I am excited to announce open registration for the Fall 2019 Birth Bruja Book Club!
This season, we are diving into Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy, and Childbirth. Edited by Julia Chinyere Oparah & Alicia D. Bonaparte.
"There is a global crisis in maternal health care for black women. In the United States, black women are over three times more likely to perish from pregnancy-related complications than white women; their babies are half as likely to survive the first year. Many black women experience policing, coercion, and disempowerment during pregnancy and childbirth and are disconnected from alternative birthing traditions. This book places black women's voices at the center of the debate on what should be done to fix the broken maternity system and foregrounds black women's agency in the emerging birth justice movement. Mixing scholarly, activist, and personal perspectives, the book shows readers how they too can change lives, one birth at a time."
This book is a MUST READ for any and all birthworkers. Birth affirmations and hip squeezes aren’t going to do shit in changing oppressive birth culture unless we pair it with critical thinking and action.
To support this process, I have joined up with Tabitha Thomas, a bi-racial politicized healer & somatic coach to launch the first session of the Birth Bruja Book Club. Starting in September 14th, 2019, we will join with folks across the country to dive into the featured book of this series- Birthing Justice.
We highly recommend buying the book, borrowing from a friend, or check it out from your local library. If you are unable to acquire the reading via the above methods, email Eri and you will be sent a PDF of the chapters specifically addressed in our meetings.
MEETINGS & READINGS All meetings are 11am-12:30pm PST/ 2pm-3:30pm EST and will be held via Zoom video conferencing. After registering, you will receive an email with a link and instructions on how to access the meeting.
Saturday, September 14th, 2019
A Love Letter to My Daughter: Love as a Political Act by Haile Eshe Cole, p 126
The First Cut is the Deepest: A Mother-Daughter Conversation about Birth, Justice, Healing, and Love by Pauline Ann McKenzie-Day and Alexis Pauline Gumbs, p 145
Saturday, September 21st, 2019
Regulating Childbirth: Physicians and Granny Midwives in South Carolina by Alicia D. Bonaparte, p 24
An Abolitionist Mama Speaks: On Natural Birth & Miscarriage by Viviane Saleh-Hanna, p 46
Saturday, September 28th,2019
Confessions of a Black Pregnant Dad by Syrus Marcus Ware, p63
Birthing Sexual Freedom and Healing: A Survivor Mother's Birth Story by Biany Perez, p106
Saturday, October 5th, 2019
Beyond Coercion & Malign Neglect: Black Women and the Struggle for Birth Justice by Julia Chinyere Oparah with Black Women Birthing Justice, p 1
Birthing Freedom: Black American Midwifery and Liberation Struggles by Ruth Hays, p 166
To Register: Book Worm Package: $20 ($5 per class, non-refundable) Drop In: $7 per class, specify which dates you are attending in notes Send payment via one of the below methods*: Venmo: @EriJohnson CashApp: $EriGJohnson
*Be sure to include your email in the notes to receive link to attend meetings!
Learn about the Hosts of the Birth Bruja Book Club:
Eri Guajardo Johnson is a bi-racial, trauma-informed birth doula, rape crisis peer counselor, wellness coach, community organizer, and host of the Birth Bruja Podcast.
For over 10 years, Eri has been dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault (with an emphasis on serving marginalized populations); has studied indigenous Mexican and Indian healing modalities to learn about mind, body, spirit, & communal wellness, herbalism, and food as medicine; and has taught and organized countless classes and community events centered around the healing and empowerment of women.
Since 2017, Eri has been dedicated to supporting birthing individuals in cultivating empowering, courageous, and meaningful birth experiences. She offers birth consultation services for survivors of trauma as well as one-on-one and group trainings for birthworkers around supporting survivors who birth.
Tabitha Thomas is a bi-racial, politicized healer, social justice advocate, somatic coach, rape crisis counselor, mother, partner, traveler, dancer, and budding green RV’er. She has extensive experience in the area of anti-violence work and ever growing motivation to gather in connection to foster collective healing and social change. In response to the needs of those in the field Tabitha founded Creative Coaching in 2018 to offer support to advocates and change makers seeking assistance in their healing and commitments in an effort to create a more sustainable movement to end rape.
Tabitha holds a masters degree in marital family therapy/art therapy from NDNU and credits generative somatics for her somatic bodywork training.