Birth Center Equity Members Celebrate First-Ever Gathering!

Jun 16, 2023 | Birth Center Stories

On April 24-25th, nearly 60 Birth Center Equity network members came together from across the country to New Orleans, LA for our first-ever in person gathering, “Birthing Beloved Economy.” Held at the Black-woman owned NOPSI hotel,

Birthing Beloved Economy included workshops and discussions exploring how community birth is crucial to reclaiming, restoring, and generating community abundance in all its economic, cultural, and political dimensions. Over these days, BCE network members nurtured a loving and nourishing space for wisdom sharing, storytelling, learning, and fortifying relationships. 

Highlights included:

Sharing & Shaping Our Stories of Beloved Economy. BCE Co-Director Leseliey Welch and Cass Osei (Orchid Capital Collective) led a vision and storytelling session where community birth center leaders explored how their lives and work embody beloved economy – the care of home, of beloved people & place.

Fireside Chat: Integrating Abundance. Taj James (BCE Advisor, Full Spectrum Labs) and Marinah Farrell (Birth Center Equity) facilitated a conversation among Nikia Grayson and Alexis  Dunn Amore (CHOICES, Memphis), Belin Marcus and Beata Tsosie-Peña (Breath of My Heart Birthplace, New Mexico), Allegra Hill and Kimberly Durdin (Kindred Space, LA), and Jeanine Valrie Logan and Shaquan Dupart (Chicago South Side Birth Center), exploring ways that community birth centers are moving in creative and resourceful ways to ensure abundance in their staffing, space, partnerships, and resources.

Relearning & Reimaging Collective Resource Generation & Sharing. Leseliey Welch shared an overview of BCE’s 2023 offerings of financial and capacity building support, and solicited member input for the artwork for Birth Center Week. Jess Gutfreund (Birth Center Equity) spoke of BCE’s commitment to a mutual aid approach to resource distribution in the BCE network. Finally, Tenesha Duncan (Orchid Capital Collective) spoke of “Funds & Financing Beyond Grants and Donations.”

Roundtable Discussions. Network members self-selected into informal roundtable conversations on topics they most wanted to explore, including a roundtable led by Tenesha Duncan (Orchid Capital Collective) and Ruben Hernandez (Dev Labs), called “Sustainable Financing, Community Ownership, and Wealth Building.”

PJ Dance Party! Nothing builds community more than dancing and laughing together!