By: Renee Bracey Sherman, originally posted on Strong Families
“How come you have a black mother?” an inquisitive young boy asked me. We were four, playing at a park near my childhood Chicago home. I stared at him blankly, but never responded – I had no idea what he meant.
For many years I never understood why so many people would ask me that question. Growing up biracial was a challenge. Greeting cards always showed mothers and daughters with the same skin tone and light eyes; the books in school reflected “diverse” families, but separated the white family from the black one. Mine was never represented.
My father told me about the frustration she endured every time she’d take me to the zoo or park. “She’s so cute. Are you babysitting?” they’d ask. As a young mother, she was angry that people would make assumptions that she couldn’t be more than my nanny because of her chocolate skin. Having to claim your child to complete strangers wasn’t covered in the parenting guide.
My mother put herself through nursing school, and by walking across the stage with me in her belly, she taught me the importance of a good education. I’ve got her deep dimples, smile, and laugh. She raised me with her belief that it’s never too late to learn something new – she learned to figure skate in her 40s and participated in ice shows with my brothers and me. How could she not be my mother? Why do our skin colors even matter?
Each Mother’s day, birthday, and any other day you buy a card for, I comb the card aisles looking for the perfect card. One without images of people or some cheesy line about how she taught me to cook and sew. I search for a card that captures all of the intangible life lessons that she instills in me everyday. Until now, there haven’t been cards for that.
I’m thankful for the Mama’s Day card campaign. It allows me to say what I truly feel and have an image that reflects my love for her. I created a card that gives me the power to show her what I love about her. The Mama’s Day cards make me thankful for everything she has given me, especially her love.
By: Renee Bracey Sherman, originally posted on Strong Families
Full Spectrum Advocacy: A review of current bills in the California Legislature that effect your body & your community
There are some very exciting bills headed through the California legislature. These bills will have direct impact on reproductive health and justice in our communities! Come learn more about the following bills and what you can do to make sure they pass. Let's make California a full-spectrum state!
AB 154 will reduce barriers to reproductive health care by allowing trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform early aspiration abortions.
AB1308 & SB 304 will clarify midwifery educational paths in California, make CNMs able to precept student midwives in the midwives/LM track, and allow midwives/LMs to order medications and devices they use within their scope of practice.
AB271 will repeal the family cap law. The current law (hopefully to be repealed) states that if a parent is receiving money through CalWORKS and that parent has a child, the parent is not eligible for additional aid for that child, despite the growth of their family.
Come learn what you can do to get involved!
Where: 32 Langton St. SF, CA 94103 Just three blocks from Civic Center BART!
Cost: $5-$15 Suggested donation for BADP, no one will be turned away for lack of funds
Accessibility: The space is wheelchair accessible (but the restroom does not have grab bars). Babes in arms are welcome. Please email salon_fund [at] bayareadoulaproject [dot] org or send us a note on facebook if you have any questions about accessibility
Ashley Morris speaking on AB154:
Ashley is the Senior Organizer at the ACLU of Northern California. Ashley’s policy and advocacy work is currently focused primarily on reproductive justice and increasing access to abortion care. While at the ACLU, Ashley served as the Northern California Regional Coordinator for the 2012 Yes on 34/SAFE California Campaign and the Northern California Regional Director for the 2008 Get Up/Vote Down 4&8 Campaign. She performs with Gamelan Sari Raras and previously served as board co-chair of Good Ol’ Girls, an organization that connects progressive women on the rise with social and professional opportunities.
Treesa McLean speaking on AB1308:
Treesa Mclean is a midwife who has been serving Bay Area families in the reproductive health community for 30 years. She is currently active with California Families for Access to Midwives, working tirelessly to ensure that all Californians who want have access to midwifery care, and that those who give birth at home can have access to quality care. birthwithtreesa.com cafamiliesformidwives.org
Sierra Harris speaking on AB271:
Sierra Harris is the Assistant Director of ACCESS Women's Health Justice. She is passionate about reproductive justice and eliminating systems of oppression that impacts people's reproductive and sexual health and decisions. In her spare time, Sierra enjoys cooking and hosting family dinners - a space she believes cultivates community outside the activism sphere and is central to revolution. accesswhj.org
Lupe Rodriguez will help us to understand the legislative process and how we can have an impact!
Guadalupe (Lupe) Rodríguez is Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, where she oversees government relations, communications and grassroots advocacy. Lupe is the board chair for ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, a statewide organization dedicated to making
by Ruby Warnock
A group of our doulas got together yesterday to watch a screening of the film After Tiller as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. The film offers a humanistic account of the state of third trimester abortions in this country following the assassination of the late Dr. Tiller at his church in Wichita, Kansas in 2009.
“I would prefer, personally, to have a challenging, stimulating and emotionally and spiritually rewarding career that is short, rather than have a long one that is filled with mediocrity, feeling you don’t make any difference to people.” The moving words of Dr. Tiller open this captivating documentary.
The film features doctors LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern, Shelley Sella and Susan Robinson, the only four providers openly practicing third trimester abortions in the United States following the death of Dr. Tiller and provides a moving picture of the daily struggle of this challenging work. The film did a great job of highlighting the struggles experienced by all involved in the process. It manages to provide an accessible and unique prospective to the heated topic of late-term abortions.
We arrived to metal detectors and a strong police presence due to the guest appearance of one of the doctors featured in the film, Dr. Shelley Sella. We were lucky enough to meet her after the film!
She is a truly inspiring hero, although she would prefer "role model," which is why she chose to participate in the film. Her dedication to women is moving:
“I think about what I do all the time – and I recognize what I do. At times I struggle and—at times I don’t. But I always come back to the woman and what she’s going through,” says Dr. Sella in the film.
The film was also attended by the lovely filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, the talented editor Greg O'Toole and one of the cinematographers Emily Topper.
Third-trimester abortions are one of the most contended and misrepresented issues of the abortion debate and the film did a fantastic job of providing the viewer with insight into the difficult decisions that go into this procedure by the providers, the women and their families. After Tiller offers a thoughtful presentation of the issues accessible to audiences with variable views about abortion.
Our April Salon Series event was full of beer, bowlin', and raising bucks! The Double Strike Doulas kicked some serious butt to raise funds to help low-income folks who contact our dear friends at ACCESS Women's Health Justice during the National Network of Abortion Funds' Bowl-a-Thon 2013!
Between the two bowl-a-thons, in Oakland & Los Angeles, ACCESS raised over $31k! And at the Oakland event there were 63 strikes. The National Bowl-a-thon has already raised over $500k.
Lots of folks have inquired about the awesome "Uterus MINE" tee shirts that our doulas were pictured wearing at Access Women's Health Justice's bowl-a-thon. Well, don't worry your heads folks, you can get them through the amazing Heather at 4000 Years for Choice! Support a great community activist by getting your handmade shirt today!