The Student Midwife Of Color Training Program

Our program is unique in that it seeks to create a replicable model that other midwives, educators and groups could establish for their communities. It also addresses:

  • Midwifery training in general
  • The specific needs of Student Midwives of Color 
  • The needs of preceptors
  • The limitations of present educational models

Why this programs like this are needed:

Most midwifery students and prospective students, regardless of the color of their skin face barriers and difficulties in obtaining a midwifery education. We know that.

However, it is Mothers and Babies of Color that are facing particular and specific challenges. Women of Color and their children face unprecedented disparities and challenges in maternal and infant health outcomes.

While midwifery care, itself, can help to improve these outcomes, even greater outcomes can be achieved when Women of Color have access to providers from their own cultural background.  Therefore, to really make a difference, we need more Midwives of Color. That means that we need more Student Midwives of Color.

In order for Women of Color to have the gifts and challenges of their communities reflected in national and local organizational policies, we need to have more Midwives of Color sitting on the Boards of our local and national committees and organizations. For that to happen, we need more Midwives of Color. This means that we need more Student Midwives of Color.

To address these issues, we need programs that are created to insure student success. Thats what this program seeks to do. 

Why us?

Shell Luttrell and Kashuna Hopkins are called to this work on behalf of the babies. Improvement for the babies should not have to wait on years and years of national organizing in order to make a difference. Extensive studies have shown that local action and solutions are the best way to create measurable and sustainable progress. 

Together they realized that if the pooled their resources and combined their decades of experience in their various health related fields, that they could create a working model for their community. 

Why Arizona, where most of the population is Non-Hispanic White? 

An unfortunate result of grant driven work is that the money tends to go where the greatest number of people are. 

However, People of Color in areas of lower POC percentages are at greater risk of vulnerability and of becoming marginalized. 

That Arizona has lower POC populations than other areas so therefore doesn't warrant attention is backwards thinking. It is the same for every area in the country. That there may only be a few POC in your area does not mean that there is not work to be done. It means that work must be started NOW. 

Our program is not grant driven. We do receive modest support from members of our community but our model does not rely on hefty grants at this time. Therefore we do not need to supply demographic numbers in order to do this work.

Is your program MEAC accredited? 

No, at this time, it is not. 

The MEACh accreditation process neither celebrates the gifts that Women of Color bring to midwifery and nor do they make accommodations for programs that specifically serve student midwives of color. Should that change, at some time in the future, we may consider supporting them with our accreditation monies. 

But for now, since MEAC accreditation is not necessary in the state of Arizona, we consider their process to be a hinderance to our mission of creating more midwives of color. 

Our students are fostered through the NARM PEP process will in apprenticeship with a CNM and a NARM qualified CPM preceptor. You can read more about them on our "On-site Educator" page.  

What Challenges do Student Midwives of Color face and how does your program address them?