I’m June Eric-Udorie, an award-winning writer, activist and birth doula, now based in Durham, NC. I serve as a birth doula to marginalized families in and around Durham, NC, and offering free services to women and birthing people in need by fundraising to provide services. You can learn more about me here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2155149/june-eric-udorie
Ever since learning about the fatal maternal mortality rates for Black women and birthing folks in America, I knew I wanted to fight for better outcomes. If high-profile celebrities like Beyoncé and Serena Williams are not immune to racial injustice within our healthcare systems, what about poor, working class, marginalized, incarcerated, undocumented and immigrant women who may not have access to those resources? These services are vital for marginalized people in America, who experience racial discrimination, xenophobia, obstetric violence and maternal death at much higher rates and have statistically been shown to have worse birthing outcomes.
Since I became a doula in July 2019, I’ve served over 25 families in the Triangle Area in North Carolina. Most of the families I work with are single-parent families, dealing with housing, job and food insecurity, unemployment which is worse with COVID-19, poverty, mental health challenges, immigrant status, disability, domestic or familial violence, or are military spouses with partners deployed abroad. I prioritize working with Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, disabled and single-parent families.
Right now, I am pursuing my undergraduate degree at Duke University. As a result of the reproductive justice work I have done as a doula in my community, I am now looking to pursue my Masters in Social Work (MSW) so that I can become a perinatal social worker. Perinatal social workers “work with families to assess their strengths and challenges as they approach child-bearing; ameliorate the effects of psychosocial and medical challenges by working directly with the family, while also assisting them to access long term supportive services and advocacy.” This is especially crucial for BIPOC birthing people that are dying at disproportionate rates.
Your donations help me get one step closer to my goal. Thank you for supporting me on this journey—I appreciate each and every one of you.
- Rachel Andelman
- Julia Duquette
- Alexis Smart
- Elizabeth Dilla