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Let's introduce the Emergence Fund!



Hello everyone! My name is Justin Lorenzo and I am Emergence Fund Director.


What the heck is the Emergence Fund?


I will tell you in one second...


What? Okay but first, who the heck are you, Justin?


I am a short, Indigenous cis-male from the Laguna Pueblo, located in the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. I am also part Maidu and Hopi. This is my first time entering the world of non-profit work. For the majority of my working career, I have been in the private sector, specifically pharmaceutical manufacturing. At first glance, these two things may seem very different, but my time there has helped me grow my leadership professionally. Okay, now we are done with the boring stuff.


OK, now what the heck is the Emergence Fund?


It is a revamp of our former midwifery funding program. We are shifting our program from in-house midwifery support only in New Mexico, to funding birthing options nationwide. We believe our pregnant relatives who do want to continue their pregnancies should not have to compromise their birth story and plan if they don’t need to.


Not all states’ medicaid programs fund midwives, and some states require a deductible to be met. Some of those states that do fund care require a certified nurse midwife (aka a “CNM”). This means that if a pregnant person chooses, it is medically possible we can help them have a home birth or birthing center birth wherever they choose. If they find themselves in a hospital setting, that’s okay too because we can support them by compensating a doula of their choice to help them have the birth they want, and deserve to have.


IWR knows birthing is really sacred for us and has been for millennia, and those who conduct their rituals and traditions for us don't ask for money. Sadly we do live in a capitalistic society, and we believe it’s only right that we reimburse our clients and their medicine people for the cost of the supplies needed for these ceremonies. During the height of COVID-19 pandemic, we launched a support care program that helped with supplies for family care during these difficult times. It is a stark reminder that emergencies do happen at the worst times, and we can help alleviate that stress for a moment.


But why does it have this name, why the Emergence Fund?


Remember when you see a new baby being unfolded from a blanket for the first time and it emerges with all their beauty? (See what I did there?) Well, we believe your birth story should be like a new born baby. Your birth story deserves to be respected, revered and provided with all the necessary resources.


I am not pregnant but I would like to help.


Of course you can help, silly! We always accept donations and this link will go directly to the Emergence Fund:. https://bit.ly/emergencefund. We humbly ask that you spread the word by sharing our our social media posts about our Emergence Fund OR reach out to us to host a fundraiser.


Finally, it’s almost over - One last deep breath.


Look for upcoming emails or social media posts about our official launch date so you can spread the word for someone you feel this fund will benefit. If you have any questions, or would like to collaborate on any projects or fundraisers, you can send your questions and ideas to me via email justin@iwrising.org or give me a call at (505) 716-9608. I will try to get you answers as soon as possible, since I do work on Indian time. Thank you for listening to me mansplain this very cool program here at IWR.

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