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BOLD also includes "BOLD Red Tent" events. Conceived by BOLD founder Karen Brody, a BOLD Red Tent is an opportunity for communities to find out about how local mothers are giving birth by hearing directly from mothers. It is also a healing “tent,” where mothers who have had a challenging birth can heal through the telling of their stories.

Visit the national BOLD web site to learn more about the "BOLD Red Tent."


The Tacoma Labor Companions organized two BOLD Red Tents in 2007. This email came from Caroline, one of the women who participated:

"Thank you for such a lovely idea!  I went tonight and even though I am an older mother (my youngest is 28) I was deeply touched, inspired, and moved.  I laughed, I cried, and I left with joy singing in my heart.  It was a great end to a very long hard day at work."

And one of our Tacoma BOLD Red Tent organizers, Melissa Canfield of Tacoma Labor Companions, wrote this lovely story:

Last night's Red Tent was such a wonderful experience, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have taken part in hosting such an event for women in the Tacoma area.  
Putting together the tent reminded me of when I was little and would make "forts" out of blankets. My sister and I would make tents all the time – it was a place for telling secrets, a place of refuge, comfort, creativity…Enfolded in that space, my sister and I grew in the depth of our relationship and grew together as a united force facing the world.   So, too, was this Red Tent experience. Women walked into the room mostly as strangers, entered into the Red Tent, shared their souls and left the event as "sisters" ready to take on the world with a new sense of support and validation in being a woman.
I've shared my birth stories several times, and each time is different, and I learn a new thing about myself through each telling of it.  When I hear the stories of others, I feel that it is such a gift to me:  I get to act as a means for other women to come to know themselves better, and in the process of listening, I benefit by being taught important things about myself as well. What a blessing it was for me to learn and grow from what I took part in yesterday!
As we were putting up the Red Tent, a postpartum class was being held in another area of the building. The postpartum instructor and the coordinator for the childbirth and parenting classes were so impressed with the space that was created that they started to talk about doing more of these events – lots more!   The postpartum instructor even tried to see if we could meld the Red Tent and her class that night – her class members expressed interest as well as they walked by.  Unfortunately, because of a variety of factors we weren't able to join forces this time  BUT, it did open many doors for creating opportunities for the sharing of birth stories.


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