Racial justice is a shared responsibility and it’s imperative we stand together, now more than ever. MEAC aligns ourselves with those who seek justice and we want our Black family, friends, and community to know that we stand with them.
MEAC Equity Statement
As a nationally recognized agency responsible for setting the standards for direct entry midwifery education, MEAC recognizes its role in shifting the midwifery education process to address disparities in outcomes for infants and birthing people. MEAC is committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, employment, socioeconomic, or immigration status, develop the competencies, knowledge, skills, and abilities required to become direct entry midwives. MEAC openly and deeply holds that the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are important and essential components of midwifery education.
MEAC acknowledges that:
- Equity work is a process that requires commitment to engaging and re-engaging in dismantling structural oppression.
- Structural oppression in education and healthcare disproportionately impacts black people, indigenous people, LGBTQIA+ people, people of color, immigrants, those with varying abilities, and other disadvantaged populations.
- As an accrediting organization, we have the ability and responsibility not only to apply an equity lens to our work, but also to influence midwifery education overall in the adoption of principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
As an equity-focused accreditation agency, MEAC will:
- Provide standards that help schools and programs embrace and support their students as dynamic individuals with multiple intersecting identities.
- Foster educational environments that support those who have experienced high levels of oppression and have historically been marginalized to experience achievement, fairness, and opportunity within direct entry midwifery education, and through continuing education.
- Empower institutions to develop varied and innovative models that remove structural barriers to obtaining a midwifery education.
MEAC’s vision as an equity-focused and justice-oriented accrediting agency, will challenge systems and beliefs of oppression individually, within our organization, and in the broader contexts of education and health.
MEAC has and will continue to infuse equity, access, and justice into the foundations of our organization, allied communities, and midwifery education and accreditation.
- In 2018, MEAC formulated a vision as part of a 3-5-year strategic plan to “infuse equity, access, and justice into the foundations of midwifery education and accreditation”.
- In 2019, MEAC dedicated over 10% of its annual budget to equity and access expenses.
- MEAC board members and staff participated in an extensive Equity and Access program (Project X) during the in-person board meeting in 2019.
- MEAC continues the Project x training during board meetings.
- MEAC has added an Equity & Access module as part of the board member and staff onboarding.
- MEAC has increased its donation revenue in order to reduce sustaining fees for schools and to ease the financial burden for MEAC accredited schools.
- During the fiscal year 2019/2020, MEAC provided funds for MEAC accredited schools to encourage administrators to participate in Equity & Access training.
- MEAC’s Equity and Access committee has created a clear E&A statement which is the basis of everything the organization does.
- MEAC has created an E&A document, “MEAC Directors’ Checklist for Enacting Agency Changes”, which is applied to all modifications of existing, or the creation of, new policies.
- For every policy or agency change the following questions are applied:
- Does this proposed action contribute to equity, access, and/or justice in midwifery education, midwifery accreditation, and/or MEAC employment?
- Does this proposed action, address institutional racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, cis-heteronormativity, classism and/or other injustices?
- Does this proposed action contribute towards inclusion, collaboration, and engagement?
- The current revision of the MEAC standards has incorporated several layers of Equity & Access review, and the proposed revisions include a number of benchmarks specifically to address Equity & Access concerns.
MEAC has put together a list of resources about racial injustice, birth inequity, and how we can be more supportive during this critical time. Please feel free to share additional resources with the MEAC community by using #SharewithMEAC.
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities Continue in Pregnancy-Related Deaths
- The Giving Voice to Mothers study: inequity and mistreatment during pregnancy and childbirth in the United States
- What It’s Like to Be a Midwife Fighting Black Maternal Mortality
- Midwives Alliance North America “Rising from the Fire”
- Racial Justice in Midwifery
- The Stress of Racism is Killing Black Mothers
- How to Step Up for Racial Justice Right Now
Organizations to Follow