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.
Ancient Song Doula Services
Birthmark Doula Collective
The Birthplace Lab
Breath of My Heart Birthplace
Changing Woman Initiative
Healing Clinic Collective
International Center for Traditional Childbearing
InTune Mother Project
Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman Pregnancy Clinic
Mother Health International: Sisters Keeper Doula Collective
National Advocates for Pregnant Women
National Perinatal Taskforce
Native Youth Sexual Health Network
Prison Birth Project
Sista Midwife Productions
Southern Birth Justice Network
TEWA Women United
Young Women United
The United States spends the most of any industrialized country on childbirth, yet ranks 50th in the world for maternal mortality. This problem is even more acute for certain communities. Black women, for example, are four times more likely to die of childbirth related complications than white women and, according to current CDC data, their infant mortality rate is 2.2 times the rate for white women. Native American women face infant mortality rates at 1.6 times the rate of white women. In the past 15 years, cesarean rates had their sharpest increase (57 percent) in young women under the age of 25. Additionally, there are a significantly higher percentage of babies of color born prematurely or with low birth weight than white babies due to lack of access to adequate prenatal care and other inequities.
Midwifery and doula care are changing these outcomes by providing low-cost, high-quality care where it might not otherwise exist; reducing the rate of hospital interventions like cesarean birth; and lowering infant and maternal mortality rates among vulnerable populations.
The Birth Justice Fund partners with individuals, organizations, and communities that work to address these disparities and embrace the birth process as a path toward autonomy and empowerment for parents, children, family and community. Expanding beyond the birth process itself, the Fund supports efforts that apply principles of midwifery, as defined by the community itself, throughout entire communities, systems of care and institutions.
We recognize the importance of choice, access to information and resources, and education that empowers people to make their own decisions and act on their own behalf in pursuit of their reproductive health and wellbeing. We recognize that women, in particular, have been disempowered in this regard — but that not all women are disempowered in the same way — and that transgender and gender nonconforming people also face disempowerment. We believe that an empowering birth experience offers a strong space from which to organize and advance systemic change.
We honor birth as a sacred community process that places the voices and leadership of parents at its center and addresses issues of equity, access, and birth justice within the context of the whole community.
We see value in connecting individuals, communities, and generations of women in order to break down isolation, deepen understanding across difference, and join together for greater systemic impacts. We see value in connecting people who parent and give birth across sex, gender, race and class differences.
We believe that the most transformative approaches to childbirth integrate the whole being — mind, body, and spirit — of the person giving birth. This allows for the healing of past traumas and strengthens family and community relationships, including our relationship to the Earth.
The fund seeks to increase access to midwifery care for low-income women, communities of color, young people, transgender and gender nonconforming people by supporting community-based birth centers and individual clinics that serve marginalized communities and improve birth outcomes. The Fund is particularly interested in clinics that may share with other communities as model projects for attaining these goals.
The fund supports projects and organizations that seek to connect, support, train and organize women of color, low-income women, young women and transgender people who are engaged in birth work, including doulas, lactation consultants, post-partum service workers and midwives.
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:
The Birth Justice Fund provides general operating grants, capacity building grants and project grants, with grant sizes ranging from $5,000-$40,000.
Proposals are by invitation only. However, interested organizations are encouraged to contact Groundswell at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief summary of their work and, where possible/appropriate, staff will schedule a call to discuss.