"Redefining Our Own Center” An Interview with Stevie Merino

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Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz
Shui-yin Sharon Yam


Radical doulas are often on the frontlines supporting multiply marginalized birthing people. In providing emotional and physical support to people in labor, doulas are uniquely positioned to witness, to respond, to intervene in the obstetric racism and other forms of injustice unfolding in birth settings—an invariably rhetorical process. In this interview, we talk with Stevie Merino—medical anthropologist, full-spectrum doula, and the co-founder/executive director of the Birthworkers of Color Collective in Long Beach, California. Merino discusses how reproductive, racial, and queer justice informs her birthwork. This interview highlights the discursive and material strategies queer birthworkers of color deploy to support multiply marginalized clients, and the ways they navigate and challenge the existing medical system.

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