All posts filed under: Politics

Affirmative Action: Forging Our Own Identity

This is the last part on a series about how data effects Education and Affirmative Action. You can catch up with Part One here and Part Two here. Recap: We’ve discussed our need to be seen as a distinct group from the rest of Asian America and we’ve also highlighted some of the obstacles we’re running into, with regards to our push for personhood. As I noted in the last segment (part 2), creating our own Lao American platform, with a good amount of distance from the rest of Asian America, is not about hostility or division: it’s about priorities. As a less-resourced, less-accommodated ethnic group, we have to prioritize ourselves because the big players in Asian America (typically East Asian American groups) don’t seem to have our community’s concerns¬†within sight. Luckily though, work to prioritize Lao Americans has already begun to take root, being¬†championed by our own community members. Know Your Role I mentioned before that Southeast Asian Americans worked to win Asian American educational data disaggregation in Rhode Island. Lao Americans were part …

Maternal Health Care: Midwives in Canada and Laos

This is the first piece in a series exploring the profession of a midwife and their value at birth. “Here comes another one.” The fetal monitor spiked as another contraction began. I paced the floor, trying to block out the beeping machines and freezing operating room. After three home births, this was no doubt unchartered territory. But the high-risk nature of delivering twins dictated that even a natural birth should take place here. Our babies arrived healthy and without complication. Working to make this happen was a medical team consisting of an obstetrician, nurses, and an anesthesiologist standing by in case of emergency. At the core of this group were two midwives whose support remain invaluable to this day. Midwifery is an anomaly to many in the modern world. The term often conjures images of home births with basic medical supplies. This is a snapshot of prenatal care in much of the developing world. In rural Lao PDR, midwives are stationed at the front lines of maternal and newborn health. A single clinic serves several …