05-25-2018  12:03 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.According to Amazon, the Echo's Alexa voice assistant misheard a word as "Alexa" — a trigger to activate...

The Latest: 3 injured in hit-and-crash in downtown Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on hit-and-crash in Portland, Oregon (all times local):11:20 a.m.Police say three women have been injured in a hit-and-run crash near Portland State University.Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley say the vehicle hit the women while they were on a sidewalk...

'Smart' gadgets: Ways to minimize privacy and security risks

NEW YORK (AP) — Revelations that an Amazon Echo smart speaker inadvertently sent a family's private conversation to an acquaintance shows the risks that come with new technologies.According to Amazon, the Echo's Alexa voice assistant misheard a word as "Alexa" — a trigger to activate...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Utah NAACP head disheartened by sentence in hate-crime case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man accused of yelling racial slurs at the young son of a black man and then shocking the father with a stun cane has been sentenced to nine months behind bars — an outcome called disheartening by a civil rights leader.The Deseret News reports defendant...

Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.Nkechi Diallo, known as Rachel Dolezal before she legally changed her name in 2016, was charged this week...

Students hand back in yearbook after racial slur is pictured

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Students at a coastal Georgia high school are being asked to hand back in their yearbooks after a racial slur made for some bad memories.The Savannah-Chatham County school district tells news outlets that the publisher has recalled the Windsor Forest High School yearbook...

ENTERTAINMENT

Famed chef Mario Batali's Vegas Strip restaurants will close

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mario Batali's three Las Vegas Strip restaurants will shut down July 27, officials said Friday, as the celebrity chef faces sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women.Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group partner Joe Bastianich sent a letter to nearly 300 workers...

The Latest: Weinstein takes books on theater, film to arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sexual misconduct probe of film producer Harvey Weinstein (all times local):11:40 a.m.Harvey Weinstein was in and out of custody so quickly in his rape case, he probably didn't have time to read the books he brought with him.The film mogul carried three...

Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been waiting for: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.His face pulled in a strained smile and his hands locked behind his back, the once-powerful Hollywood figure emerged from a police station Friday facing rape and criminal sex act...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit,...

For CEOs, .7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year,...

Source: Trump administration has cut deal with China's ZTE

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has told Congress it's reached a deal that would allow Chinese...

Putin says US exit from Iran deal could trigger instability

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that the U.S. exit from the...

Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

TORONTO (AP) — An explosion caused by a homemade bomb ripped through an Indian restaurant where children...

Netherlands, Australia hold Russia liable for downing MH17

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A day after international prosecutors said they had unequivocal evidence of...

Kelly Moyer of The Skanner

Shafia Monroe is ecstatic and it shows.
Long noted for her role as a traditional midwife, Monroe is used to making the news. But a recent article in the esteemed national parenting magazine Mothering has dubbed Monroe, director of the North Portland nonprofit International Center for Traditional Childbearing, a "living treasure."
Typically, this back-of-the-book honor is reserved for women and men much older than Monroe, but one of Monroe's projects caught the interest of Mothering's editors, so there she is, smiling out from a full-color magazine page, radiant in a scarlet head wrap and matching jewelry.
"Shafia Monroe is a visionary birth activist," the magazine states. "For more than 30 years she has celebrated the contributions of African American midwives, helping them to connect to one another and to an underserved public."
Monroe's most recent project – the one that kicked off Mothering's interest – goes a few steps further in this effort to connect Black midwives to families in need of culturally specific healthcare services.
After five years, Monroe has published the first-ever "Directory of Black Midwives and Prenatal Providers."
"This really has been a labor of love," Monroe says of her new directory, available in a few local bookstores as well as online at www.sistahmidwife.com. "Now it's going out worldwide and I'm extremely excited."
A compact, spiral-bound book, the new Black midwives directory spans all 50 states and includes much more than just a listing of midwives.
"We're a small number," Monroe says of Black midwives. "In some states there are no Black midwives. ... So I knew I needed to make it thicker."
The book lists other Black healthcare providers such as prenatal yoga teachers, chiropractors and others who can assist a pregnant woman in her journey toward becoming a mother.
Glossy pictures of state flowers peek out from the various state sections – an idea that appealed to Monroe, a mother of seven.
"I've always wanted to learn the state flowers so I added them and I can picture women sitting down with their children, teaching them about the flowers," Monroe said.
When her son suggested adding words of wisdom, Monroe took his suggestion one step further and added words and recipes of wisdom.
The essential recipes include offerings from other midwives, as well as from Monroe herself.
Released only a few weeks ago, the directory has already garnered some international attention – Monroe said she knows that a few women from Somalia have taken copies of the directory back to Africa and that the book has already started to spread across the country.
The need for such a directory prompted Monroe – who is already extremely busy being a midwifery advocate in Portland as well as places like Africa and Colombia – to create her guide.
"It is hard to find a Black midwife," she said. "I've had physicians calling me (from across the country) looking for Black midwives to work in their clinics."
In fact, it was her own experience as a newly pregnant woman that actually prompted Monroe to give up a college path toward obstetrics for traditional midwifery – a move she made more than 30 years ago and has never regretted.
For this "living treasure," being a midwife is a lifestyle, not a profession.
"Midwives don't just deliver babies," Monroe says. "I am committed to community-based midwifery movement ... I am constantly educating. When I walk to Fred Meyer I see people, families, I tell the fathers 'You're doing such a good job. How are you?' As midwives, we do outreach 24-7. Historically, midwives did everything. Midwives are childbirth educators. They are doulas. They are breast-feeding educators. This is a triage of professions."
Monroe feels it is her duty as a midwife to ensure that the people she cares for are taking care of themselves and their children.
"Midwives teach peace, we teach self-love and we tell people, 'Pick up your baby, hold your baby.' We care about our young men and we live among the people so we need to be a constant presence in the community," Monroe said.
When she's not ensuring the health of Portland's new mothers and babies; taking care of her own very large family; educating a group of teenaged young women in her Sistah Care program; traveling to Africa to teach and to learn; or training doulas in her North Portland childbirth center, Monroe concentrates on building a new generation of Black midwives for Portland and for Oregon's more rural areas, which are in desperate need of quality healthcare providers.
"We need to build capacity all over the state, to do outreach and empower Black women all over the state," she says. "We want midwives to come here to train and then go back to their communities to work."
Asked if she ever gets exhausted by all that she does, Monroe smiles a warm smile and that look of ecstasy takes over again.
"Sometimes I do," she says, wrapping a flowing white head wrap around her dark hair. But passion for her chosen path keeps her going. As Monroe likes to say – as she must say during those times when the pace of life threatens to bring her down – "Never give up."
For more information about Monroe's International Center for Traditional Childbearing, which offers midwife and doula training; an annual Black midwives and healers conference; the Sistah Care youth program; and other workshops on the history of Black midwives and on the efforts to reduce premature deaths of infants, visit blackmidwives.org, email ICTC@blackmidwives.org, or call 503-460-9324.

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