Human Rights in Childbirth United States Summit 2016 Speaker Biographies…
Human Rights in Childbirth United States Summit 2016
Nicolle Gonzales I am Navajo and my clan is Tl’aashchi’I, Red Bottom clan, born for Tachii’nii, Red Running into the Water clan. Hashk’aa hadzohi, Yucca fruit-strung-out-in-a line clan, and Naasht’ezhi dine’e, Zuni clan. Growing up on and off the Navajo reservation near Farmington, New Mexico our traditional healing practices have always been apart of my life. I attribute my accomplishments to the many prayers and ceremonies done on my behalf as I was growing into the woman I am today. While obtaining my graduate education, it became apparent that our traditional healing practices and philosophies about “health” and “wellness” were vital to the care I provided as a Nurse Midwife. It is with this deep understanding and respect for our way of life as indigenous peoples that my worldviews are based on and are reflected the projects I participate in. My primary goal as a Nurse Midwife is to keep birth sacred and in native communities, by integrating and applying traditional knowledge.
I received my Bachelors degree in Nursing and a Masters degree in Nurse Midwifery from the University of New Mexico. I have had the pleasure of being involved in several community projects since the completion of my education as well as being invited to serve on several health panels emphasizing cultural diversity in midwifery. In addition to my community service I have served as a mentor for emerging Native American midwifery students at the University of New Mexico and continue to support future midwives.
RaShaunda Lugrand CHBD | NLP | IPBC is the Founder and director of The InTune Mother ProjectTM, an Independent Perinatal Birth Consultant, Breastfeeding Support Coach, Holistic Doula via The Matrona, Chairperson of Social Justice and Language Inclusion of The BirthKeeper Core Council, and member of Central Oklahoma Perinatal Coalition.
With the support of her husband Melvin, RaShaunda started her work in this field in 2007, after the birth of their 1st son. She chose Marinah Farrell, midwife, activist, and now president of Midwives Alliance of North America to support her in a magical homebirth. This experience empowered RaShaunda to honor her sacred abilities and trust her intuition, with her husband in mind. After the birth of their third son, they were inspired to formally create the social welfare company The InTune Mother, LLC in 2013. Their work advocates for safe birth anywhere, for consciousness in birth, and parenting, particularly for home birth. She is a selfdirected student and stayathome mom of 3 children under the age of 10, which she homeschools, while assisting other homeschooling families via her experiential unschooling platform SOIL GrassRoots Academy. Her focus is conscious conception, selfdirected homebirth, culturally centered perinatal care, breastfeeding education, healthy male to female relationships, and early childhood education. She is a published author of The Karma of The Butterfly, singer, songwriter, and poet. Homeschooling is her greatest commitment. RaShaunda is an activist rather than a reactionist. Spiritually she gravitates towards the mystical forms of all religions. “Love is the highest law and only true religion”.
Indra Lusero , J.D. -- Indra has been a teacher, a performance artist, a doula, a wall-paper hanger, a non-profit manager, and a counselor at law (among other things). This interdisciplinary approach is part of what makes Indra a Social Midwife: a term coined by Civil Rights leader and longtime Denver, Colorado activist Vincent Harding to describe people who help give birth to a new way. This term captures the way Indra works, whether it is as a volunteer helping to give birth to a new organization, or as a doula supporting a family through labor: Indra listens deeply and assumes that the organism in question knows what it needs. Indra’s interdisciplinary toolbag includes a B.A. in Creative Writing, an M.A. in Theatre, and most recently a law degree. Indra is published in various places including the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, The Journal of Democracy and Education, Educational Insights, and Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology. As a genderqueer, Chicana parent with a diverse family of people from all over the world, Indra is committed to building “a world in which all worlds fit.”
Julia Chinyere Oparah is an activist scholar, social justice educator and experienced community organizer, who is dedicated to producing critical scholarship in the service of progressive social movements. Oparah is an African diaspora specialist, whose interests span a number of different social concerns, including activism by women of color, violence against women, women and the prison-industrial complex, restorative justice, queer and transgender liberation, race and adoption, research justice and birth activism. Her work is informed by personal experiences of crossing racial, gendered and national boundaries as a biracial, transracial/ transnational adoptee, survivor of intimate violence and queer parent with ties to Britain, Nigeria and the U.S.
Oparah is professor and department chair of Ethnic Studies at Mills College. She played a leading role in the establishment of Mills’ Queer Studies Program and sits on the Advisory Committee for that program. She recently led the College’s Gender Expression and Identity initiative, leading to the production of an important report on improving the experiences of transgender and gender-fluid students at Mills.
Oparah was awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship in Sex, Race and Globalization in 2002, and held the prestigious Canada Research Chair in Social Justice and Diversity at the University of Toronto from 2004-6. Educated at Cambridge University and Warwick University, she has graduate degrees in Sociology and Ethnic Studies. In addition, Oparah trained in community development. Prior to entering academia, she coordinated a black women’s center in the UK, and was executive director of a national development agency for non-profits serving communities of color.
Oparah is author of Other Kinds of Dreams: Black Women’s Organizations and the Politics of Organization, the only comprehensive history of the black women’s movement on Britain. She is editor of Global Lockdown: Race, Gender and the Prison-Industrial Complex, a seminal work that mapped the connections between globalization, gender and mass incarceration. She is also co-editor of 3 books: Activist Scholarship: Antiracism, Feminism and Social Change, Color of Violence: the Incite! Anthology and Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption.
She is currently working with the grassroots community organization Black Women Birthing Justice on a participatory action research project about black women’s experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, and editing an anthology on black women in the birth justice movement. In her spare time she practices mindfulness meditation and vinyasa yoga, sings along to gospel music, hangs out with toddlers and is learning horse-riding. Oparah has Nigerian (Igbo) and British origins, and immigrated to the US in 1995. She lives in East Oakland with her partner and daughter.
Kimberly Turbin I’m Kimberly Turbin, and I’m one of the many women living in America who has experienced Obstetric Violence. Luckily I am able to speak about my trauma with others and share what happened to me, so that other women can learn from my experience and know their rights. I gave birth to my son Rio in 2013. While I was giving birth, the OB cut my vagina with scissors, completely 100% against my will, twelve times. I put my birth video on YouTube, just to see if it has happened to anyone else or if anyone thought it was normal. That’s when I realized that disrespect and abuse during childbirth happens to so many other women. I knew that I had the right to say “no” to that doctor, and that what he did to me was not only wrong, it was illegal, and I decided to stand up. In the three years since the incident, I have filed a police report that’s being investigated at the moment, filed a complaint to medical board of California, & filed a lawsuit by myself before any lawyer would take my case. None of this was easy, but there are things we can do to stand up to bullies.