The ACOG ‘action’ was part of the Birthkeeper Summit which took place in Berkeley April 30th – May 3rd 2015. The protest at ACOG’s Annual Meeting was on the last day of the Summit.
What is a BirthKeeper?
A Birthkeeper is anyone, anywhere, who feels called to guard and protect our most precious birthright, that of being born healthy and loved into a sustainable and just world. We respect and protect the relationships that support the life-giving capabilities of mothers. Mothers who are birthing the future generations of humans. We Honor our primary relationship to Our Mother Earth who sustains and nourishes all life.
Motto: Healing Birth is Healing our Earth
Archetype/model of living: MotherBaby MotherEarth is our primary, immutable relationship.
The BirthKeeper Summit
The BirthKeeper Summit, was held at Berkeley City College, Berkeley, Calif., from April 30 to May 3, 2015, to launch a grassroots social movement for a paradigm shift which brings a maternal focus of care and compassion to life and birth systems. Attendees discussed and promoted our most precious birthright: being born healthy and loved into a flourishing and just world, which honors women and protects the life-giving relationships of MotherBaby MotherEarth.
The BirthKeeper movement strives to move forward efforts to build health and wealth equity with frontline groups who are recipients of the bulk of the social inequity now seen in the care of mothers and babies. The BirthKeeper movement understands the relationship between the health of the environment and the health of future generations of life. It also understands the necessity of supporting the Primal Period of human life — from before conception to a child’s first birthday, including birth –as a human rights issue. The BirthKeeper movement will hold annual summits and public actions in support of its values. Sunday, May 3, BirthKeepers will hold a public action in front of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.
The BirthKeeper Summit is building coalitions with aligned social change organizations. We are inviting BirthKeepers from diverse grassroots movements, including human rights activists, environmental health and social justice advocates, spiritual leaders, wellness promoters, birth and midwifery activists, and birthworkers. Those in the continuum of prevention will be joining us: environmental and reproductive health, social and rights activists, and those working in healing services: therapists and medical professionals to lifestyle segments: parents, fathers, women, youth, grandparents with a global, regional and local emphasis. A few affiliated organizations are: Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, California Indian Environmental Alliance, Center for Environmental Health; Idle No More SF Bay Area, World Organization of Prenatal Education Associates; Physicians for Social Responsibility- SF Bay Area.
Featured speakers included:
- Katsi Cook,aboriginal midwife and environmental activist for health and reproductive justice· Loretta Ross, authority on human rights, reproductive justice, hate groups, racism, and violence against women· Dr. Michel Odent, author of Childbirth and the Evolution of Homo Sapiens· Robin Lim, midwife activist and CNN Person of the Year, 2011
Program tracks of speakers include: Clear: dealing with internal and external oppression; Embodied: how biology is being changed; Social: cultural influences and how to change current harmful systems. There will be plenary sessions, workshops and open opportunities for interaction and learning, as well as celebration of art and music. Affinity groups will be given space and time to self-organize. Exploring the local resources of Berkeley for meals and entertainment will be included in the schedule. Over 300 attendees are expected from across the globe including Australia, Uganda, England, and North America.
Discounted tickets to: activists, organizers, birth professionals, couples/parents, self-employed, freelancers, non-profit employees, and those in need. Subsidized tickets to: youth, students, pregnant mothers, single mothers or fathers, and speakers. There are 15 volunteer work partial scholarships available for$50 for those who can work for the entire summit. We are strongly encouraging women of color and doulas of color to apply.
Child care will be provided for a nominal hourly fee. Lapbabies are always welcome!
‘Woman is the first environment. In pregnancy, our bodies sustain life. At the breast of women, the generations are nourished. From the bodies of women flows the relationship of those generations both to society and the natural world. In this way
the earth is our mother, the old people said. In this way, we are women are earth.’ — Katsi Cook
The BirthKeeper Summit was inspired by the Institute of Feminine Arts and Sciences and Jeannine Parvati Baker, and a portion of its profits will go to training future midwives. Schedule of speakers is subject to change.
What if MotherBaby MotherEarth was the first consideration? Vandana Shiva, Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author’s response:
‘We would substitute profit and greed and power and control with love, and sharing and caring. They would become the predominant expressions of what it means to be human. As a result of it, we would stop the violence against the earth, and we would stop the violence against women, and we would stop the violence against children. We would put back in the equation that which creates health and well-being for all, for the earth, all her beings, as well as all future generations.’
Location:Berkeley City College, CA
Registration link BirthKeeperSummit.com