A group of us gathered in my home to view No Woman, No Cry.
My intention in bringing this group of women together was to raise awareness for maternal health AND to create an authentic community in which something can be born. Collectively, we are capable of more than we can do alone. So we began in silence in order to create a resonate circle and attune our minds and hearts to the power available to us. I shared pieces of my personal story- how childbirth was a peak experience for me, how I learned to mother myself, and how that transformed me and why it brings me here, enlivened to do this.
The movie generated rich conversation and we realized just how many layers lie beneath the outward reality of maternal death. The movie points to physical, cultural, legal and bureaucratic barriers. As we discussed these barriers we uncovered something more, something that had everything to do with how we value womanhood and our sexuality.
After the movie, I told everyone about a woman named Subhudra who lives in Indore, India. She and I have been corresponding over the last few weeks. Subhadra facilitates reproductive health camps for women in remote villages of India. Her work mobilizes women to improve reproductive and gynecological health. Her intentions are even further reaching- in the form of attitudinal changes, she hopes to help women understand the ways in which patriarchal social relations oppress them and to engage men also in changing this. These camps aim to reduce the shame and taboo around reproductive health. If we want to sponsor a camp (costing $700), she could serve 40-50 women living in the slums of Indore.
We had lots of questions and ideas and were very interested in connecting further with Subhadra and the women she serves. We were clear that we wanted to engage, not simply provide a band-aid, a quick fix. So I will gather more information and we will all remain open-hearted to what might emerge.
As we learned in the movie, there are plenty of women right here in our own country and in our own city who face barriers to safe motherhood. The Jacksonville Birthing Project is a volunteer based organization in which at-risk pregnant women are paired with “sister-friends” who act as mentors and provide emotional support for the pregnant woman. The Jacksonville Birthing Project will be holding a Baby Shower on June 25. We have the opportunity to donate and/or volunteer.
I invite you to join us as we move toward our highest visions and co-create together. Take a look at our next steps…
-If you missed the movie, you can watch it on June 4 at 11 am on OWN. Set your tivo!!
– Tell Congress to co-sponsor the Maternal Health Accountability Act:
-If you have baby items to donate to the JBP’s baby shower and/or if you’d like to volunteer that day, let me know. It may be a good way to see if you’d like to become a sister-friend.
-Use facebook and other social media to write about maternal health, reflections from the film. Follow my blog.
-Read Subhadra’s post regarding reproductive rights & get an idea of the camps:
-Begin to “mother” yourself….this is how we transform the world!