Welcome to the rePRO Film Periodical – featuring a mission-aligned short film of the month and accompanying podcast conversation. The Periodical is generously underwritten so that our monthly curation is FREE and available for anyone to take part in.

Sign up via email or check in on the 15th of each month for the latest volume, film, conversation, and links to organizations we’re loving and things we’re learning about.

Vol. 2
CELEBRATING BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH

In honor of Black History Month, we’re spotlighting the Black maternal health experience, with a beautiful short film. We must all continue to educate ourselves about the huge disparities in maternal healthcare for black and brown women, and the rampant racism that exists within our healthcare system. Knowledge is power.

If you have five minutes for REBYRTH, join us to celebrate the beautiful journey that Doula Imani Byers takes her clients on as they prepare to welcome new lives into this world.

Register below for our March Yoni Hour gathering this Thursday, and read on for stories & links around Black & Brown Maternal Health that we want to share with you.

~ With peace & love, the rePRO Team

REBYRTH
Directed by Cydney Tucker (5m 18s.)

Rebyrth is a film about an Atlanta-based Doula working to save the lives of Black mothers as they journey from their pregnancies into motherhood. The role of a doula is to act as a guide in each stage of childbirth, tethering mother and baby to the earth as they move together through space and time. It’s a connection that goes beyond the physical realm. The work of a doula is an ancestral and spiritual process that culminates with the world’s greatest gift — LIFE.

“It is even scientifically proven that the pelvis of a black woman is structurally different than one of a white woman. So you cannot treat them the same way with regards to labor, birth positioning and things of that nature, all of those things matter.”  ~Imani Byers

Cydney Tucker is a journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in Atlanta. She has written and produced content for a variety of legacy and digital media organizations including The New York Times, CBS News, NBC News, Al Jazeera International (AJ+), and RYOT Studio. Cydney recently released two films for The New York Times Presents’s Hulu/FX documentary series. Her current personal projects include producing documentaries and photo series capturing Black Joy. 

Imani Byers is a full spectrum doula, licensed master social worker and owner of Rebyrth Wellness, based in Atlanta, GA. She has successfully assisted over 40 families in the Atlanta and Savannah metropolitan areas with fertility, birth and postpartum support. Imani and her business Rebyrth Wellness were featured in the second installment of Vimeo and Mailchimp’s Stories in Place and have been featured in Forbes, CBS News and WTOC News.

How Black Feminists Defined Abortion Rights

“The chasm between middle-class white women’s demands and aspirations and those of poor and working-class women of color began to be addressed by the emergence of Black feminists in the late sixties.” (Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor)

The New Yorker

Maternal Deaths Rose During The First Year Of The Pandemic

“Our maternal morbidity and mortality is the highest in the developed world, and the trend is continuing despite our awareness of it, despite our maternal-mortality review committees, despite attention in the press,” said Kara Zivin, a professor of psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan who studies access to care during and after pregnancy. (Roni Caryn Rabin)

The New York Times

Black midwives and doulas in Michigan work to improve maternal and infant health

Dawn Shannafelt, the Director of the Division of Maternal and Infant Health at the MDHHS, says the root causes of these statistics are systemic inequities and racism. “That ray of hope that we see is that the majority of these deaths, and more than 60% have been determined to be preventable,” she added.

These disparities are what’s driving many Black families like the Williams-Lasters to increasingly seek services of doulas and midwives who look like them. Doulas provide emotional and physical support to birthing parents. (Michelle Jokisch Polo)

NPR / WKAR

WE RECOMMEND: AFTERSHOCK, 2022 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Every person – especially in the US – needs to see this movie to understand the systemic racism that exists within our maternal health care system, how we got here and how we can advocate for change. We’ll keep you posted as to when & where you can watch it.

Learn more about Aftershock

BLACK MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE STILL OUT OF CONTROL IN OKLAHOMA

Over one hundred years after Black health care leaders came together to achieve better outcomes in the state, Oklahoma’s Black maternal mortality remains above the national average. It’s unclear why “pro-life” lawmakers and advocates ignore this issue.

(The Black Wall Street Times)

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH MALE BIRTH CONTROL

Dr. Wang said pharmaceutical companies haven’t been interested in developing male birth control for several reasons, including the cost of R&D, fear of lawsuits if people get pregnant or men are harmed by the drugs, and the idea that it would cut into the market for female contraceptives.

(Jezebel)

REBYRTH WELLNESS

Founded by Imani Byers, Atlanta based Rebyrth Wellness provides evidenced based and holistic physical and informational support to families on their fertility, birth, postpartum and bereavement journeys.

BLACK WOMEN BIRTHING JUSTICE

A grass-roots collective out of Oakland, CA, Black Women Birthing Justice’s vision is that every pregnant person has an empowering birth and postpartum experience, free of unnecessary medical interventions and forced separation from their child, one that honors their autonomy and maintains dignity.

YONI HOUR

March 3, 8:30pm EST | 5:30pm PST

Join us for a virtual gathering inspired by themes from the film. Share what you’re reading, watching, listening to and what reproductive health & justice means to you right now. 

OUR GENEROUS UNDERWRITERS

Thank you to our underwriters, who enable us to bring you the rePRO Periodical for free. Learn how you can support this public media initiative >

rePRO is a program of mama.film, a 501(c)3 cinematic arts organization, where storytellers, changemakers and nurturers come together to champion humanity through a maternal gaze.

Through film and conversation, rePRO advocates for reproductive health, justice, and bodily autonomy. We lift intersectional issues, using the power of storytelling as a catalyst for knowledge, intention, and action.