Hello Good People!
My apologies for the hiatus - I gave birth to my daughter Siobhan Eloise Brown Conway on June 1st, 2010 and life since then has been, well, different! Siobhan was born at home, and I was attended in my labor by an extraordinary team that included my midwife, Marcy Tardio, my doula, Samara Gaev, and my husband, Samuel Conway. It was a transformative birth experience - Siobhan came in less than 5 hours and weighed 10 lbs 12 oz! My midwife Marcy and I are writing the story of the birth experience together, to be published in the Sarah Lawrence College Magazine (we are both alums). When that goes up, I will link to it in Iambrown so that those who are interested can have a read.
And now for the other big news. As many of you already know, my partner Sam and I made the decision this past spring to move our growing family to the Twin Cities (otherwise known as Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota). We officially left Brooklyn on July 30th, and we are currently taking a brief respite from the world at Sam's childhood home in the woods, before we begin home-hunting in earnest.
Sam grew up in Minnesota, and I have been in love with it ever since the first time I visited him here in the summer of 2004. It has always been our plan to live here, and when we became pregnant with our second child, we found ourselves considering what it would mean to go ahead and make the transition now (as opposed to 2012, when everything is falling apart :). Leaving Brooklyn was one of the hardest choices I have ever made, but I realized two things as a part of that process: 1) leaving my community was not ever going to be easy, whether I did it in 2010 or 2012 or 2020; and 2) it was because I had this incredible, strong community that I could be brave enough to leave. In my community, I am deeply rooted in people rather than place, which means I am not really leaving it behind me. I can carry it with me.
And there's always facebook.
Needless to say, this is an enormous transition. Just ask my two-year old. But I am so happy to have the support of my friends and family in taking this step, and so thrilled to build a truly healthy life for my children in this beautiful place, where the food is fresh off the land, the seasons are challenging and rewarding, the cities have lakes and the bike paths have bridges!
What does this mean for Iambrown?
I will continue to do my work in the world - teaching Consensus Decision-Making workshops, as well as workshops on Resisting Racism; facilitating for community-based organizations, non-profits, and educational institutions; advancing the cause of accessible health care for all people (I will continue to be a member of Rock Dove Collective, woo!). I have always been willing to travel to teach and facilitate, and that will not change. I can also make referrals to facilitators and colleagues in New York for those organizations that lack the budget to pay for travel and accommodations.
How can you support this transition?
Help me connect with organizations in the midwest! I would like to bring my facilitation and workshops to communities that need them, and I am always looking for opportunities to grow. So if you know of an org that could use my help, refer them to me. And if you know of a program or resource I could benefit from, send it my way!
You can also support this transition by helping me figure out how to get back to New York City: two organizations in New York have requested that I return to offer consensus training in the fall, but neither have the resources to fund airfare. If you or your organization is in need of training, and can compensate me by funding my air travel and/or accommodations, let's talk!
What does this mean for the newsletter?
I will continue sending the Iambrown newsletter on a monthly basis for as long as feels right. It will have more narrative and more resources, and less local event announcements (since, you know, I am not local anymore). If you have any ideas as to how I could make the newsletter stronger and more relevant to your work, let a sista know!
And thank you all for reading, and encouraging, and supporting me these last few years. If you promise to continue inspiring me, I promise to continue working for and imagining and embodying change.
p.s. Thanks to all who supported and fought for the Midwifery Modernization Act (MMA). MMA passed the New York State Senate unanimously and without debate, which means that homebirth midwives in NYC are now free to practice without the restriction of a written agreement with an obstetrician, and without fear of being reported for doing the work they are trained to do. Yes! Change is possible!