We are a small and growing network of women of color from across Rhode Island. We are on a journey to create a space where we can build foundations for deep solidarity across differences, strengthen community connections, and create change in our lives and communities.
- Birth Justice
Launching a five-part political education series grounded in their foundational frameworks of Black Feminism and Reproductive Justice, SISTA Fire evolved and grew into its values-aligned membership framework. The past year brought challenges with the housing crisis, burnout, and continued COVID outbreaks. Healing and grounding work became essential at every meeting, as well as support through mutual aid.
Despite increased challenges, SISTA Fire developed a Black Maternal Health campaign centered around Birth Justice and aimed at the policies and practices at Women and Infants Hospital (WIH). Through a virtual community forum attended by 83 participants, including 10 senior leaders from WIH and Care New England (WIH’s parent health system), participants provided testimony highlighting inequitable and harmful treatment at WIH. As a result, representatives from WIH and Care New England developed an action plan, including public reporting on progress.
SISTA Fire was also a key organization in the passing of the Rhode Island Doula Reimbursement Act. Through the Act, doula services are reimbursable by every Rhode Island insurance and Medicaid plan, increasing access for families and creating a pathway toward a living wage for working doulas. The Act also raised the Medicaid reimbursement for doula services from $800 to $1,500, which is the highest reimbursement rate in the country.