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Program Equity Statement

Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism 

The Midwifery Education Program sees its role in education and in the midwifery profession as part of a broader commitment to social justice. We affirm our responsibility to foster an anti-oppressive environment, not only within the Midwifery Education Program, but also within the wider community. 

The Midwifery Education Program recognizes that inequity is maintained by discrimination against and systemic marginalization of people based on, but not exclusive to, ability, age, class, economic status, educational background, ethnicity, gender, geographical location, language, race, religion, reproductive and parenting decisions, and sexual orientation. 

We ask all faculty, preceptors, learners and staff to challenge themselves around issues of diversity and equity, and to participate in the ongoing work of creating an environment that is welcoming, safe, accessible, and inclusive for all those involved in the Midwifery Education Program.  We are committed to creating an open and respectful environment which supports all to learn about social difference and grow in their understanding of the structures that support inequality. We aim to graduate midwives who will practice midwifery in a humble and reflective manner and embody a culture of healthcare that centres racialized and marginalized people. 

As university teachers and health care providers, we are in a position to reflect on our own privilege, power and engagement with white-supremacist norms that exist in our education and health care systems, as well as within the profession of midwifery. We recognize our duty to dismantle colonial constructs and systems that uphold racism and oppression, and acknowledge that this work is a life-long journey of learning. We seek to create opportunities for dialogue and self-reflection supporting continual improvement of our social justice/anti-oppression framework and its application to our curriculum and the delivery of our program. 

Student Conduct 

The intention of the Midwifery Education Program is to provide a learning environment that is safe and inclusive. It is our aim to welcome diversity and celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Every student is expected to behave professionally, respectfully and supportively as members of their small group tutorial, midwifery class and larger professional community. To that end, in all midwifery education activities there is zero tolerance of disrespectful, rude or confrontational behavior. 

Specifically, racist, homophobic or oppressive behaviour of any kind will be addressed with the offender and documented by faculty or staff. This is intended to assist people to appreciate the impact of microaggressions as much as it is to address blatant disrespectful behavior. Repeated offensive or oppressive behaviour is grounds for mandatory remediation and may result in expulsion from the Midwifery Education Program. 

Land Acknowledgement 

McMaster University recognizes and acknowledges that it is located on the territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations. We are within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement between the Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee nations. This land is directly adjacent to the Haldimand Treaty territory promised to the Haudenosaunee in 1784. 

Acknowledging the land from which we practice midwifery is important, as the profession has a long history within the Indigenous nations of this continent. The Midwifery Education Program encourages each student to take a moment to recognize and acknowledge the traditional peoples of the lands you occupy, and as applicable, to consider this history as you engage with the curriculum in this course. 

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