Dr. Claudia J. Ford has had a career in global women’s health and international development spanning three decades and all continents. Claudia is a midwife and ethnobotanist, who studies traditional ecological knowledge, women’s reproductive health, and sustainable agriculture. Dr. Ford is on faculty at Rhode Island School of Design where she teaches Women’s Studies, Indigenous Knowledge, Environmental Literature, and Environmental Justice. Claudia serves on the boards of The Orion Society, a community that publishes Orion literary magazine, and the Soul Fire Farm Institute, committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. Claudia is the director of an on-farm artists’ residency program, Tisané at Maple Homestead Farm, and she is a writer, poet, and visual artist; a single mother who has shared the challenges and adventures of her global travel with her four children.
In my research, writing, and teaching I explore the issues of medical injustice and racism, and medical inequalities, specifically in the field of reproductive health, where US outcomes are the most dismal of all developed nations. I discuss and analyze reproductive health justice as a movement that involves marginalized communities in diverse ways. The goal is to explore the multiplicity of critical issues, debates, and responses within reproductive health justice, and the intersection of these issues with herbalism. I also explore the connection of plants stories and women’s stories for the purpose of understanding the relationship between reproductive health plant medicines and reproductive health justice and contemporary responses to reproductive health inequalities, including grassroots advocacy, decolonized movements for herbal medicine, food justice, and indigenous health rights.
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