EP38: Racha Lawler on Black Midwifery and Systemic Racism in Health Care

What Racha Shares:

-her personal story as a black midwife in the United States, her pilgrimage to South Africa and initiation into becoming a Sangoma

-her insights about the systemic racism within health care

-the challenges women of colour are facing on their path to becoming midwives

-the sacrifices and decisions she has made to make her career work as a single mother

-the need for ‘passing the baton’ and creating a ‘seat at the table’ for black women to affect change within midwifery and beyond


What You’ll Hear:

-her pilgrimage to South Africa and her initiation into becoming a Sangoma (healer)

-her journey as a rite of passage

-the revelation she had after returning from black majority population in South Africa to a white majority in the U.S

-the shift in the clients who are now hiring her and the connections they are making

-the current state of black midwifery & systemic racism in health care

-the barriers of becoming a midwife in America as a black woman

-meeting the needs of her community with worst birth/health statistics

-her commitment to taking on black student midwives & why she doesn’t charge for preceptorship

-people in power need to relinquish some of their power for real change

-reparations & midwifery

-racism in midwifery (particularly in the Southern states) and how midwifery is still illegal in the some states

-why Racha uses her privilege to speak up for apprentice and beginner midwives

-why she chooses to be licensed

-the lack of support and abuse women of color are facing during their apprenticeships as midwives

-single mothering and the importance of leaning on your community

-building awareness, strategizing for change outside of social media and how to continue the conversation