Birth Justice Fund

Proposals are by invitation only

Supports midwives, doulas, and birthworkers of color leading innovative direct service delivery, advocacy, and organizing efforts to make high-quality midwifery and doula care and training accessible to communities of color and low-income communities.

The Confluence of Service and Strategy

Groundswell Fund’s Birth Justice Fund addresses the alarming rates of poor infant and maternal health outcomes in communities of color by mobilizing donors and supporting strategies to make midwifery and doula care and training accessible.

The Birth Justice Fund (BJF) supports care services, training, and policy efforts that are making high-quality midwifery and doula care and training accessible to women of color and low-income women.

These are key strategies in addressing alarming rates of poor infant and maternal health outcomes in communities of color.

2021 Birth Justice Fund Grantees

Letting Goals Talk

In 2021, BJF’s largest round of grantmaking to date, we awarded $1.9 million in grants to 28 local and national organizations.

BJF With Our Minds on Justice
Learn more about how Groundswell’s Birth Justice Fund approaches improving perinatal wellbeing and mental health.

Responding to Covid-19

Data shows that Black and Indigenous birthing people are 2 to 3 times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white birthing people in the U.S. – a gap that has widened over time, despite the U.S. spending $111 Billion annually on maternity care. It is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic will worsen these birthing disparities despite increased public awareness in recent years.

At the height of the first wave of the pandemic, Groundswell Fund made the strategic decision to automatically renew funding for Birth Justice Fund grantees – most of whom are frontline healthcare workers – without a written grant application so that they could focus on providing critical care and transitioning to new telehealth and safety procedures. Groundswell Fund also awarded rapid response grants provided funding to support the mental health and wellbeing of birthing families of color and their babies during this difficult time.

At a time when many grantees were facing cuts or challenges with revenue streams, the Birth Justice Fund more than doubled its support for birthworkers of color on the frontlines who are bravely serving communities of color during the multiple crises of recent years.

Uzazi Village

Image courtesy of Uzazi Village, Birth Justice Fund grantee

How Are Birth Justice Funds Distributed?

The Birth Justice Fund advisory committee awards over $1 Million annually to organizations using direct service delivery, grassroots organizing, and policy advocacy to make midwifery and doula care and training accessible to women of color, low-income women, and transgender people.

Investing in Financial Resiliency

The Birth Justice Fund provides capacity-building offerings in addition to grant funding. This includes training and coaching support focused on increasing financial resilience and addressing the unique sustainability challenges of Birth Justice Fund grantees. Most Birth Justice Fund grantees are led by Black and Indigenous women, transgender, and gender-expansive folks. Therefore, our capacity-building programs address and acknowledge the historical disinvestment and undercapitalization of Black-led and Indigenous-led organizations, in particular. GF’s Birth Justice Fund’s financial resilience program includes a mix of webinars, technical assistance, and 1:1 coaching. We seek to set our grantees up for success by positioning them to best leverage the increased resources flowing into the perinatal health sector at this time.

How to apply for Birth Justice Funding  

The Birth Justice Fund has one primary grantmaking round in the spring of each year. The fund provides general operating grants, capacity-building grants, and project grants, with grant sizes ranging from $10,000-$200,000.

Proposals are by invitation only. However, interested organizations are encouraged to contact Groundswell with a brief summary of their work, and when appropriate, staff will schedule a call to discuss.

Image at the top of the page courtesy of Jamaa Birth Village