I walked quietly, taking a moment to catch my breath, a break from chanting, “No justice, no peace!” I listened to the voices around me, swelling with the verse. “No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!” As the chorus died down between refrains there was a silence. The echo of people’s voices carried out over the water of the Puget Sound. I imagined our chant being carried through the Straights of Juan de Fuca and settling out over the Pacific Ocean. But as I looked over at my daughter, 17, I knew these refrains were finding a home in her heart. They were not just disappearing into the ether. “No justice, no peace!”
Our small community north of Seattle had come alive with the voices of activism, a community stirred and angered by recent events and a community desperate to make changes, to help in some way. We sought to support our black friends, family, neighbors, or leaders emotionally, physically, or in whatever way they stood in need. This was a power that could be transformative and have ripple effects within our community for years to come.
This is not unlike doula work. As doulas, we are called to support people of all races, all cultures, all genders from all walks of life, and help support them in the choices they are making in regards to pregnancy, birth, postpartum and newborn care.
Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPoC) stand to face 2-3X higher maternal mortality rate than their white birthing counterparts. That is a staggering statistic, and one that as doulas we hope we can change, one client at a time. We at Emerald City Doulas want those who are BIPoC to know we support you in your birth choices. We support you in whatever way your family stands in need, emotionally and physically. Black Lives Matter, and until there is justice for all, there is no justice. No justice, no peace. Until there is, we see you, we hear you, we support you.