This Mother’s Day Mamas of Color Rising Wants Birth Justice!!!

Instead of flowers or cards, Mamas of Color Rising wants Birth Justice for Mother’s Day!  Watch this wonderful video made by UT student, Andrea Zarate , and then click on our Birth Justice fundraising campaign to make a donation that will help us launch a free pre-natal clinic for poor mamas of color in Austin, staffed by volunteer midwives and birth companions (doulas)!

We have 30 days to raise $1,000.  With your generous support we can make this dream a reality!  After making a contribution, help us spread the word by sending it through your social networks and to your email lists, directly from the campaign website!

Medicaid Victory for Licensed Midwives and Pregnant Mamas in Texas

Today Mamas of Color Rising sent the following letter to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, thanking them for their decision to make a rules change that adds Licensed Midwives as health care providers under Texas Medicaid.  For more than a year we partnered with Texans For Midwifery to collect petition signatures asking HHSC to make the change.

Once the new rules goes into effect, pregnant women are receive health insurance through Texas Medicaid will be able to choose a Licensed Midwife for their prenatal and labor/delivery care.  Mamas of Color Rising believes that all women should have equal access to the full spectrum of choices about the care they receive when they are pregnant, when delivering, and postnatally.  That Licensed Midwives will now be able to serve pregnant women receiving Medicaid benefits is an important victory toward full and equal access.

See our letter below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sankofa Birth Companion Mamas Potluck

Are you a Woman of Color? Are you pregnant?

If so, and if you would also like meet with other women of color and learn about free resources available to you that could benefit you and your baby during this very important time, than please attend!

Come out for FREE healthy food, FREE women and children’s clothes, toys, and shoes, information about free community resources, and a chance to have your questions and concerns about pregnancy and birth answered!

Discussion Topic: Fears and Concerns about Birthing and Labor

You can help us spread the word by printing and distributing our Spanish and English fliers!


For more information call 254-421-4059 or email

Kick off SXSW by Supporting MOCR’s Birth Companion Project!!!

In a few weeks Mamas of Color Rising will be offering 20 women of color training to become DONA-certified Birth Companions (Doulas).  The four-day training will be made available free of charge to participants in exchange for a commitment to make their services as birth companions available at no cost to other poor women of color in our community.  The Birth Companion Project is one piece of MOCR’s broader campaign to increase access to birthing options for poor women of color in the greater Austin area.

Help us reach our fundraising goal for this project by attending our SXSW kick off party MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT at the Historic Victory Grill in East Austin.  RSVP on our Event Page and don’t forget to “like” Mamas of Color Rising’s fan page.



Online donations and other updates!

We are very pleased to announce that you can now make donations to us ONLINE! Simply click on THIS DONATION LINK to visit our Pay Pal site where you can enter your donation amount and submit it securely.  If you haven’t already seen it, please also check out our Wish List of items.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported Mamas of Color Rising.  With your love we are building a better world for mamas and their children.  Stay tuned for updates about our upcoming retreat with our sisters from Young Women United,  2011 International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day Actions, and our long awaited Sister Doula Training!  You can also follow us on our new Facebook Page!



Join Mamas of Color Rising for our end of the year benefit party Saturday December 4, 2010 at The Historic Victory Grill in Austin, TX! The party will feature various women of color performers and DJs, free food, a cash bar, a raffle, and lots of fun, music, and dancing. We are asking for a minimum of $5 donations at the door. Children and families are welcome!

This Mamas of Color Rising benefit party will help us raise money for 20 women of color to become trained and certified doulas. This is one part of our current campaign around access to equality in birthing and prenatal care for women of color. This training will be a first step in implementing a women of color doula and birth support project here in Austin, TX. Please come out and support our work!

Learn about birthing access in the Austin area and support Mamas of Color Rising

Did you know Latina women are 2.5 times as likely as white women to receive late or no prenatal care?  Or that African American women are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women?

Come Learn More!

Tuesday, November 9th, 7:00pm

Calhoun Hall, Room 100 (South Mall, off of 21st Street)

The University of Texas Chapter of Amnesty International will host a panel discussion on their new report Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA. This panel will include  Mamas of Color Rising collective members who will talk about what maternal health options are available for poor women of color in Austin, and how barriers to choices in pre-natal care, labor/delivery, and post-natal care affect us and our children.  This event is FREE and children are welcome to attend.

This event is being held as a fundraiser for Mamas of Color Rising! Please join us and spread the word by forwarding this flier to your contacts!

You can also hear Mamas of Color Rising on several local radio shows talking about this event and our birth access project.  Tune in!

-Tuesday Nov 2nd, 8-8:30pm, “On the Fringe” on KVRX, 91.7FM
-Monday Nov. 8th, 6-7pm, Bringing Light into Darkness”, KOOP, 91.7FM
-Tuesday Nov. 9th, 8-8:30am, “Health Talk”, KAZI, 88.7FM

Mamas Action Project

On May 9th, 2010, Mamas of Color Rising realized their first Mother’s Day Action Project to demand midwifery through Medicaid in Texas. After brainstorming and bringing their ideas together, MOCR decided that to bring awareness to the community about the midwifery model that women of color lack access to, they would hand out flowers to women of color with a palmcard attached with reasons why Medicaid in Texas SHOULD cover midwifery (reasons on posting below).

The Mamas gathered in a parking lot of a grocery store which they thought would be supportive of their work, being that the majority of their customers are families/women of color. However, the store managers failed to demonstrate interest in their work. The Mamas being the revolutionary group that they are, proceeded to gather in the parking lot and continued with their work, aware that their presence was not wanted.

As the members of MOCR approached women of color in the parking lot, offering other women a flower to acknowledge the work that they do/ did as a mother, some were surprised, perplexed, responsive, and the majority thankful. Some, even offered donations for the flower, and then it was clarified by a Mama that no donation was needed and that the flower was simply a symbol of acknowledgement from one woman of color to another.

After passing out nearly 300 carnations to women, the store security approached a member and notified her that they were not allowed to be passing out flowers. Lucky for the Mamas, they had already made contact with nearly 300 mothers with whom they had the opportunity to chat with and bring their message across to.

This moment of accomplishment within a community of motherhood had to be captured.

Mother’s Day Action 2010

Mother's Day Action 2010

Mothers deserve more than flowers for Mother's Day!

*”27 countries have lower maternal mortality rates than America, according to the World Health Organization. Many of these countries also have higher midwifery rates and lower caesarean rates. More than 40 countries also have lower infant mortality rates than America, a country that spends twice as much or more per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation.”
-Boston Globe Tina Cassidy | December 8, 2006

On this mother’s day we want more than flowers and cards, we want all mothers (including poor mothers, undocumented mothers and young mothers) to have the power and the access to choose their birthing option.

Maternal and Infant mortality rates are alarmingly high in the U.S.*, particularly within communities of color. Research shows that holistic pre-natal care (including nutrition and health education) from early pregnancy on, as well as continuous birth support contribute to healthier outcomes for both mothers and babies. These options, inherent to the midwifery model of care, are not available to poor women (uninsured or on Medicaid) in Texas. Below is a list of ten reasons why Medicaid in Texas should cover midwifery:

10. Helps to prevent unneccesay interventions (technology, drugs, and surgery)
9. Provides continuous support (Midwives stay with you throughout labor and delivery)
8. Healthier babies
7. Promotes bonding with mother and child
6. Promotes breastfeeding
5. Supports mother’s and baby’s physical and emotional well-being
4. Cheaper prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care
3. Continuous prenatal and postnatal care
2. Safer birth for mother and baby

With that said, on May 9th, 2010, Mamas of Color Rising, in conjunction with Young Women United in Albuquerque, NM will be participating in a Mother’s Day Action to raise awareness about the benefits of midwifery as an accessible birthing option.

Abriendo Brecha After Party

On February 8th, 2010, Mamas of Color Rising hosted an after party for the Abriendo Brecha: Activisit Scholar Conference. at Fonda Del Sol on E. 7th Street.

 The After Party featured:

-a performance by DJ Eye One representing Austin, Texas

– a live performance by DJ Laylo and Eli Efi, both featured in the documentary film “ESTILO Hip Hop”

-a sneak preview of the video trailer by Mamas of Color Rising featuring
personal testimonies of medicaid injustice and the challenges to accessing birthing options in Austin.

Here is a link to Dj Eli Efi’s blog with pictures from the after party

Thank you to all those who came and supported our vision. We truly appreciate your presence in our work!

All proceeds went to support grassroots organizations in Austin: Mamas of Color Rising and  Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Check out the performers at:

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