Mission + Vision

©Lisa Gendron | Agroterra Birth

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
~ Coretta Scott King

Our Mission:

To provide quality education, advocacy, and mindfulness-based wellness services to perinatal families throughout Rhode Island.  To foster respectful, attentive, and compassionate engagement with families, which can lead to empowered leadership of their own care, increased health for the family and broader society, and  the reduction of maternal and fetal morbidity, mortality, mental and emotional disturbances, poor parenting skills, and the resulting negative effects on infant and child health and development.

To provide families with access to mindfulness-based self-care practices, complementary and alternative therapies, education, and referrals that:

  • encourage empowered and responsible self and family care
  • support families throughout every stage and transition in the perinatal period
  • fill existing holes in perinatal healthcare, and professional and communal
  • support networks to prevent families from “falling through the cracks.”

To recognize that the perinatal period is a powerful time of potential in the life of a family, and that through shared physiological, emotional and social experiences, it has the potential to decrease social and cultural barriers between individuals and communities.  Open Circle programs actively enroll and serve a mixed demographic, with an intent to build bridges and deepen human connection between diverse individuals and communities.

To recognize the importance of providing care that is respectful, aware of and sensitive to religious, cultural, sexual and gender orientation and socio-economic differences. 

To effectively serve diverse populations with increased access to care and culturally aware programs, Open Circle recognizes the importance of working with instructors, therapists and support staff that are representative of the populations being served.  Toward this goal, Open Circle seeks through advocacy work and monetary donations to support the work of sister organizations serving specific communities, as well as to actively welcome diversity in it’s practitioners and partner professionals. 

To uphold a commitment to serve ALL families, regardless of the ability to pay for services. Program costs are income-based, utilizing established guidelines and social programming, to allow all mothers and families access education, wellness therapies, and advocacy.  Programs are currently funded by means of direct payment for services, and many in time additionally be funded by insurance reimbursement, scholarships, grants, and donations.

To work in close partnership student’s and client’s medical professionals and institutions, and utilize the best available evidence-based practices in therapeutic and educational offerings. To support participation in research studies seeking to evaluate the effectiveness of holistic therapies, classes and support groups.

 

Community Building:

Open Circle believes in the potential of building healthy community that celebrates both the differences and similarities in our human experience. We have witnessed how the shared experience of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting has the power to create connections between people from different backgrounds and belief systems. Babies, after all, are made, grown and birthed in much the same way throughout the world.

It is important that women and families receive care from within their own community, which offers a level of knowledge and shared life experience that is irreplaceable. Simultaneously, it is vital that families can access respectful care in every setting they choose to be in. Open Circle regularly refers families to sister organizations from within their own communities, and at the same time strives to create a space at Open Circle that is built off a commitment to respect and mutual learning. 

Throughout the history of this country, there have been significant divisions in our local and national communities, most built on a long history of inequality, injustice and a system of white supremacy. This history has, and continues to, particularly harm women, people of color and the poor. Perhaps this can no more clearly be seen than in the health disparities suffered by mothers and babies throughout the United States.

We believe that change will occur when mothers and families rise up and demand better – for themselves and for their sisters, mothers,  daughters and all families. We hope that sharing the labor planting of seeds of awareness, connection and compassion in our small community may help bridge differences and build solidarity and direct action in our world.

 

Inclusion:

We welcome families from all backgrounds, cultures, traditions and sexual + gender orientations. Open Circle seeks to ensure that its education, preventative health and wholistic services are accessible to any woman or family who seeks utilize them. Through offering an income-based fee structure we seek to contribute to breaking the pattern of these services only been available to a small, privileged sector of the American population. We hope, in time, that the organization’s diversity, location of offerings, and language accessibility can further be improved upon.

In addition to making our services accessible, it is our goal to offer culturally sensitive and respectful care to any family that joins us. We welcome the input and critique of families joining our community, and will work to correct areas of unintentional bias or inequality within our teaching, offerings and community. Let us know how we can do better!