February 2, 2011Speaker: Linda Maldonado, Doctoral Student, University of Pennsylvania, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, School of Nursing
Title: "Midwive's Collaborative Activism in Two Northeast Cities: 1970 to 1990"
Abstract: Infant mortality within the black community has been a persistent phenomenon in the United States, despite a dependence on advancing medical technologies and medical models of birth. Longitudinal studies before the mid-1990s historically linked poverty as the dominant factor in infant mortality affecting black communities. Refusing to accept poverty as a major determinant of infant mortality within marginalized populations of women, midwives during the 1970s through 1990 collaborated with social workers, community activists, physicians, and public health workers to assist in the empowerment of affected communities. Using Philadelphia and Washington, DC, as case studies, this historical study examines the importance of little-known individuals whose ideas and practices exemplified what is valued in nursing and midwifery.