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In this message, we are outlining the equity, diversity, and inclusion work that Doula Canada, with the guidance of its two Inclusion and Engagement Leads, began in 2020 and will continue to develop, update, and amend as a part of our learning and engagement on these topics and their relation to birth work.  This message will also outline our response to recent feedback, and the actionable steps that we are currently working on.  This process will take time, and we are committed to the important conversations and changes in the days, weeks, and months to come.  

The following work was done prior to the current events that Doula Canada is experiencing and were in no way a reaction to these recent conversations:

– The hiring of two Inclusion and Engagement Leads for Doula Canada
[Applications were accepted between November 2019 and June 2020]
[Interviews:  April-June 2020, Positions began: June 2020]

  • Creation and distribution of Equity & Inclusion Climate survey for all Doula Canada members who self-identified as members of equity-seeking groups, including but not limited to, members who identify as Indigenous, Black, racialized, a person of colour, LGBTQ2S+, disabled, and/or living in poverty. The survey was sent to full Doula Canada membership.
    [Survey sent: September 4th, 2020] 
  • Analysis of survey answers (Oct/Nov 2020) and meeting with full Doula Canada staff to review and discuss next steps for support and learning
    [Survey reviewed with staff:  November 24th, 2020] 
  • Drafting Doula Canada Equity & Inclusion Action Plan.  The overall goal of this plan is to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion, over the next few years, in all aspects of our work, from our organizational policies and practices to our daily work as staff and instructors.It emphasizes action, accountability, and meaningful engagement.
    [Draft started: November 11, 2020
    [Estimated completion: July 1 2021 ]
    For further information or discussion please contact monika@doulatraining.ca and anna@doulatraining.ca 
  • The initial draft of EDI Curriculum Checklist.  This checklist is an internal document that has been developed to support integrating an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens into curricula that is delivered on behalf of or in collaboration with Doula Canada. It will be utilized in all course audits and in the development of new materials.
    [ start date: November 11th, 2020]
    [Status: Sent for review/feedback from DTC team, including instructors, February 2021] 
  • An initial audit of labour doula, postpartum doula, menopause doula, fertility doula, triple stream, and dual stream curriculum for inclusive language, representative images, removal of incorrect or derogatory terms, and updating of statistics. 
    [Start date:  August 9th, 2020
    [End date: December 2020; now in the second audit with external advisors with July 1, 2021 expected completion date] 
  • Contacts made to set up training for instructors and staff in topics of anti-racism and anti-oppression training.  We are in communication with external facilitators to host training for all staff and instructors.
    [Communication date:  June 5th 2020, follow up in September 2020 and January 2021] 
  • Creation and addition of an introductory module about Anti-racism, Anti-Oppression, and Knowing Your Privilege in birth work.  This module was added to all primary Doula Canada programs by the end of December 2020.
    [Start date: September 21, 2020]
    [End date: December 2, 2020]

 

The following actions were taking between February 16th, 2021 and March 1st, 2021 in response to community and member feedback:

  • Communication via email to individual persons who felt harmed by the actions or  decisions of DTC staff or administration
    [Communication date:  February 16, 2021-February 19th, 2021] 
  • Hiring of consultants who work in equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression capacities to discuss communication and how to move forward for the betterment of all persons
    [February 19th, 2021] 
  • A pause of all DTC social media accounts, to reflect and plan better engagement
    [February 19, 2021] 
  • Removal of instructional materials about rebozo teachings and other culturally specific practices from our learning materials.
    [February 22, 2021] 
  • Town Hall for persons who have access to DTC learning materials
    [February 24, 2021] 
  • Reallocation of anti-oppression, anti-racism, and privilege module to an earlier place in the online module system, based on feedback from the town hall.
    [February 25, 2021] 
  • Meetings with potential moderator/s for social media, who have anti-racism and anti-oppression experience.
    [February 19, 2021, ongoing until person is hired for role] 
  • Preparation of communication for stakeholders, members, and staff
    [Ongoing]

The following are deliverables that Doula Canada will continue working towards and will continue to reassess throughout 2021.  These plans may take time and will be done with respect and acknowledgment of our members voices and needs:

  • Hiring of instructors who are BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ, or members of other equity-seeking groups whose materials and instruction practices do not represent the white, heterocissexist history of modern birth work. 
  • Learning for our staff and administrators with qualified and compensated trainers on topics related to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and privilege. 
  • Review and implementation of the curriculum checklist 
  • Next steps in the development of the Equity and Inclusion Action Plan draft, including staff review and member engagement (via a small advisory committee and general membership survey), followed by implementation 
  • A restructuring of staff and management to ensure communication with our members is open, ongoing and thorough. 
  • The formation of a DTC customer counsel (member council) 
  • Regular feedback forms and town halls to hear concerns and feedback from registered members. 
  • Reassessment of our equity-seeking scholarship application  
  • Active recruitment of external course instructors who can offer instruction and/or materials on topics related to birth work and social justice, equity, anti-oppression, privilege, implicit bias and other topics of importance to members (as shared through ongoing feedback, communication, and engagement)

We thank you for your feedback and encourage you to continue reaching out via email or phone.  Persons who have chosen to take learning with DTC can also provide feedback via the anonymous Feedback Form under the 2021 MEMBER RESOURCES tab in their personal login.  Your feedback assists our staff in updating learning materials, creating new systems for engagement, and knowing what DTC needs to do to support its members.

Questions about the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work or recent events can be sent to info@doulatraining.ca.  Your message will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member. 

All communication is electronically kept on file with DTC (from 2016 onwards).

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