We were proud to call ourselves a Bristolian project. This was re-confirmed by Sundays events with the toppling of the statue of a man responsible for the enslaving of 84,000 African people.
We were proud of the communities of this city who have a long history of rising up in the name of injustice. Last Sunday was no exception.
We understand that racism is not a single act but it is ingrained in the architecture of elitist systems within British society. Working with various communities to decolonise the birth space is an integral part of the work we do at Project MAMA.
As we write this, black women are five times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth and are significantly more likely to suffer poor maternal health outcomes following birth, with still no discernible reason as to why.
We have an ongoing responsibility to amplify black, and brown voices along with those who have been displaced, to both create and fight for safer and more equal birthing experiences.
As we stand in solidarity with black, brown and marginalised people fighting racism, we acknowledge that challenging the system is often more dangerous work in terms of repercussions for these communities. As such, we all must question where the burden lies.
White people need to become better allies in unpicking entrenched injustices and supporting the needs and voices of more marginalised communities.
At Project MAMA, we continue to reflect on our own practices as an organisation and recognise our constant need for learning and growing, where we’re falling short and where we’ve work to do.
This wave of uprising is an invaluable invitation to reflect more actively on our imperialist and racist history. As well as to question what our own roles are – personally, in our communities and in our organisations – in tackling this ongoing violence.
Photography by Billy Sailsbury.