Carmen Mojica’s ’07 (Black Studies; Communication) interest in social justice was planted in high school, when she participated in an after-school program focused on social justice in the South Bronx, but it didn’t fully blossom until she arrived at SUNY New Paltz.
“It was because of New Paltz that I got into reproductive health,” said Mojica, now a certified professional midwife, doula, educator and activist. “In my time at the College I was exposed to many people, classrooms and experiences that led me to consider my reproductive health, and I was surrounded and supported by fellow activists in my classrooms and on campus.”
The alumna became a birth worker through a fellowship with Hudson Perinatal Consortium in 2010, and later graduated from Maternidad La Luz, a midwifery school and birth clinic in El Paso, Texas. Mojica has since attended more than 90 births and provided Spanish-language prenatal and postpartum care to dozens of mothers.
“I love working with pregnant women and catching babies. No matter how many times I’ve seen a birth, that never gets old,” she said. “But every birth is unique, every story is different. The intention of my work is to dismantle the generational effects of the enslavement and violations of human rights to help birthing individuals and families break cycles of trauma and violence.”
As a doula, Mojica provides mental, emotional and spiritual support for women during and after pregnancy, and additional support to the women’s family and friends. But she is also well-versed in intergenerational trauma, healing, transformation and wellness, and brings these skills to her advocacy efforts.
Mojica makes raising awareness about maternal and infant health a core element of her work. She highlights the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color as a professional speaker, activist and author, and traces her interest in these issues back to her time as a student in New Paltz’s Black Studies Department.
“When I got to the College, I was not proud to be Black,” she said. “But my experience as a Black Studies major helped me to heal the societal ‘anti-Blackness’ that I was internalizing enough so that I could get past it and help others to heal as well.”