Celebrating Juneteenth: SuNu Wellness Supports Black Home Birth Initiative and Advocates for Black Maternal Health Education

Juneteenth – Elevating the Black Home Birth Initiative and leaning into learning


Written by Sarah Auna


 At SuNu, being actively and vocally anti-racist means we recognize the importance of honoring Juneteenth — both with financial contributions towards Black-owned businesses — but also with learning about White Privilege and White Supremacy culture. This year, to celebrate Juneteenth, SuNu Wellness supports Black Home Birth Initiative and advocates for Black maternal health education.

The white identifying staff at SuNu is taking our alliship seriously, and in this post we are not only going to elevate the extraordinary work of Minnesota’s Black Homebirth Initiative, but also educate our readership on the reasons why it’s so important that Black folks have access to culturally competent care. Culturally competent care means receiving equitable healthcare in a space that reflects back to you your values, culture, language behaviors and lived-experience.

Black Births Matter

Celebrating Juneteenth: SuNu Supports Black Home Birth Initiative
Photo from Black Home Birth Initiative

Culturally competent care acknowledges the likelihood of  a positive outcome increases when a person is given care from a provider whom they trust, and can see themselves in.

This concept is likely one of the reasons why you (if you identify as a white person) might enjoy coming to SuNu. The practitioners feel familiar, they uphold similar behaviors, decision-making strategies and language as you. They look at the world through a similar lens as you and make it easy to trust them with your body, pain and medical decision making.

Acknowledging that no matter how much racial equity training we do, SuNu as a primarily white space, cannot meet all of the specific needs of People of Color, we look to support spaces that can offer that care. We support them with our financial means and with our efforts.

Work to Improve Outcomes Within the Local Community

Minnesota has one of the largest hospital-birth based disparities in the country. Simply put, you are far more likely to have a serious birth-related complication, injury, loss or trauma while giving birth if you are a person of color in Minnesota, than if you are white.

Celebrating Juneteenth: SuNu Supports Black Home Birth Initiative
Photo from Black Home Birth Initiative

Acting as a bridge to help Black people and other Folks of Color exit this oppressive system, the Black Home Birth Initiative works to fund the cost of People of Color receiving Midwifery care by and from  people of color. The BHBI’s solutions to reducing these disparities are:

  • “To remove the financial barrier to accessing a community midwifery care by funding Black families homebirth and/or doula fees and biweekly day clinic visits.”

  • “To provide free community education for Black families as well as consulting services for allied birth organizations or professionals.”

  • “To train the next generation of Black midwives, and provide advocacy and funding resources for current students.”

You Can Make a Difference

Again, to celebrate Juneteenth, SuNu Wellness supports Black Home Birth Initiative and advocates for Black maternal health education. Please join us in making a one time donation to the Black Home Birth Initiative.  Or, pledge an on-going contribution. On Wednesday, June 19th, SuNu will be donating 10% of all clinic earnings (at both SuNu locations) to the Black Home Birth Initiative. You can honor Juneteenth by donating to the BHBI here. Also by learning more about systemic racism in America by reading this document from the Minnesota Historical Society on dismantling White Supremacy Culture in your own beliefs and behaviors.

Meet the Author

Sarah Auna is well known throughout the Twin Cities as a Doula, Birth Educator, Connector, Author and Advocate. SuNu has trusted and partnered with Sarah at every opportunity over the years, and is thrilled to have her on our team as a Birth Consultant, Decision Making Coach and Administrative Team member. In her own words, Sarah is, “a queer woman who actively and vocally works to be anti-racist and in-relationship with the BIPOC birth workers who have solutions to reducing birth-rate disparities for the Black, Brown and Indigenous birth givers in our community and the United States.” Click here to schedule a birth consultation or decision making coaching session with Sarah.

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