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Pregnant Domino Kirke Steps Down From Carriage House Birth Role After Company Receives Racist Accusations

Stepping away. Domino Kirke has decided to step away from Carriage House Birth, the doula company that she cofounded in 2010, following claims of racism.

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“As you all know, 3 days ago anti-racist educator and activist Shishi Rose called out Carriage House Birth and myself. This week has been about pausing so I can really get behind what I say and do next,” Kirke, 36, wrote on Instagram. “I didn’t trust myself to respond personally on social media right away. After a few days of consultations with mentors in my community, CHB has decided to pause on all trainings and offerings for the forseeable future. We will be offering full refunds to our clients and students.”

The actress, who is expecting her first child with husband Penn Badgley, added that CHB is “committed to compensating Shishi Rose for the harm we caused her” and is doing everything they can to understand the situation.

Pregnant Domino Kirke Steps Down From Carriage House Birth Role After Racist Accusations
Domino Kirke and Penn Badgley in New York City on July 13, 2014. Adam Nemser/

Rose spoke out against the company via an Instagram post on May 25, revealing she will “no longer be teaching” at the company.

“I can’t be in business with white people that don’t prioritize anti racism in the foundation of their business. Particularly birth workers – this work we do is not merely hip squeezes and cute babies,” she wrote. “We are working alongside an institution that was founded off of the brutalization of Black bodies and still functions similarly. Furthermore, we are in the middle of a pandemic, Black pregnant people currently navigating this system are at even higher of a risk of being harmed within it.”

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Rose added: “Hiring Black bodies, and visually displaying Black bodies on your platforms is NOT anti racism work. Using Black bodies to gain money/better your business while not doing any anti racism work is peak colonization.”

Kirke noted that she and the company are “committed to hiring other anti racist educators to revise and teach our curriculums,” and for the time being, she “will be stepping down as a co director and doula trainer to make space for more diverse leadership.”

Pregnant Domino Kirke Steps Down From Carriage House Birth Role After Racist Accusations
Domino Kirke. Courtesy Domino Kirke/Instagram

The London native explained that she waited to respond publicly because Rose is not just a colleague, but “a close friend” of a sibling.

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“I’m deeply sorry, Shishi, for these excuses,” the singer wrote. “When CHB didn’t invite Shishi back to teach in March, I allowed my interpersonal relationship with her, the fact that she was newly Postpartum, and the excuse of COVID having changed my business model, to distract me from what Shishi was actually accusing me of. To Shishi and to the BIPOC birth community, I now understand better what I’ve been accused of and I can’t deny it. As a white person, I have without a doubt, internalized the racism inherent in my privilege. I’m sorry, Shishi, for not meeting you where you are. I was too busy focusing on the success of my organization on paper and on social media than in doing the real work and taking care of you.”

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