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The Birth Justice Fund works to eliminate disparities in pregnancy and birth outcomes experienced by women of color, low-income women, young women and transgender people. We accomplish this by increasing access to empowering and culturally relevant birthing options, led by midwives, doulas and other birth workers of color, and changes in policy and practice aimed at improving birth outcomes.

WHY BIRTH JUSTICE?

Birth Justice is core to achieving Reproductive Justice. Today, the United States spends more than any other industrialized nation on childbirth, yet has the worst outcomes — higher rates of death for birthing parents and babies, especially for people of color, along with higher likelihood of health disparities, such as low birth weight. While global maternal mortality rates drop, in the U.S. maternal mortality rates are on the rise.

The Birth Justice Fund partners with organizations advancing and expanding midwifery and doula care as part of a broader vision of justice, autonomy, and empowerment for parents, children, families, and communities. Birth Justice Fund grantees provide the kinds of transformative services, models and training that center reproductive justice and significantly reduce maternal and infant health disparities. This fund supports efforts to increase the numbers of birthworkers of color, while at the same time advancing policies and programs that expand access to empowering care for all pregnant people and their families. Birth Justice Fund grantees are creating a new, community-centered vision of maternal, child, and family wellness.

WHO DOES THE BIRTH JUSTICE FUND SUPPORT?

Model clinics, Birth centers, and Birth Justice practices

The fund seeks to increase access for women of color, low-income women, young people, and queer, transgender and gender nonconforming people to culturally congruent midwifery services, doula support, and other holistic birth options, while promoting a sense of fundamental dignity for parents, families and communities. This includes support for community-based birth centers and individual clinics that serve marginalized communities and improve birth outcomes, particularly those that are model projects for other communities seeking to attain these goals.  

Support for Birthworkers of color

The fund supports projects and organizations that seek to connect, support, train and organize women of color, low-income women, young women, transgender people and queer people who are engaged in birth work, including doulas, lactation consultants, postpartum service workers and midwives. The fund is interested in projects led by and for birthworkers of color that are seeking to increase the number of professionally trained midwives of color. This includes organizations that build networks and infrastructure to support birthworkers of color to increase their knowledge and skills, and advocate for policies and practices that will better meet the needs of their communities.

Organizing and advocacy to improve birth outcomes

The fund supports organizing and advocacy efforts that address disparities in access and outcomes on a systemic and policy level. In order to achieve these goals, the fund prioritizes community education, organizing and advocacy around the following topics:

  • Medicaid reimbursement for midwifery and doula services, and other approaches to increasing access for low-income people at the state and national levels.
  • Regulatory policies that are friendly to birth centers and other out-of-hospital births.
  • Efforts to support states to track and address maternal mortality and morbidity and mandate implicit bias training for providers. 
  • Decriminalization of pregnancy and birthing choices, including advocacy on behalf of the rights of birthworkers, incarcerated women people, people who use substances substance-using women, transgender people, and all people to choose how, when, and where they will birth.

The Birth Justice Fund supports organizations that connect women of color, low-income women, young women, transgender people and queer people more deeply to themselves, their power and their ability to transform their communities by employing the values inherent to midwifery and other traditional birth practices.

Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Breath of My Heart Birthplace
Tewa Women United
Uzazi Village

CURRENT BIRTH JUSTICE GRANTEES

GROUNDSWELL’S SUPPORT

The Birth Justice Fund provides general operating grants, capacity building grants and project grants, with grant sizes ranging from $15,000-$80,000. Proposals are by invitation only. However, interested organizations are encouraged to contact Groundswell at info@groundswellfund.org with a brief summary of their work and, where possible or appropriate, staff will schedule a call to discuss.

To learn more about Groundswell’s Birth Justice Fund, please contact Program Officer Naa Hammond