Workshop Presenters

"Alexis Cobbins, Associate Director, MSW 

Alexis Cobbins has over a decade of experience working with and for Black women and their families through her work at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Human Services Agency. She spent 9 years working at the San Francisco Black Infant Health program where the work was focused on closing the Black-White disparity in infant mortality. She is experienced in providing culturally relevant and responsive services, trauma informed care/systems, grief and loss therapy related to community violence, anti-poverty work, reflective practice, and anti-racism work. Alexis became interested in work around preterm birth when she experienced her own preterm labor and delivery and has observed the lasting impacts being born premature has had on her child. She spent three years on the Community Advisory Board for PTBi before transitioning into her current role. Alexis has a Master’s of Social Work degree from CSU, East Bay"

She, her, theirs

Alexis Cobbins 

Presenting: Nothing About Us Without Us: How to Help Your Institution Effectively

Partner w/ Community 

Mi nombre es Angela, de nacionalidad  Colombiana  y residente  de Queens. Participó activamente desde hace 3 años como portavoz  del grupo Defensoras del Parto Respetado, donde mi prioridad mayor es escuchar,  promover y dar información a nuestra comunidad, sobre los Estándares de la Ciudad de Nueva York para lograr una atención respetuosa antes, durante  y después del parto. My name is Angela, I am of Colombian nationality and a resident of Queens. For the past 3 years, have been actively participating as spokesperson for the Birth Justice Defenders group, where my main priority is listening to my community and promoting and providing information about the New York City Standards for Respectful Care at Birth, to achieve respectful care before, during and after childbirth.

She/her/hers

Angela Castillo

Presenting: The Birth Justice Defenders: Mobilizing Communities in the Fight for Respectful Care at Birth

Ashley Cummings hails from Texas and has over 19 years of experience in the education and counseling fields. She holds degrees from Spelman College and the University of Houston. Ashley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a registered yoga teacher, and a certified special education teacher. She works with students who are finding school and social relationships difficult, adults who are having trouble navigating stressors, and families who cannot resolve conflict. She believes incorporating spirituality into counseling can be a powerful catalyst for change. Ashley is a proud wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

She, Her, Hers

Ashley Cummings

Presenting: Radically Witnessing the Pain of Delayed Fertility with Creative Healing

Bianca Mońa is a lover of the arts. As an artist, curator, educator, and advocate, she has initiated a number of projects at institutions such as Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY) and The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC), and Market Photo Workshop (Johannesburg, SA). All of her artistic endeavors center on a greater understanding of contemporary Africa and her Diaspora. In addition, she is particularly keen on investigative projects that tackle the living history of regular citizens who negotiate grand topics such as gender, heritage, and social-economic (dis)placement. As the founder of the Newark Black Artists Oral History Project she has exhibited these audio recordings throughout the New York Tri-State area. Ms. Mońa is a former Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellow at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at The Laundromat Project.

She, Her

Bianca Mońa

 Presenting: Storytelling as Memory

Chanel L. Porchia Albert CD, CPD, CLC, CHHC is the founder and Executive Director of Ancient Song Doula Services a reproductive health organization focused on providing resources and full spectrum doula services to women of color and marginalized communities. Her work within infant and maternal health has led her across the globe to Uganda were she has served as a maternal health strategist in rural war torn areas to address the lack of resources to birthing mothers, she is a certified lactation counselor, midwifery assistant and vegan chef and has served on various advisory boards throughout the country. She has served as a consultant for the NYC Department of Health in Mental Hygiene and other healthcare institutions engaging providers in birth justice and serves on the advisory board at Ariadne Labs at Harvard Medical School, Board of Directors for March for Moms, Board Member of The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery and Village Birth Intl. Most recently she has been appointed to the NYC Mayors Commission on Gender Equity and Advisory Board Member for Marymount College School of Politics & Human Rights. Her work in birth and reproductive justice continues to span into the research and methods of care of marginalized people and people of color bringing a human rights framework into birthing rooms and beyond into institutional reform and accountability measures within healthcare to address implicit bias and racism. Chanel and Ancient Song’s work has been featured on CNN’s Champions for Change, cover of Working Mother Magazine, NY Times and more. She is often called upon by policy makers to inform equitable legislation that centers the voices of Black and Brown birthing people and Medicaid reimbursement. When she is not speaking or facilitating workshop you can find her spending time with her six children.

she, her

Chanel Porchia-Albert

Presenting: Transforming Grassroots Movements into Positive Legislation: Understanding Medicaid Doula Reimbursement; Prison Doulas: Abolition is Not a One Time Event

Charlie is a black, afrocaribbean non-binary person of mixed race experience. They are a volunteer Ancient Song doula and freelance chef and offer a full-spectrum of sliding-scale services independently as Nourishing Seeds. By exploring deeper into doulahood, they are negotiating an ever-evolving relationship to community, family, home, and self. They are currently co-creating a podcast, Tea For Three, that aims to change culture with honest and transparent conversations on trans experience (out soon on all platforms wherever podcasts can be found!). Charlie is a double libra (sun and moon), curating ease and facilitating healing everywhere they go!

they/them/theirs

Charlie Monlouis-Anderle

Presenting: Recentering Trans* Experiences in Reproductive Care

CLARISSE KOUADJO, 54 years old child of late politician Leon Amon (Ex- Ambassador,  Mayor and Senator of Ivory Coast). Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and raised in Germany by way of France.

She obtained a Bachelor's degree in Communications and  Public Relations, and previously worked as an assistant for many top French designers in Paris. Deciding to come to America, Clarisse opened her own talent agency where she focused on fashion photography, make-up artists and independent stylists. Taking her talent further, she began a custom made clothing line  specializing in casual and evening clothing. As a domestic violence survivor, Clarisse has dedicated her life to the prevention of domestic abuse, and becoming a social activist,  advocating for women’s empowerment, mental health  and Birth Justice. She is now embracing a new journey: opening her nonprofit organization, STOP THE VIOLENCE. Clarisse continues supporting her community at her best.

She/her/hers

Clarisse Kouadjo

Presenting: The Birth Justice Defenders: Mobilizing Communities in the Fight for Respectful Care at Birth

Daphina Melbourne, MPP, Community Engagement Associate

My expertise lies in developing culturally appropriate innovative ways to engage women of color around reproductive justice, access, and advocacy from youth to women of advanced maternal age. I am also skilled in creating robust collaborative support systems between agencies to foster stronger relationships between community members and the programs fortunate to serve and support them.

she/her/hers

Daphina Melbourne

Co- Presenting: Nothing About Us Without Us: How to Help your Institution

Effectively Partner w/ Community

Fallon is a Feminist, Reproductive Justice Transformer, and Social Justice Leader.
Fallon received her undergraduate and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. While at UNC School of Law, she was a Senior Editor for the Southern Region Black Law Students Association Law Journal. As a 3rd year law student, she published "An Endless Battle: the Rise of Anti-Abortion Legislation and Decline of the Woman’s Fundamental Right to Reproductive Privacy," Southern Region Black Law Students Association Law Journal (2013). Additionally, Fallon served as a student attorney with UNC School of Law’s Juvenile Justice Clinic.

Currently, Fallon serves as a Staff Attorney and Team Leader in the Family Defense Practice at The Bronx Defenders where she represents parents in child protective proceedings who have been accused of abuse or neglect.

In the Spring, Fallon will be teaching and directing the Family Law Clinic at The University of Richmond School of Law.

She/ Her

Fallon Speaker

 Presenting: Mamas of Color and Mental Health: The Harm of State Intervention via the Child Protection System

 Katy McFadden MSN, CNM, RNC-NIC, C-EFM, ANLC, NDCS, LCCE, CEIM, CPST (She/Her) is a midwife and former NICU nurse living and working in central Brooklyn. She recently resigned from her position as a staff nurse at SUNY Downstate- University Hospital Brooklyn, a 90%+ Black serving hospital 9x more dangerous than whiter serving institutions less than 10 miles away.  Described as a "whistle blower" "committing career suicide," Katy is currently focused on full time activism, trying to bring attention & solutions to SUNY Downstate.  She hopes to bring experts together to craft legislation that will address State perpetuated medical racism through a process of Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations.

She/ Her

Katy McFadden

 Presenting: Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations: Addressing New York State’s Role in Reproductive Injustice

Krish J. Bhatt (they/them) is a brown, Desi, queer, femme, third-gender healer and disability justice organizer based in NYC. They are an herbalist, food justice worker, and community educator striving to provide affirming care to their clients. Krish is currently earning their Master of Public Health (MPH) at Columbia University, where they research the embodiment of psychosocial trauma, chronic stress, and early childhood adversity. They are also a film photographer and writer who explores themes of Black/brown joy and futurity in their work. Krish is committed to healing justice, prison/police abolition, community self-sustainability, and accessible movement building.

they/them/theirs

Krish J. Bhatt

Presenting: Recentering Trans* Experiences in Reproductive Care

Lastascia Coleman is a certified nurse-midwife and a clinical assistant professor in the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. Her educational background includes obtaining a B.S. in psychology from the University of Iowa, a Masters in Nursing and Healthcare Practice from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Science in Nursing- Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to clinical practice, she enjoys working on quality improvement projects and teaching. Her academic interests include racial disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality, reproductive justice, interdisciplinary education and breastfeeding.

she/her

Lastascia Coleman

 Presenting : Communication Strategies: Tools and Skills for Healing and Self-Advocacy

Dr. LeConté Dill was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles and is currently creating a homeplace in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. She is a scholar, educator, and a poet in and out of classroom and community spaces. Dr. Dill holds degrees from Spelman College, UCLA, and UC Berkeley. Currently, she is the Director of Public Health Practice and a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU. Committed to practicing what she names as #CrunkPublicHealth and guided by Black Feminisms, her community-accountable scholarship documents urban Black folks’ strategies of resilience, safety, and wellness.

She, Her, Hers

LeConte Dill

 Presenting: Radically Witnessing the Pain of Delayed Fertility with Creative Healing

Martha Paynter is a staff nurse at the IWK Health Centre Family Newborn Care Unit and the Nova Scotia Women’s Choices (Abortion) Clinic. She is a PhD Candidate in Nursing at Dalhousie University. In 2012, she founded Women’s Wellness Within (WWW), a registered non-profit organization that provides support, education and advocacy with criminalized women who are pregnant or parenting young children in Nova Scotia. For nearly ten years, she chaired the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) Halifax branch. She became a nurse to advance practice, policy and research that addresses social (in)justice and protects reproductive rights.

she/her

Martha Paynter

Presenting: A Prison Abolitionist Reproductive Justice Movement in Canada

Martine Hackett is an associate professor in public health at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, New York.

she/her

Martine Hackett

Presenting: Birth Justice Warriors: A Holistic Approach to Addressing Black Maternity Care in the Suburbs 

As an advocate for restorative, social change & reproductive justice, Morgan practices under the idea that she may be a part of healing & said justice through her work and zealous advocacy. Morgan believes that to allow for true societal equity to exist, advocacy, unconditional compassion & love, humility, the undoing of oppressive systematic structures, and learning must take place. Morgan received her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree in psychology from The State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She currently works as a Social Worker with the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program of The Bronx Defenders that focuses on the strength and importance of the mother-baby bond and keeping newborn babies and toddlers with their families and out of the child welfare system.

She/Her/they/them

Morgan Hill

Presenting: Mamas of Color and Mental Health: The Harm of State Intervention via the Child Protection System

Najjuwah entered women’s health during a study which measured the impact of Afrocentricity on sexual risk-taking behaviors. While conducting this study, she worked with nurses at a STI clinic in Guildford County, NC to evaluate information requested by patients and conduct outreach. Thereafter, she worked as a sexual health educator for East St. Louis School District #189 where she develop curriculum. She was then hired by East Side Health District to conduct investigations and counsel patients with STIs. Currently, she is the principal investigator of Earth and Her Flowers Project, a series of research on the economic determinants of STIs.

She/her/hers

Najjuwah Walden

Presenting: West Side Story: How the United States' (in)Action to Prevent Communicable Diseases during Pregnancy contributes to Maternal and Infant Mortality

Nysheva-Starr is a workshop designer and facilitator who coaches parents of babies and toddlers and teachers of special needs learners.  Most recently, she introduced the 1st annual Toddler Parade and Interactive Event to the public and will be publishing her book on infant development in the coming weeks.

She/her/hers

Nysheva Starr

Presenting: The Birth Justice Defenders: Mobilizing Communities in the Fight for Respectful Care at Birth

Olivia Ahn 晏平如 안근생  (they/o/(s)he ) cultivates community-based healing practices that thrive with compassion, love, and humility towards the multiple experiences of the human condition so that we may uplift our collective healing together. Their practice engages in full-spectrum doula care (birth & death), reiki, spiritual energy work, folk art/design, and counseling in the QTBIPOC community for individuals, partner(s), families, and collectives. Olivia is honored to follow the lineage of Chinese-Korean diaspora and queer indigeneity. They humbly serve in the spirit of their ancestors and fellow kindred.  

they/o/(s)he 

Olivia Ahn 晏平如 안근생 

Presenting:  Prison Doulas: Abolition is Not a One Time Event

Olivia Snow is a current master’s student in the Counseling Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include the effects of racial trauma and institutionalized oppression on the physical and mental health of pregnant women of color and new mothers. Through her research interests she hopes to raise awareness of the unique experiences and needs of women of color and to promote cultural humility within the medical field to improve the delivery of care. Currently, Olivia is completing her Doula certification with Ancient Song Doula Services and hopes to integrate this into her career as a reproductive justice advocate.

she/her

Olivia Snow

Presenting:  Silence Does Not Protect Us: The Impact of the Strong Black Woman Narrative on

Black Mothers

Onieka Bogle is an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Case Manager and student, pursuing Master of Professional Studies in social studies and special education. Onieka is a first time mother to her son, Asher; a vibrant and witty 5.5 month old. ONEEKA contacted NAPW after a traumatic birth experience of coercion, disempowerment and gender based inequality. She recently provided testimony at the NYC Commission on Human Rights' hearing in January 2019 on Pregnancy and Caregiver Discrimination and wants to continue advocating, bringing awareness to the issue of racial discrimination and coercion which disproportionately affects black women in childbirth.

She/her/hers

Onieka Bogle

 Presenting: Organizing to Combat Criminalization and Discrimination in Pregnancy and Achieve Quality Care for All

Dr. Sayida Peprah is both a licensed Clinical Psychologist and trained Birth Doula. She specializes in multicultural psychology, trauma, suicide prevention and maternal mental health. Dr. Sayida has a multi-faced career as a Clinical Psychologist having worked in community-based, in-home, psychiatric hospital and correctional settings. She is also an Associate Professor of Psychology for the University of Phoenix and presents and consults on topics of cultural diversity/humility, mental and maternal mental health, through her non-profit organization Diversity Uplifts, Inc.

Dr. Sayida’s work in maternal health includes serving as a doula mentor, cultural competency instructor and consultant for maternal health organizations, in Southern California. She is also an active member of the Black Women Birthing Justice Collective and a Collaborator with the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, promoting research, education and community-based services to positively transform birthing experiences of black families. Dr. Sayida has served and continues to serve on advisory committees to improve maternal health including the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, Maternal Suicide Review Committee and others aimed at identifying key risks and opportunities for quality improvement and prevention around disparities.

She, Her

Dr. Sayida Peprah

Presenting: Historical Trauma and Resilience: Understanding the Impacts, Leveraging the Resilience

TBA
 

TBA

Somaliah Williams

Presenting: Prison Doulas: Abolition is Not a One Time Event

Victoria St. Clair, is a graduate of CUNY Brooklyn College where she studied Sociology, Health and Nutrition, and Public Health. She became very involved on campus to bridge the gap between available resources and students' access to them. She acted as a peer mentor and a tutor at the college. As a result of her passion to create an equal and accessible learning environment for her peers, as well as her scholarly achievements, she was selected to be featured in various publications on the college's website, newspaper, and social media pages. She has assisted various administrative departments in higher education to create a process that provides the most efficient services to students.

She/her/hers

Victoria St. Clair

Presenting: Organizing to Combat Criminalization and Discrimination in Pregnancy and Achieve Quality Care for All

© 2018 by Decolonize Birth Conference.