Mortuary schools began as embalming schools, sponsored by embalming chemical companies. Today, mortuary schools are designed to be more holistic, covering everything a new mortician may face in the industry. But what groups are being left out of this education? The last decade has brought hard discussions around serious gaps in what is taught to students and if they're ready for the reality of working in the death industry.
In this episode Caitlin talks with two funeral directors, Joél Maldonado and Ezra Salter to discuss race and gender in funeral education and practice.
Joél Maldonado is a funeral director, sacred end-of-life and grief care professional, and educator. Learn more on her website, The Grave Woman.
Ezra Salter (they/them) is a Louisiana licensed funeral director and embalmer, a board member of Wake, a New Orleans based deathcare non-profit, and co-creator of the Louisiana LGBTQ+ End of Life Planning Guide.
Sandi Baker article mentioned in the episode, Why Are All the Wax Heads Caucasian?
Petition to Remove Racist and Discriminatory Language From Mortuary College Dress Codes and Handbooks
Order of the Good Death, Working in Death: How Do I Become a Mortician?
Audio excerpt from Ask a Mortician webseries, Why Are Black and White Cemeteries Still Separate?
Cultural Competency: Black Hair and Skin Care for Non-Ethnic Funeral Professionals
Hosted by Caitlin Doughty
Produced by the Order of the Good Death,
Sarah Chavez and Lauren Ronaghan
Edited by Alex de Freitas
Music by Kissed Her Little Sister
Podcast artwork by Jessica Peng