Anna Linares, CD(PALS)
I’m really excited about the direction PALS Doulas is headed. As the former Vice President for PALS and a person of color in a historically white-centric organization; I had the noteworthy opportunity of getting a behind the scenes look at how the organization is run, as well as contributing at the leadership level to how PALS serves a growing diverse membership. The Board and organization have a commitment to be comprised of and serve doulas from many backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. I feel that we can only grow positively and be a better community if we can embody, embrace, and support EVERYONE.
With that being said, I began thinking about the doulas of color in our membership and wanted to reach out to them specifically with this important question: “Is PALS supporting you to the best of our ability?” Having been part of this organization and a doula for almost 3 years, I feel I can speak confidently that we each bring a lot of heart and love to our para–profession; it’s what makes us not just good doulas, but great ones. I also wonder are we doula–ing each other and most importantly are we doula-ing our doulas of color in a way that supports the work they do and communities they serve to the best of our ability or are we falling short? In what ways can we do better?
For those doulas who are not POC, have you asked yourself what you are doing as a member of PALS to help support and possibly connect with our doulas of color? Have you taken a hard look at yourself to think about whether you may have an implicit bias that may stop you from doing so? Now, I say all this with the gentlest of intentions from a curious heart wanting to make sure everyone in our organization feels included. I want for us an organization to strive toward making PALS a welcoming place for all while at the same regarding all our doulas as autonomous, unique individuals and not separating anyone out as representative of a race.
So, this small snippet of mine is a call to action, reach out to us, let us know what you think. Please be honest, please don’t hold back, PALS needs your input and opinions to make us better. We need each and every one of you.