Village Gifts: Abide Women's Health Services

 
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If it takes a village to raise one child, it's going to take many villages to support work that challenges and counteracts injustice in pregnancy, birth and postpartum today. The Educated Birth is committed to being a part of that.

We do this in three ways: (1) gifting our own resources to qualifying groups, (2) spreading awareness of these groups via our blog and social media, and (3) inviting others in the village to share and donate to these groups, too.

 

Village Gift Recipient:
Abide Women's Health Services

Dallas, Texas
 

Describe your organization. What should people know about who you are, why you started, who you reach, and what you’re doing in your community today?
Abide Women's Health Services exists to improve birth outcomes in communities with the lowest quality of care. We started this organization because of the disparities in maternal and infant health among black women and because of the lack of equity in midwifery. We have a deep desire to see South Dallas and the southern part of Dallas revived. When you look at a map and you see nothing but red and you have the awareness that these communities are impacted on a systemic scale, then you can choose to just ignore it or choose to be part of the solution. Abide WHS strives to put forth solution based practices which require centering and amplifying the voices of woc. Our core values consist of Intrinsic Human Value, Human Flourishing, Reparations, Redemptive Justice, Racial Conciliation, Equity, Inventive Systems and Posture of Heart. These values are the fabric of our organization. We intend to seek the community to aid in guiding our practices as we train up midwives and educators who align with our values and mission.

How does your organization promote the work of reproductive justice?
For Abide WHS reproductive justice looks like considering the systems that impact women. Systems that do not support women. Systems that essentially kill women and their children even when they have chosen life for their unborn child. Abide recognized that justice is not justice when women fear death in bringing life into the world. Justice is not justice when the stress of racism causes hypertension and preterm birth. Justice is not justice when teens are shamed when they are pregnant and attempt to hide their pregnancies, justice is not justice when you lack access to culturally competent & anti-racist healthcare, justice is not justice when you fear your child will be killed by someone who's job is to serve and protect, justice is not justice when a community lacks access to healthy food and supplements to maintain a healthy pregnancy and justice is not justice when black women are lacking equity in healthcare. Abide WHS sees injustice and seeks to play a role in dismantling it.

Take us behind the scenes.
What does someone who reaches out to your organization get?

You will be welcomed with a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude. We do not have a location as of yet but we are working on it. But I guarantee it will be unlike any other space in the metroplex. Those who reach out to us will receive compassionate, holistic, evidence based and culturally competent care. Welcome to the judgement free zone.

Where do you see your org and your work in a year, 5 years, 10 years?
Dreaming is what gets me excited. Our end goal includes having an Easy Access Clinic similar to the Jennie Joseph's model (if not replicated) and a Birth Center by year five. We want to see Abide replicated in communities across the country, similar to South Dallas, communities with the lowest quality of care. We want to be an example of racial conciliation and our hope is that it spreads and non people of color begin to not only get it but gain the understand that in order for us to improve health disparities within the black community, we must shift focus and put, as a dear friend recently stated, "their money where their thoughts and prayers are". I see more birth centers centering black women and woc, and I see more midwives choosing to reduce barriers that prevent black women from becoming midwives.

What are ways that folks can support the work that you’re doing non-monetarily, and monetarily? Do you have a donation page we can link to?
Donations can be made through our website at www.abidewomenshealth.org and through our Facebook page which will link to our paypal account. We also have an amazon wish list which is listed on our website as well.

We are seeking supporters that will host small fundraisers in their homes. All that that would require is the host sending out an evite and providing a small meal for a small group of people (10-15ppl). This is the best way for us to connect with people face to face to grasp what we are trying to do and to establish long-term supporters of our efforts. We will also appreciate anyone interested in holding a diaper/baby clothing/maternity needs drive so that we can support our community in a tangible way. Those who have expertise in grant writing and fundraising are welcome to contact us as well.

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