Reproductive Justice & Freedom: How can we dismantle barriers to reproductive rights?
Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
How can we promote equitable and fair access to reproductive and birthing care for all? This public conversation looks at the extent to which institutionalized gynecological services as well as the medicalization of birth impose barriers and what can be done to move past these barriers. For instance, to what extent are OB/GYN services by male doctors imposed on patients who would prefer female care providers as a result of cultural and/or religious practices? Or what options exist for women who want a more natural and supportive birth? Could we advocate for reproductive health practitioners (inc. doulas) to be covered under health insurance? What can we envision for hospitals and other care and wellness centres in the city?
This conversation is organized in collaboration with the Tiger Lotus Cooperative.
Vincia Herbert is a registered midwife who is currently practicing and living in Toronto, Ontario. She believes that birth work can be a site of resistance, healing, affirmation, and transformation for clients and their communities. Her interests lie in Black women's experiences of healthcare, access to perinatal care for marginalized communities, and sexual health education. She is a clinical teacher, mentor, and tutor and has worked at the Toronto Birth Centre pilot project and Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre in Trinidad. Prior to becoming a midwife she worked at the McGill University equity and diversity education office and numerous other community-based initiatives and organizations.
Liz is a Street Worker. Streetwork is the practice of supporting at risk communities through regular presence in the spaces they inhabit in order to build trusting relationships that can be relied upon in times of need. Street Work is part of a Harm Reductive approach to health. She works at À deux mains / Head & Hands- a youth health focused organization in NDG.
Millie Tresierra is a homeopath, birth-postpartum Doula, and mental health advocate working in Montreal. Originally from Peru and inspired by her father’s work with Indigenous cultures, women and conservation, she has worked with underprivileged populations in marginalized communities, through theatre/music therapies, including women, children and adults with disabilities. Her work with women, families & babies continues now as a birth, postpartum Doula & childbirth educator. As a mental health advocate, she has been devoted to making perinatal mental health care and education accessible, working closely with the CLSCs and other professionals to shed light to a sadly growing issue: maternal isolation and perinatal mental health challenges.
Courtney Kirkby is a Registered Massage Therapist trained in Thai Yoga Massage and prenatal massage. She is also an Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage Practitioner, and birth and postpartum Doula. Her interest is working with individuals at all stages of life to improve everything from experiences with menstruation to menopause. Courtney is also a papier mache and sound artist, a teacher at a mental health community centre and a radio documentary maker. She offers workshops in making papier mache vulvas and exploring our relationships to ourselves and the world through our vulvas.
Accessibility: The William Hingston Center is equipped with an access ramp on the western side of the building. It is then possible to reach the basement by the elevator. A meal will be served and there will be childcare. Please get in touch if you would like to use the childcare services.
Centre William-Hingston, 419 Rue Saint-Roch (SS-20)