2021 Board Emergency Letter

The Midwives Alliance of North America appreciates the patience and feedback received during this current transition involving the Interim President Dr. Sarita Bennett. For purposes of decision making, respective of our consensus process and MANA’s Policy & Procedures within the Bylaws: The individual Officers of the MANA Board recognize freedom of expressions such as personal opinions, words (spoken or written), including personal views expressed publicly or privately; including use of various communications via social media posts or platforms are those of that specific individual. These expressions in and of themselves, do not represent all nor any other individual Officer of the MANA Board, nor the collective organization of MANA and its Membership. (MANA Policy & Procedures Articles VI, VII, XII) MANA with due diligence has taken time to: 1)review the initial complaint and circulating petition, 2)receive a response from Interim President Dr. Sarita Bennett and 3)receive responses from the Membership of MANA. (MANA Policy & Procedures Articles III and V.)

MANA fully upholds the autonomy of all Midwives irrespective of their chosen route of entry.

Our Mission and Vision Statement aligns MANA to loudly support  every effort for all midwives that lead to autonomy and sovereignty worldwide.

In order to fulfill the duties prescribed in the MANA Policy & Procedures and Bylaws, the MANA Board has determined the following to be in the best interest of Midwives Alliance of North America:

  • Whereas a number of MANA members and potential members have expressed significant and emergent concerns within the office of Presidency currently held by Interim President Dr. Sarita Bennett.
  • Whereas no formal election has occurred since the last elected board.
  • Whereas the MANA Board of Directors recognizes the responsibility to immediately return to a state of compliance with the bylaws, policy and procedures document, and the requirements of its incorporation as a non-profit in the State of Washington.

The MANA Board believes that a state of emergency has arisen within the organization and action must be immediately initiated to return MANA to an organization of compliance supporting its guiding documents.

MANA proposes a vote of the membership immediately:

  • Allowing the Policy & Procedures process to take its course; whereby members vote to support or remove the Interim President.
  • Please update your contact information within your membership account.  www.MANA.org/membership 
  • Members will receive an electronic ballot within 24 hours.
    • The current office of Presidency will be sustained or vacated per the results of that vote.
    • An emergency election of other Board Positions will be held in 2021.

We additionally find that, to ensure a fair and diverse election in 2021, the following conditions should be met:

  • Any current board member may choose to be a candidate for their current position, and that nominations and volunteers will be actively recruited.
  • All candidates participating in this emergency election will be given an equal opportunity to share their platform in the form of one video, one written position statement, and participation in an online Q&A session, through official MANA channels.
  • All outgoing board members should make themselves available to the incoming board member filling their position for a period of not less than 3 months to assist in orientation of the new member to the organizational structure and processes.

Furthermore, the current MANA Board has come to a consensus to request that the leave of absence of the Interim President will be extended up to the full 90 days or until this voting process has been completed; including hearing from our Membership. The Vice President will serve as Interim President during her leave of absence.


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