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Redefining Family: Accurately Capturing Black Stories

Because we live in a society built on white supremacy, we learn quickly that Black ways of being are worth less to society than white ways of being. As birth professionals working with Black, brown, and Indigenous communities, we are often called to categorize clients’ or patients’ experiences in order to prove the efficacy of our work.

Because of the limited ways white supremacy defines “family,” large swaths of Black families’ experiences are being erased and pathologized. What if we rethink the ways we collect our clients’ or patients’ stories? What if we made space for the variety of ways Black folx build their support systems? In this workshop, attendees will reframe family structures, the system of gender, and data collection through a decolonized Black feminist lens in order to capture more robust and accurate stories of Black birthing people, families, and communities.

Learning outcomes: in this session, participants will

  • Examine the historic uses of gender and the nuclear family to perpetuate capitalistic white supremacy,
  • Contrast Black family and community making with the typical nuclear family structure, and
  • Analyze current data collection practice to determine better ways of collecting accurate and robust data.

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