Midwife Jennie Joseph, owner of The Birth Place in Winter Garden, was one of 12 named to Time magazine’s 2022 Women of the Year list.
A woman who fled the Taliban, an Olympic champion — and British midwife Jennie Joseph, who owns The Birth Place in Winter Garden — are among the 12 women selected as Time magazine’s inaugural Women of the Year.
The women were chosen for their efforts in creating a better future for women by building bridges across generations, communities and borders.
Those honored were invited to Los Angeles to walk the red carpet as honored guests at the Women of the Year Gala, held March 8, International Women’s Day.
“It’s really a bit overwhelming,” Joseph said. “I’m enjoying it.”
Joseph has been on the Central Florida radar for years with her dedication to healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. In 2020, she received national recognition for being the first black person to own a midwifery training school in the United States.
Time magazine called Joseph to conduct an interview about her practice, but the article was delayed because of COVID-19. When the reporter returned for another interview in 2021, she told Joseph she was one of 12 being recognized by the publication.
“I’m excited and honored, but I’m just doing what I do,” Joseph said. “Here (midwifery is) still … a newly growing procession. … I’m excited about this because I think it elevates midwifery and brings attention to what we do. We deliver people, families, communities. Midwives are the … “(It) is a great honor because it gives me a platform to speak about our work, what we do and why we do it.”
Joseph said Time theme this year was "Equality."
“I work around equality and equity, she said. “My job is making sure no one is turned away and everyone has access to have the best possible access to their expectancy and birth.”
The other 11 honorees were actress and activist Kerry Washington, Afghan journalist Zahra Joya, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, software engineer Tracy Chou, poet Amanda Gorman, athlete Allyson Felix, NASDAQ chief executive Adena Friedman, lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill, civil rights activist Amanda Nguyen and transgender actress Michaela Jaé Rodriguez.
“It was stellar and hardworking folks doing work around advocacy, justice, equality and equity,” she said.
The photos of four honorees, Joya, Clooney, Washington and Musgraves, graced the covers of four versions of the magazine. Everyone else’s stories and photos ran inside, including a five-page spread for Joseph.
Her sister, Carol Collier, flew over from England, and the two hit the shops in L.A. to find the perfect evening gowns for the occasion.
“It was just such a big deal, and to walk down the red carpet and have this really glitzy glamorous event and to be recognized is so exciting, so wonderful,” Joseph said.
They were photographed and filmed by such high-profile organizations as Access Hollywood, Time magazine and Ebony magazine. Joseph said she had a Tweet from the surgeon general.
“I’m very excited about what this means potentially and what will happen, but at the same time I feel very grounded, and we’ll still run our clinic for people who can’t pay,” Joseph said. “That’s what we do, and that’s what we will continue to do. It’s about supporting pregnant mothers and families and operating the training school to train more healthcare providers.”
Joseph’s healthcare journey culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child healthcare system, markedly improving birth outcomes for thousands of women and children. She created the JJ Way, a common-sense approach designed for women and children. The key components in the health care delivery are prenatal bonding through respect, support, education, encouragement and empowerment.
“It’s sort of emotional because you do the work because it’s what you’re driven to do and you’re doing your purpose in life,” Joseph said. “But being recognized that your work makes a difference — that’s what it really means, and being able to bring more awareness to the work, we can help more people. It brings me to that place where I feel very emotional about it.”
The Observer has invested in new technology, so you can enjoy a more personalized online experience. By creating a user profile on OrangeObserver.com, you can manage settings, customize content, enter contests and more, all while continuing to enjoy all the local news you care about — Click Here it's FREE.