Racial Justice and Human Rights
The AOM's Ongoing Initiatives to Action Racial Justice and Human Rights
The AOM is committed to achieving racial justice and human rights in midwifery. We are continually working towards dismantling systemic racism and inequity including identifying equity gaps and opportunities for systemic change. Our goal is to provide guidance on creating decolonized, anti-racist and anti-oppressive processes that uphold Indigenous sovereignty, challenges White supremacy and removes barriers for Indigenous, Black, racialized and equity-deserving people.
As part of the AOM's commitment to racial justice in midwifery, the Health-Care Equity, Quality and Human Rights (HEQHR) department was established to change organizational culture by providing strategic guidance to the AOM Board of Directors, staff, membership and midwifery sector. HEQHR has engaged with the Racial Equity Committee, the membership and cross-departmental staff to identify priority needs to inform development of tools, programs and systems of accountability to dismantle racism and human rights-based inequities across the profession.
Initiatives led by AOM staff, Board of Directors, and Committee members to advance equity within the profession include:
- Updating the AOM Strategic Plan with commitments to achieve racial justice in midwifery and uphold human rights by working to dismantle White supremacy, inequity and power imbalances.
- Developing Racial Justice and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Position Statements to ensure the AOM and its members are accountable for creating anti-racist and anti-oppressive work environments and clinical services.
- Updating AOM policies and procedures through an anti-racism, anti-oppression framework.
- Collecting and analyzing race and equity-based data gathered through the annual membership renewals in an effort to identify equity gaps, monitor and address trends in diversity and representation among midwives, and create opportunities for growth, improvement and retention.
Holding government accountable to fully implement recommendations of the HRTO-ordered GBA+ report, which uses an intersectional GBA+ lens to identify barriers, gaps, and/or inequities experienced by midwives, and includes an equity action plan for Ontario midwifery.
Infusing negotiations process with equity lens to secure gains including: increased IM funding; updated Areas of Need to include equity-deserving communities; increased disability supports; and requirements for equity, transparency and anti-racism policies
- Developing a racial equity toolkit to provide tools, resources and learning opportunities to support members to create equitable work environments for Indigenous, Black, racialized and equity-deserving midwives, students and staff, and to deliver culturally sensitive, quality care to all communities.
- Offering IBPOC-centred leadership training and professional development opportunities.
- Providing regular anti-racism training for AOM Board of Directors, staff and members.
- Developing an anti-racism eLearning course specific to ESW instructors (available FALL 2023).
Prioritizing inclusive and equitable midwifery research funding practices including supporting Indigenous, Black and/or racialized midwife applicants as well as centering racial justice, Indigenous sovereignty, anti-oppression and lived experiences in the research design and outputs.
Developing Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) that address race-based data through the lens of racism as a structural and social determinant of health.
Developing equitable and inclusive client handouts with input from IBPOC midwives and clients.
Providing responses and feedback to external organizations’ clinical policies and guidance using a racial justice and equity framework advocating to authors that racism be named as a critical social determinant of health.
- Updating AOM Awards through an equity lens.
- Highlighting the excellence of racialized midwives.
- Providing opportunities for Indigenous, Black and racialized members to connect for peer support and networking.
- Updating the AOM Annual General Meeting to create an equitable meeting space and centre IBPOC voices and issues impacting IBPOC communities.
Attending meetings and contributing to initiatives of the Health Network for Uninsured Clients (HNUC), to improve access to healthcare for people living in Toronto without public health coverage.
We recognize that addressing racism in Ontario midwifery is long overdue and that having good intentions is not protective of inflicting harm. Addressing racism and the impact of White supremacy requires ongoing critical reflection, learning and evolving. The AOM is actively prioritizing racial justice through continually engaging with Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities and actively responding to the communities’ needs. We are committed to ongoing work to dismantle oppression and inequity within midwifery.