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 cultural organizer, educator, chef, and doula. She holds a Masters in Applied Anthropology from Oregon State University. She is the owner of Za Gualay Consulting, where she works with organizations that are looking for deeply transformative and holistic experiences that center justice, equity, belonging, healing, and dismantling the systems of oppression. She designs and facilitates experiences that help empower collaborators to dream up and co-create alternative ways of living, laboring, loving, shaping spaces and time, and inhabiting the land together.

Our next Calabash Cafe

QMNC Research Manager Dr. Goodarzi is a midwife, lecturer at the Midwifery Academy Amsterdam Groningen and a graduate of the department of Midwifery Science at Amsterdam UMC location VUmc.

Dr. Goodarzi is a part of the Critical Midwifery Studies Collective. Critical Midwifery Studies aims to inspire midwifery thinkers and scholars to develop the theoretical foundations needed to confront systemic injustice in SRMN care.

Learn more about Critical Midwifery Studies here.


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