Technology As A Tool For Liberation
Reaching the world in a click of a button is incredibly mind-blowing. Millions of thoughts, ideas, articles and various forms of media circulate from any place that has access to the internet. I became aware of the opportunity available in these facts as I use my voice to disseminate knowledge. 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.
It is important to be intentional with the way I use technology. During my undergraduate career, I studied Television/Radio Productions and Black Studies; it was at this time that I began to understand the power of images on the human psyche. I understood how the magazines, books, movies, television, music and advertisement contributed to my self-hatred because of my skin color. The perpetuation of a white supremacist idea of beauty and desirability through the media works on the minds of its consumers regardless if we are aware of it or not. 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 making the message of overcoming internalized oppression go 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.
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 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. I use social media to share information about pregnancy, labor and childbirth to women like me from urban communities who cannot access the knowledge 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 artfully weaves narratives that highlight the socio-political landscape by through which women have learned to endure for generations. It is an advocacy project raising awareness on the condition of women's holistic & 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, with the implication of imagining the possibility of transformation.
Furthermore, 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. Using technology is of the utmost importance to reprogram ourselves and our peers out of the illusion 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.