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Birth Justice Fund

Proposals are by invitation only

Supports organizing advocacy, and direct service delivery efforts to make high-quality midwifery and doula care and training accessible to women of color and low-income women.

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

Black Midwives Alliance
Image courtesy of Black Midwives Alliance, Birth Justice Fund grantee

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.

GF’s goal is to increase renewal grants awarded to 25 organizations, and an additional two new organizations were awarded grants to expand the fund’s geographic reach.

Responding to Covid-19

It is likely that the maternal mortality rate for Black birthing people—already between 2.4 to 3.4 times higher than for white birthing people—will worsen due to the pandemic 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 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.

Also, in response to the pandemic, Groundswell Fund awarded rapid response grants to Birth Justice Fund grantees. In addition, Groundswell provided funding to organizations led by birth workers of color to support the mental health and wellbeing of birthing families 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 birth workers on the frontlines who are bravely serving communities of color during the multiple crises during recent years.

Uzazi Village

Image courtesy of Uzazi Village, Birth Justice Fund grantee

How Do Birth Justice Funds Get Distributed?

The Birth Justice Fund will make approximately $1M in grants to about 30 organizations in 2021. Grantees will be organizations using organizing, policy advocacy, and direct service delivery to make midwifery and doula care and training accessible to women of color, low-income women, and transgender people.

We are focusing on developing a financial resiliency program designed to address the unique needs of Birth Justice organizations.

With the majority of our grantees being led by Black and Indigenous women, transgender, and gender-expansive folks, we will ensure we are designing a program that addresses and acknowledges the historical disinvestment and undercapitalization of Black and Indigenous-led organizations.

Investsing in Financial Resiliency

As part of our capacity-building efforts, GF’s Birth Justice Fund has a  financial resilience program that 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 overall sector at this time towards their long-term sustainability.

How to apply for Birth Justice Funding  

The Birth Justice Fund has one primary grantmaking round in the fall of each year. The fund provides general operating grants, capacity-building grants, and project grants, with grant sizes ranging from $20,000-$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 Jama Birth Village