Alum Kimberly Reyes 01F’s Organization, All The Unexpected, Advocates for Maternal Health Equity
Kimberly Reyes 01F is raising awareness about motherhood and maternal health issues faced by Black women and other historically marginalized communities through her podcast, website, and documentary series.
Launched in December 2020, All The Unexpected — the organization Reyes founded and where she is creative director — is a resource hub dedicated to helping families navigate the most unexpected moments of parenthood.
We talked with Reyes about her time at Hampshire, her work with All The Unexpected, and her latest projects.
What did you study at Hampshire?
Broadly speaking, I studied the history of the Atlantic world, which involved the examination of African and European history, literature, and religion from the year 1400 to the present. I wrote my Div III on historical memory, focusing on how Black leadership has been viewed through the lens of American history over time.
Tell us about All The Unexpected.
The focus of our work is to help families navigate the most unexpected moments throughout the journey that is parenthood. We also use our space to highlight maternal health issues that Black women, along with other historically marginalized communities, face because of the legacy of unequal access and racism in the healthcare system.
Recently, we produced two short documentaries, Ain't I A Woman? Black Motherhood Under Assault and A Legacy Of Indifference: Medical Racism Then and Now, about the history of the intersection of race and healthcare. They’re part of a series of films designed to highlight how current issues surrounding maternal health are directly linked to the past and how concrete solutions can be found in a deep understanding of this legacy. You can view them here.
How did your experience at Hampshire influence your current work?
Hampshire gave me the freedom to chart my own course and the experience of designing a program that was entirely my own. The work I do now has been emergent in nature and continues to grow and change as I do. Learning at a young age that we can shape the very way in which we navigate institutional structures was an invaluable lesson that I’ve taken with me in all the work I’ve done since.
“Hampshire gave me the freedom to chart my own course and the experience of designing a program that was entirely my own.”Kimberly Reyes 01F
How did Hampshire prepare you for graduate school?
I started three different graduate school programs that I never finished. The fourth time was the charm, and I went on to get my master’s in political science from Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, in Milan. Hampshire taught me to never rest comfortably in spaces that weren’t meant for me. It gave me the confidence to know that I’m the driving force behind my own education and not to settle for anything that felt less than right.
What advice would you give to current and prospective Hampshire students?
I would remind them to experience the Pioneer Valley to its fullest. I loved the courses I took at Hampshire, but I’m also grateful that I made the effort to take courses at three of the other schools in the Five College Consortium. Opening yourself up to other learning experiences and teaching styles will only make you appreciate Hampshire more!
Reyes welcomes the Hampshire community to get in touch. Her organization is always looking for fresh ideas and new voices. You can reach Reyes via her website.