QMNC Calabash Cafe

Join our monthly, virtual, global gathering and share stories, resources, and learnings related to reproductive justice.

Connect with the QMNC community in a relaxed, intimate virtual setting

At each Calabash Cafe, we will connect with and learn from our global community of researchers. Get comfortable, grab a cup of tea, and join us for a relaxed, facilitated experience.

Join us live and on the QMNC platform

Our live gatherings will include facilitated dialogue and networking sessions. Presentations will be recorded and posted on the QMNC platform, where we will continue the conversation and build community. We are rotating timezones to ensure these sessions are available to QMNC members regardless of where in the world you live.

Meet our facilitator, Micknai Arefaine

Micknai Arefaine (she/they) is a birthworker, cultural organizer, and reproductive anthropologist. She serves as QMNC Equity Project Manager and works with QMNC leadership and fellows on a scoping review of Epistemic Justice research. For her Master’s research in Applied Anthropology, Micknai led a study with her community of women in the Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia where she investigated how they model, express, and reflect the values of community, trust, care, stability, and futurity through their perceptions and sentiments regarding social and political change.

Our next Calabash Cafe

Topic: Future and Legacy of QMNC: Leadership Forum with Dr. Holly Kennedy and Dr. Melissa Cheyney
Facilitators: Drs. Melissa Cheyney and Holly Kennedy
Event 1: Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 2:00 AM EDT
Event 2: Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 11:00 AM EDT 

Where did the QMNC Alliance come from, where has it been, and where is it going?

That will be the topic at our next Calabash Cafe. Join us as Drs. Melissa Cheyney and Holly Kennedy share the history of QMNC, what the Alliance has done so far, their experiences as part of QMNC, and their hopes for its future.

Then, add your own voice as you are invited to share your experience of QMNC so far and your own hopes and vision for its future. What are you most excited about, and how can the Alliance help you make a difference in quality, just maternal and newborn care, around the world and in your community?

Don’t miss it! Your input in this important Calabash Cafe will help shape the direction of the QMNC Alliance going forward.

Registration is free for QMNC members.

Not a Member?

Why the name “Calabash Cafe”?

The calabash has many names in many languages and has a long history of use by humans. It is a symbol of home, the womb, community, water, and wisdom.

We chose this name because both the Calabash and the Cafe are part of human existence around the world. They symbolize gathering together to drink from the universal and timeless well of knowledge and understanding. We look forward to learning from one another what these symbolize in our respective cultures and traditions while co-creating our own community as we gather around the Calabash.

“Indeed, throughout the African diaspora, among different religious and spiritual groups, the calabash is a sacred object that often serves divine purposes.” - Gina Athena Ulysse

“Many plants have worked their way into our lives, but few have done so with as much flair as the calabash. For over ten thousand years, people have used the calabash (known also as the bottle gourd and formally as Lagenaria siceraria) in all sorts of ways. They’ve eaten it as food. They’ve used it as fishing floats, as pontoons for river rafts, as goblets, as pipe stems. And around the world, people make music with it.” – Carl Zimmer