My Journey: ‘Peace on Earth Begins With Birth’
Sociology of Gender class in Spring 2009 was my invitation to birth work in Alabama. The following year I worked as an intern with Alabama Birth Coalition to help secure person-centered rights for birth-givers and families in Alabama. Thanks to a scholarship from BirthWell Partners I completed DONA Doula Training in 2011, while pregnant with my first child, and immediately began attending births. Ever since then, I’ve been expanding, growing, learning, and loving from Birmingham to Boston.
My core perspective on birth and life-bearing proposes that the deeper social, biological, and theological truths undergirding the adage ‘Peace On Earth Begins With Birth’ necessitate a turn toward radical forms of embodiment. Therefore, the act of giving birth, and the conditions concerning how humans give birth, affects our ability to live nonviolently in and with the world, the most important commitment in my life.
Birthing my firstborn out-of-hospital with a midwife and other birth attendants was my initiation to embodiment; it was a moment in time so powerful that it fuels and compels me to work for the opening of birth access to and for all people everywhere. In 2014 I began a Theology and Conflict Transformation Master’s program at Boston University School of Theology and wrote every paper and eventually an entire thesis on the connections between how we birth and our collective ability to live peaceably on the earth.
Now I’m back in Birmingham where birth-givers have limited choices when it comes to life-bearing. I moved home and family to Alabama because there is much work to be done here, and with every empowered, informed choice made in reverence to the whole of creation the paradigm shifts and births new waves of justice on this Earth.