Dec 11, 2013

Technology as a tool for liberation

Source: World Pulse

BY Ynanna Djehuty

Reaching the world in a click of a button is incredibly mind-blowing.

As a midwife, writer and social justice advocate, I expand my network online and share my writings and thoughts about the current state of women of color in the United States. My experience has made me understand the power of technology in resisting oppression, educating the collective and creating solutions.

Using technology to counter the negative stereotypes and images we are bombarded with became important to me as I liberated myself from years of hating myself for not resembling what I was exposed to. I have used it to record lectures on the Afro-Latina identity and spreading the message about overcoming internalized oppression and it wen viral. I keep social media pages such as Facebook to constantly share videos and articles affirming the greatness of being part of the African Diaspora.

It is important to be intentional with the way I use technology.

Currently, my interest with using technology has grown to focus on the healthcare disparities in maternal health for African American and Latina women in the United States. I utilize my experience as a birth doula and now as a midwife to speak about the neglect women of color deal with in this country.

Highlighting the human rights being violated by the roadblocks to adequate access to health care – lack of equal access to annual exams, mammograms, family planning education, prenatal care, publicly funded care, STD testing and conscientious health workers.

I write articles about my personal journey to freeing myself from feeling unworthy of attending to my reproductive health. The images and messages we receive about childbirth evoke and induce more fear into woman. These messages and images work to make us fear our bodies and hand our inherent power over to medical professionals who see birth not as a natural process but as a pathological emergency.

I use social media to share information about pregnancy, labor and childbirth to women like me from urban communities who cannot access this information as easily as they can access the Internet.

I also created a multimedia project called “These Waters Run Deep.” Using reproductive and maternal health as a lens, “These Waters Run Deep” weaves narratives that highlight the socio-political landscape these women have learned to endure for generations. It is an advocacy project raising awareness on the condition of women’s holistic and maternal health, highlighting Afro-descendant women’s experience. It is a sharing of stories and art to celebrate the joy of creation and shed light on the death consuming our communities. And it is to believe in the power of transformation.

Using technology is of the utmost importance to reprogram ourselves and our peers out of the beief that we are weak and unable to birth our children with minimal intervention. My goal is to combine all these concepts that I am passionate about to help change the reality and experiences of people of the African Diaspora in the United States.

Using technology is of the utmost importance to reprogram ourselves and our peers out of the beief that we are weak

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