Read on to know the story about Intersectional or Bust Award!
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Angelica Elizabeth Lambert – The Intersectional or Bust Award Doula Scholarship Winner September 2022
Greetings! My name is angelica and I am a daughter, grand daughter, niece, sister, auntie, friend. I move through this world with roots woven between Canada and Jamaica, two places that have shaped much of my identity. I also carry connections to lands & communities around this earth where pieces of my heart have been sprinkled after a decade+ of travelling/ studying/ working/ living abroad.
I strongly believe all of my life experiences and learnings have guided/nudged me along to meet this moment I am writing about. Becoming a student with bebo mia after receiving this wonderful scholarship and Intersectional or Bust Award is opening the door for my first major leap into my vision of becoming a doula. I have stepped into the path of birth work for many reasons…one being a deep belief that healing oneself also assists the healing for (one’s) community. To support my personal journey with my own reproductive system’s health is to equip myself with the knowledge to re-member as much as possible about the inner workings of my own reproductive system. So much of this learning is wisdom that I believe we all carry within our selves and communities (and have done so forever in order to support one another and ensure our survival), yet many have forgotten it in practice and application. More specifically and most often, people with wombs are disconnected from the details of what this part of our body is capable of, and are robbed (consciously or unconsciously) of our power when it comes time to enter into systems of health that are supposed to provide us care. I anticipate that my approaches will evolve as time goes on, but at this moment I would describe my birth philosophies as being based on 5 pillars: Awareness, Accessibility, Support, Re-membering, and Liberation. For me, this means that everyone who embarks on a birthing journey should be Aware of and have Access to all the necessary information, resources and services available to them. Everyone should be Supported in having the nurture and care required to Re-member and trust the innate knowledge held within. In stepping into this re-membering, one strengthens their capabilities to choose what is best for them, the life they would like to grow/are growing, and their wider family system. I believe all should have the Liberty to make such choices from places of power & love.
Having experience with navigating the healthcare system extensively over the past couple of years (especially around gynecology), has highlighted numerous questions within myself. I continue to reflect on what my dreams are when it comes to fertility, birth, and types of care/support needed and what is provided as a baseline by our healthcare system. This has been further compounded by many of the women in my life and their experiences with their own birthing journeys. So many of the experiences feel disconnected from the philosophies I would like to foster and see nurtured in and around me. For me, to be a doula is to reclaim this power, knowledge, and the medicine of community. It is to share in the journey of fertility, birthing, and the ground-shifting time that follows for all involved. To dive deeper into this path is an offering, not only to myself but also my community – &, at a time when I believe the Earth desperately needs more birth workers!
I pursued training with bebo mia because of their expansive approach to training Maternal Support Practitioners; cultivating brave spaces and community connections, providing a comprehensive curriculum, and resourcing birth workers with business support. I also felt re-assured by bebo mia’s own business conduct in providing scholarships and sliding scale financial options to meet prospective students where they’re at. This was vital for me after multiple years of grappling with complex health issues that have affected my abilities and participation in the conventional workforce, resulting in a need for economic support. I’m so grateful this was an option and give thanks for the gift I was blessed to receive.
Being a recipient of the intersectional or bust scholarship category feels fitting as it is the space where I exist most …in the cracks, or as I often refer to it – the shades of grey. From one angle, I relate to this category from a place rooted in the theory of intersectionality and the ways in which systems of oppression disadvantage those of us with intersecting marginalized identities… a number of which I identify with. From another angle, I reflect on how even within these identities, I find polarization and contradictions. I acknowledge my privileges alongside the ways I have struggled to fit many of the binaries that society uses to sort us – and how such ‘sorting’ can also reduce and confine us. With that being said, I strongly believe that in these points of intersections, there is great opportunity to embody the interconnections we share, transcend binaries, and dismantle false dichotomies. Community is the medicine that made an Intersectional or Bust Award Winner.
Before deliberately choosing to step into this role of developing myself as a birth worker, the majority of my career has been focused on working with newcomer communities and those from refugee backgrounds – at both community and systems levels. In this field I was able to explore many of the intersecting factors that drive humans to migrate – by choice, desperation, and even force – and the ways structural systems attempt to hinder such movements. With my interest in developing a greater understanding of human migration and community building through holistic, integrative practices, I am excited to see the ways I can braid my existing knowledge and experience into this space I am nurturing around birth work. My hope is to connect families with information, resources, and support as they embark on birthing journeys in a new country. In doing so, I aim to assist in addressing the nuanced complexities and intersecting factors that may otherwise create gaps/barriers in providing newcomers with the equitable services and birthing support that are deserved and required.
I am grateful to be here and I am excited for all that is to come!
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