We are so proud to link to the recently-published essay of two women and mothers in the We Rise - Leadership Circle of the Minnesota Prison Doula Project. There have been several prison doula projects that have come and gone in our country. I truly believe the reason the Minnesota Prison Doula Project is still here, after 9 plus years, because it listens to, amplifies the voices of, and is led by its clients: the pregnant and postpartum people it serves inside jails and prisons.
There are so many moving parts in the complex issue of child welfare and justice involvement. We are not naive in thinking the issues are black and white. There are layers upon layers of gray.
We do know that listening, seeing each other as whole human beings who are flawed and vulnerable, and looking beyond judgement to the cellular level -- a mother who wants only the best for her child and a case worker that wants safety and security for a child - can lead to change. This change can be collaborative in the mother's life, the child's life, and the child welfare worker's life.
We are thankful for those who work to protect children in our world and who work hard to listen to their mothers and understand their strong desire for healing and their never-ending love for their child.