Diversification and Inclusion Task Force
The Diversification and Inclusion Taskforce of ACNM has been charged by the Board of Directors to develop a strategy to recruit, retain, promote, and support the inclusion and advancement of persons of diverse backgrounds in the profession of midwifery. The diversification and inclusion strategy should include midwifery students (certificate, masters, doctoral), midwifery faculty, service directors, and midwifery leaders within ACNM, including but not limited to ACNM Board of Directors, division chairs, and staff. The task force has hired a consultant from Greater Good consulting to assist in developing this strategy. In preparing to hire a consultant, we considered the goals we aim to achieve.
1. Midwife or Midwifery. The use of midwife or midwifery in these documents refers to midwives as certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). We acknowledge that midwifery is a profession rich in history, and it is practiced in the United States and around the world by midwives with a wide variety of educational backgrounds. These documents are created by and for certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) but may be adopted by others.
2. Diversity. Differences in identity that include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender and gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, religion, physical and intellectual ability, nationality, citizenship, age, learning style, mental health, professional background, midwifery certification, or degree. Diversity also refers to diversity of thought and perspective that come with individual identity. At a collective level, these dimensions of identity may correlate with inequity of social experience, including inequalities of privilege, opportunity and access to resources within the midwifery profession or in the pursuit of midwifery education.
3. Inclusion. Creating an environment that makes it possible and encourages all to fully participate. An inclusive environment promotes cultural humility, communication skills, and empathy. Inclusion is practical, ie, the ability to participate in a way that is congruous with one’s identity and life circumstances, and emotional, ie, a sense of belonging, feeling respected and valued, and feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others to support the best work of all individuals.
1. Diversification. To increase diversity within ACNM and the profession of midwifery.
2. Inclusion. To promote a culture of inclusion within ACNM and the profession of midwifery, in which diversity is respected, sought, and embraced. To cultivate a culture that promotes collaboration, flexibility, and fairness to enable individuals to contribute to their full potentials and rise to leadership roles.
3. Sustainability. To develop structures and strategies that will equip ACNM leaders with the ability to promote diversity, be accountable, measure results, refine approaches on the basis of data, and institutionalize a culture of inclusion.
1. Identify current strategies in place that promote diversification and inclusion within ACNM, clinical settings, and midwifery education programs.
2. Identify the challenges that impede diversity and inclusion within ACNM, clinical settings, and midwifery education programs.
3. Assess member perception of diversity and inclusion in the midwifery profession and the ACNM organization.
4. Develop learning opportunities around issues of diversity and inclusion for ACNM staff, the Board of Directors and other leaders; develop member training for annual meeting workshops with materials developed specifically for Directors of Midwifery Education (DOME) and the Midwifery Business Network (MBN).
5. Evaluate and update ACNM’s internal procedures that have an impact on diversity, including those related to nomination/recruitment and retention; hiring and professional development; standards for classroom, clinical, and continuing education; and all formal documents and outreach materials.
6. Actualize a strategic process that addresses institutional barriers and ACNM culture by reviewing ACNM governance and policy. The purpose of the review will be to identify opportunity and integrate diversity and inclusion throughout ACNM’s strategic goals, legislative priorities, and budget.
7. Communicate with and motivate the midwifery community to actively participate in
diversification and promotion of inclusive environments.
8. Assist ACNM state and other affiliates in their efforts to implement objectives related to diversity and inclusion.
9. Develop strategic partnerships with a diverse range of organizations and educational institutions to maximize our ability to recruit and retain a diverse population of midwives and to support their advancement within the profession.
10. Maintain ongoing evaluation and assessment of progress.
Task Force Members
Ali Sevilla de Cocco, Student (from Vanderbilt)
Angelita Nixon, Division of Standards and Practice Liaison
Eileen Beard, Staff Liaison
Jenny Foster, At-large member, also from DGH
Jessica Brumley, Division of Education Liaison
KC Bly, Division of Global Health Liaison
Kim Q Dau, Chair
Letitia Sullivan, Program Committee Liaison
Lily Dalke, At-large member, Gender Bias Task Force
Linda Sloan Locke, Midwifery Business Network Liaison
Maria Valentin-Welch, Midwives of Color, Immediate Past Chair
Meredith Graham, Staff Liaison
Michael McCann, BOD Liaison
Pam Reis, Nominating Committee Liaison
Pat Loftman, Midwives of Color Commitee Liaison
Ronnie Lichtman, Directors of Midwifery Education Liaison
Tina Johnson, Staff Liaison