Statement
The recent terrorist attack in London that took the lives of the Afzaal family has left us horrified. We cannot fully express our condolences to the community. We know that anti-Muslim hate is a serious problem in Canada and we must do our part to put a stop to it. We recognize that this attack is only one of the recent examples of racism, bigotry and discrimination that have occurred in the past year. We are saddened for the individuals in our community who face these injustices regularly. We pledge to not just acknowledge but to actively reflect and work towards changing our language, our practices, and our care in order to better serve our diverse community at our midwifery practice.
As a first step, we feel it is important to release this statement to hold ourselves accountable. Within this statement, we would like to pay tribute and honour some communities in London that regularly face discrimination. We recognize that this is not an exhaustive list and we wish to send love, appreciation, and acknowledgment to all of the diverse individuals and groups that make up our midwifery clients.
We acknowledge our privilege to be living and working on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Attawandaron peoples. We know that the discoveries of unmarked graves across our country at the sites of residential schools are just beginning. We recognize that the estimated 4100 Indigenous lives lost at residential schools is a fraction of the true number and we grieve the intergenerational trauma to our Indigenous community members. We support a continued commitment to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada with respect to Indigenous people. We particularly want to do our part to contribute to the Calls to Action relevant to healthcare, specifically with regards to pregnancy, birth, and newborn care.
With this month’s celebration of 2SLGBTQ+ pride, we want to acknowledge the trauma and discrimination experienced by members of this community in healthcare and during pregnancy and childbirth.
The Association of Ontario Midwives put out a call in June 2020 for all members to critically reflect on white privilege in our society and make space for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) midwives and students. The discrimination that BIPOC families have experienced during childbirth is not acceptable and we are actively examining how we can improve care to this community.
We know that words are not enough if we don’t have actions to help contribute to a less discriminatory and racist world. The following actions are the ways the midwives at our practice are working on our inclusivity.
In response to the lack of diversity in the Midwifery Education Program, we are committed to offering learning opportunities to students in the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program for international midwives who are training to become registered in Canada. We have also contributed financially to a fund to increase accessibility for BIPOC students to the Midwifery Education Program.
We are committed to ongoing periodic reviews of existing policies, protocols, and services to ensure they reflect the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We are working on setting up a diversity and inclusivity audit of our practice by a community member/organization that specializes in sensitivity training.
Our practice is supporting a call to create an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee at the Women’s Care Unit at London Health Sciences Centre that includes diverse community members passionate about equitable health care for all families.
We further commit to an ongoing partnership with community resources and financial contributions to multifaith, BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+ organizations.
Lastly, we are planning to change the name of our practice to better reflect the principles of inclusivity that we deeply care about. It is important that pregnant people in this community who do not identify as women feel safe to seek care from our clinic.