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The impact of doulas and midwives

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, Black women are 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications than white women. Preterm birth and low birth weight are also more prevalent among Black births across the country. These startling statistics, and the recent introduction of the Momnibus Act, point to the need for a larger conversation about reproductive justice and systemic racism.

So Black women and other marginalized groups have turned to external resources for reproductive support. Doulas and midwives have played a significant role throughout the history of maternal health. According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, before the 1930s most African American women had home births facilitated by a midwife. For Indigenous and Latinx women, the assistance of a midwife ensured a safe and culturally competent approach to giving birth. These culturally sacred roles are held in high regard in communities of color where they are deemed advocates for those birthing. As we look at the startling statistics on maternal health amongst communities of color, the need for solutions like the use of doulas and midwives continues to be high. 

Join us on May 3 at 6pm for a dynamic discussion on the historical importance of doulas and midwives in relation to social justice and advocacy. 

This virtual discussion will feature panelists Shavette Campbell, Nalishia Fairley,  Maya Hart,  andJ. MilnerThe panel will be moderated by YWCA Central Carolinas’ community engagement manager, Jamila Green. Meet our panelist below:

Shavette Campbell, maternal health, advocate, expert

Shavette Campbell, MPH (she/her)

Shavette Campbell hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but has resided in North Carolina for over a decade. Shavette serves as a Project Manager for the Center for Disease Control Foundation; working as the liaison between CDC Foundation and NC DHHS, Communicable Disease Branch, to best support the State of North Carolina in public health programming disease and outbreak response.

Shavette earned her Masters of Public Health from East Carolina University with a concentration in Community Health and Health Behavior. She also received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from UNC-Greensboro. 

She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and is a DONA International Certified Childbirth Doula. Shavette serves as the Vice President and Executive Board member of Empowering Brazilian Youth (EBY), a non-profit organization located in Sergipe, Brazil. Shavette supported EBY during her undergraduate practicum in Sergipe, Brazil, and continues to provide support through health education promotion, program planning, and community research. 

Shavette enjoys traveling, latin dance, spending time with friends and family, and fighting for social justice and health equity.

Maya Hart, MSW (they/them/she/her)

Maya Hart (any pronouns) is a Black, queer mama, organizer and birth worker based in Durham, North Carolina. They graduated in 2020 with their Master’s in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a concentration in Community, Management, and Policy Practice. 

Prior to joining SisterSong, Maya was a volunteer doula at YWCA of Greensboro, providing support for Black and brown birthing people and historically marginalized communities.

She believes that we have the skills and knowledge to keep our communities safe and provide the support needed to care for our babies, children, and families. Maya currently serves on the Board of the Carolina Abortion Fund.

Nalishia Fairly

Nalishia Fairley, also known as Nala, is a birth doula, placenta encapsulator and a trained childbirth educator that serves the Triad Area in North Carolina. Nala is currently in training to become a full spectrum doula to provide more to those that need it. Outside of being a doula, she is a stay at home mom of her amazing 3-year-old son. He is her first and only child at the moment and the push that she needed to become a doula and learn the importance of a mother’s mentality during prenatal and postpartum.

Jaden Milner

Jaden Millner is the owner of Soleil Doula Co. She supports clients anywhere from Winston Salem to Durham, NC. Jaden has been a birth doula since September 2020 and trained with Chama Woydak of Homegrown Families. Jaden is extremely passionate about what she does and knows that supporting birthing people is her calling. Aside from birth work she loves animals, yoga and thrifting.

Jamila Green, YWCA Charlotte, YWCA Central Carolinas, racial justice, social justice, community engagement manager

Jamila Green, MA (she/her)

Jamila Green serves as the community engagement manager at YWCA Central Carolinas. She has been actively involved in nonprofit work focused on education and youth for the majority of her professional life, working as a site coordinator with Communities in Schools of the Midlands in Columbia, SC prior to her YWCA role. Jamila graduated from Winston- Salem State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychological science. She holds a master’s degree in community social psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Jamila’s education, experience and passion for supporting diverse communities make her a strong advocate for educational access, equity, and opportunities for those with limited access to resources related to successful outcomes.