Thursday, September 14, 

(1-3 ET/10-12 PT)
Midwifing Justice: Birth & Beloved Economy
A virtual gathering offering inspiration and practical steps toward building a fully resourced, community-owned and powered care infrastructure where the wisdom, leadership, and lives of Black and Indigenous people are valued and centered.
Confirmed Speakers
Taj James (He/Him)
Co-Founder & Co-Curator
Taj is a father, poet, strategist, designer, philanthropic and capital advisor. Taj thrives on connecting community stewards and capital stewards to bring financial value into alignment with sacred values in ways that build community wealth. Taj is a, Principal with Full Spectrum Capital Partners, as well as Co-founder and a Senior Advisor at Movement Strategy Center.
Stephanie McLemore Bray (She/Her)
Touchstone Leadership Group
Orchid Capital Collective
Stephanie McLemore Bray has 35+ years of experience working in the government and nonprofit sectors to secure justice, resources, and access to opportunity. She has held leadership roles in higher education, healthcare, and human services organizations. As a fundraiser, she has raised over $300M through annual appeals and capital campaigns. As a former United Way CEO, Stephanie led the development of a collective impact model with the community to improve its education and health outcomes in partnership with small business owners, healthcare providers, funders, community leaders, and the school district.

She has written about philanthropy and the Black maternal health crisis for USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism. Her review of Dr. Andre Perry’s book, Know your Price, covers why the lack of investment in securing the social determinants of health for Black people is just one symptom of “the disease of social racism”. Her historical analysis and scoping review on demolishing the myth of the default human that is killing Black mothers, also co-written with Dr. Monica McLemore, was published in Frontiers in Public Health.
Maymangwa Flying Earth, Esq (She/Her)
Founder & Director
Birthing Sovereignty
Maymangwa Flying Earth, Esq. (Lakota/Dakota, Anishinaabe, Akimel O’odham) grew up on the Standing Rock reservation. Justice and human dignity have been guiding principles throughout her life and at an early age, she attended meetings on Indigenous education, language revitalization, and tribal sovereignty with her family. Since the birth of her children, ages 5 and 9, Maymangwa has recognized a need for more Indigenous birth justice advocates. In 2021, Maymangwa founded Birthing Sovereignty, an organization focused on supporting Indigenous birth workers and tribal leaders assert their sovereignty and reclaim Indigenous birth practices on tribal lands. Maymangwa serves on the New Mexico Maternal Mortality Review Committee and currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Nikia Grayson (She/Her)
Chief Clinical Officer
Choices Center for Reproductive Health
Nikia Grayson, DNP, MSN, MPH, MA, CNM, FNP-C, FACNM (she/her) is an extraordinary advocate and trailblazer in the field of birth justice and midwifery. With a comprehensive background in nursing, midwifery, anthropology, and communications, she has devoted her life to serving and empowering underserved communities. Currently serving as the Chief Clinical Officer at CHOICES Center for Reproductive Health, Nikia played a pivotal role in establishing the first non-profit comprehensive reproductive health care center in the nation, along with the first birth center in Memphis. Her mission is rooted in disrupting the existing healthcare system and creating a healthcare landscape that dismantles inequalities and champions new models of care that prioritize midwifery and uplift Black and brown communities. Nikia is regarded as one of the key individuals pushing to encourage and bring Black midwifery back to life in the South with training and education, along with expanding options for Black mothers and birthing people to where they choose to give birth.
Saturday, September 16,
(1-3 ET/10-12 PT)
Ask the Midwives!!
Pregúntale a las Parteras!
Sponsored by American Association of Birth Centers in collaboration with Birth Center Equity
Curious about birth center care but don't know who to ask? Learn from a panel of experienced midwives! This Q&A session is an opportunity for families to learn about birth center care. Ask us anything! Themes could include safety, logistics, cost, prenatal and postpartum care, the birth, transfer, and culturally relevant care. The panel will include both English speaking and Spanish speaking midwives and we warmly welcome questions in both languages.
¿Sentías curiosidad sobre cuidado en los centros de parto, pero no sabes a quién preguntar? Aprende de un panel de parteras experimentadas. Esta ronda de preguntas, es una oportunidad para que las familias aprendan sobre cuidado en centros de parto. ¡Pregúntanos lo que quieras! Los temas podrían incluir la seguridad, la logística, el costo, el cuidado prenatal y posparto, el parto, la transferencia, y el cuidado que es culturalmente relevante. El panel incluirá parteras que hablan inglés y que hablan español, y diéremos la bienvendia amablemente a preguntas en las ambas idiomas.
Click Here to Register for This Event
Haz Clic Aquí Para Registrarte en Este Evento
Confirmed Speakers
Stephanie Murillo (She/Her/Ella)
El Paso, Texas
Stephanie Murillo lives and works in the borderland of El Paso, TX, and Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua, where she was born and raised. She is a mother, midwife, student mentor, and reproductive justice advocate. Stephanie's professional collaborations include working within a birth center collective with Luna Tierra Birth Center, serving as a board member for a reproductive health center in the making as a project of Bold Futures. As co-founder of El Nido collective she is working along with community birth workers, in the hopes to offer doula services, postpartum healing foods, ceremonies and more. She is also passionate about supporting policy change that benefits BIPOC women and birthing people and organizing events that support an end to obstetric violence. Stephanie is also committed to reconnecting and providing traditional care practices such as cerrada de caderas and herbal remedies.
Ebony Marcelle (She/Her/Hers)
Washington, DC
Ebony Marcelle is the Director of Midwifery at Community of Hope that includes Family Health and Birth Center. Formerly the Administrative Chief of Midwifery Service at Medstar Washington Hospital Center she completed her nursing education at Georgetown University, Midwifery at Jefferson University and her Doctorate at Frontier University. In 2019 she was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Nurse Midwives. In 2018, she completed Duke University and Johnson & Johnson Nursing Leadership Fellowship. She adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and has been guest faculty at IHI (Institute of Health Improvement) focused on rebuilding systems to address racism and health equity. Her advocacy work has included multiple congressional briefings creating awareness around the need for policy changes to reduce maternity care disparities. Dr. Marcelle is known for her passion in midwifery and midwifery’s role in reproductive justice. She has built culturally aware clinical models of care specifically for under resourced Black women. She is currently serves on the following boards: National Association for the Advancement of Black Birth, March for Moms, American Association of Birth Centers and is a collaborator with Black Mamas Matter Alliance. In 2019 she was appointed to the District’s Inaugural Maternal Mortality Review Committee and currently in her second term.

She resides here in Washington, DC, with her husband, Step-son, and daughter.
Trinisha Williams (She/Her)
Brooklyn, NY
Trinisha became a Fellow in 2017 and completed a degree in Midwifery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 2003. She spent the next decade working as a midwife and educator in New York City hospitals, and she founded her home birth midwifery practice, Midwife in the City, in 2014. She currently teaches midwifery students at SUNY Downstate and mentors several aspiring midwives. In June 2019 she became the Director of Midwifery at Brooklyn Midwifery Group until July 2020, where she carried the center through the Coronavirus Pandemic and opened a second location, Jazz Birthing Center of Manhattan. In 2019, Trinisha was appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Birth Centers. After leaving the BBC, she created a nonprofit called Midwifery Collective where she is working to form Haven Midwifery Collective, NYC first midwifery-led birthing center, where she is the President and Founder. She has attended over a thousand births in her career both in hospitals, homes, and birth centers. Trinisha is committed to improving maternal health disparity by having birthing centers as a viable option for all low-risk birthing people. Currently, she is a homebirth midwife at Midwife in the City. She is married, an aunt of 12, and a native New Yorker who resides in Brooklyn. She was recently elected President Elect of AABC.
Nikki Helms (She/Her/Ella)
San Diego, CA

Confirmed Speakers
Premiering Monday, September 18, 

(12 Noon ET/9 am PT)
Lanzamiento en español,
Viernes, 15 de Septiembre, 

(1 pm ET/10 am PT)

Midwifing Justice Animated Video Release/
Lanzamiento del vídeo animado "Parir la Justicia"
Join us to celebrate the virtual release of a new animated video (produced by the award winning artistic team at (Sharp As Knives) evoking the power and beauty of a world where Black, Indigenous, people of color live in safety, abundance, and liberation, creating a pathway for safety, abundance, and liberation for all.
Únase a nosotres para celebrar el lanzamiento virtual de un nuevo video animado (producido por el galardonado equipo artístico de (Sharp As Knives) que evoca el poder y la belleza de un mundo donde las personas Afrodescendientes, Indígenas y de color viven en seguridad, abundancia y liberación, creando un camino hacia la seguridad, la abundancia y la liberación para todes.
Se ofrecerá interpretación simultánea en español.
en EspañolSimultaneous English interpretation will be provided
Oradores Confirmados
Vanessa Caldari, Paloma Hernandez (She/Her)
Centro MAM, San Juan, PR
Lina Garcia (She/Her)
Luna Tierra Caso de Partos, El Paso, TX
Confirmed Speakers (English Event)
Cessilye R. Smith 
(She/Her) Founder & CEO
Abide Women’s Health Services
Cessilye R. Smith is the founder and CEO of Abide Women’s Health Services, which exists to improve birth outcomes in communities with the lowest quality of care by offering healthcare and complimentary services that are easily accessible, holistic, evidence-based, and free from judgment. Cessilye was a recipient of the 2021 Rising Leader Fellowship, a program of Sojourners funded by the Open Society Foundations, an honorable mention for the Juanita Craft Humanitarian Visionary Award 2020. Through her leadership, Abide was recognized by D CEO Magazine with the 2020 Non-Profit of the Year Award (micro).
Leanne Levers. PhD (She/Her)
Director of Advocacy & Communications
Leanne is a political scientist with a focus on human rights,  justice reform, and gender equality.She has worked as a Policy and Advocacy specialist across the US, UK, and the Caribbean. She is also the co-founder of a global platform called Dope Black Women, which provides digital safe spaces for Black Women to network, celebrate and inspire each other across the diaspora.
Wednesday, September 20,
(1-3 ET/10-12 PT)
Midwifing Justice: 
Birthing Powerful State Policy
This virtual gathering will highlight  the innovative policy work in Colorado and in Michigan to inspire and inform organizing in every state.
Confirmed Speakers
Indra Lusero (They/Them)
Indra is a human rights attorney who loves to tackle new territory, dive into cutting-edge issues and ideas, and navigate periods of change and uncertainty. Indra is the founder of Elephant Circle and the Birth Rights Bar Association. A Queer, Genderqueer, Latinx parent rooted in the Rocky Mountain West. Indra practices a multidisciplinary approach including legal advocacy, community-based lobbying and rulemaking, community organizing, arts and education.
Nicole Marie White, CPM (She/Her) Director Co-founder & Policy Director
Nicole Marie White is a Licensed Midwife (LM), Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and birth advocate with a public health degree from Wayne State University. She is a Co-founder and the Policy Director of Birth Detroit. Birth Detroit is a collective of birth workers and public health advocates committed to building a more just place to birth in Detroit and beyond while embracing a community-organizing approach to birth center development rooted in deep equity and meaningful partnership.  Nicole has been attending births for 20 years and has been a national and state midwifery policy leader. She received a fellowship to work on public policy to address maternal-infant health disparities in Michigan, served on the inaugural Board of Licensed Midwifery for the State of Michigan, led the opening of Birth Detroit's first prenatal and postpartum clinic, and facilitated the development of Birth Detroit's Birth Justice agenda.
Leseliey Welch (She/Her)Co-Founder & CEO Birth Detroit Co-Founder & Co-Director Birth Center Equity
Leseliey Welch is a public health leader with a business mind and a visionary heart, holding love as a guiding value, a way of being, an action, and a politic. She is a Co-founder of Birth Detroit and Birth Center Equity, a mom, and a tireless advocate for work that makes communities stronger, healthier, and freer. Leseliey leads a team of birth workers, birth advocates, and community leaders planning Detroit’s first freestanding community birth center Birth Detroit, and is proud of the launch of Birth Center Equity to grow and sustain birth centers led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color across the country. She has nearly two decades of leadership experience in city, state, and national health organizations. She served as interim executive director of Birthing Project USA and Deputy Director of Public Health for the City of Detroit.
Lyz Riley Sanders, JD, MHA (she/her)
Maternal and Child Health Deputy Director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Elephant Circle Board of Directors
Donate today!
  • Donate today at to support Black, Indigenous, people of color led birth centers across the country.
  • All donations collected during Birth Center Week (9/14-20) until the end of October will go toward BCE’s 2023 Solidarity Fund to directly support the wellbeing of midwives, birth center staff, and clients.