A core value of the Collaborative is cultural humility. Cultural humility is one of the principles that informs the ways in which people build trusting and intentional relationships with each other. Cultural humility governs our language, behavior and interactions with our partners within the Collaborative. Two Black women physicians and public health scholars, Dr. Melanie Tervalon, MD, MPH, and Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia, MD, MPH, first defined cultural humility, which requires a commitment to four core tenets:
- critical self-reflection and lifelong learning
- recognizing and mitigating inherent power imbalances
- developing mutually beneficial non-hierarchical clinical and advocacy partnerships with community members, amplifying the expertise of the residents in the community
- creating institutional alignment and accountability
The Birth Equity Collaborative has adopted the Women’s Health Organization definition of respectful maternity care: which refers to care organized for and provided to all women in a manner that maintains their dignity, privacy and confidentiality, ensures freedom from harm and mistreatment, and enables informed choice and continuous support during labor and childbirth, regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, sexuality, age, disability, HIV status, immigration status, housing status, income, or insurance status and type.