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What Is This Organization About?
Community Doula Alliance is a Black-led non-profit in Portland, Oregon currently applying for 501c3 status. Our nonprofit is structured around two primary programs: Diverse Doula Project and Portland Doula Training.
Diverse Doula Project is a community based doula program dedicated to creating spaces for diverse doulas, especially BIPOC doulas, to reclaim, celebrate, and receive mentorship and emotional support to practice their cultural and traditional birth and postpartum models of care. Based on client requests and preferences, DDP matches expectant parents with culturally appropriate doulas to help families successfully navigate and mitigate social determinants of health such as racism, stress, poverty, education, employment, housing, and access to other culturally specific services.
Portland Doula Training is an education platform committed to training exceptional doulas at the highest levels. PDT’s approach to education uses a reproductive justice and equity framework in order to increase awareness and promote the number of BIPOC doulas in the workforce. PDT provides a variety of online and in-person trainings that include: primary doula trainings, Traditional Health Worker (THW) trainings, doula certifications, continuing education classes, and advanced doula trainings. PDT is also committed to promoting BIPOC doulas to become trainers themselves to further our efforts to decolonize the birth work profession.
Why Are These Programs Needed?
More than 20 women in the United States will die of pregnancy-related causes this week alone, more than any other country in the developed world. The funerals for these mothers are nearly 5 times more likely to take place in Black and Indigenous communities.This is a public health crisis that is finally gaining national attention, but not enough action. There are many complex solutions to improving maternal mortality rates for women of color and it may take decades to decolonize the health care system, but birth and postpartum doulas are an ancient, low cost way to provide families with immediate support that will improve maternal-infant health outcomes.
Doulas are trained professionals who provide consistent physical, emotional, informational, and advocacy support to families throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences. Doulas are not medical staff, their role is to support pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people by ensuring clients have the knowledge, respect, agency, and connection needed to successfully navigate healthcare systems, make informed decisions, and have more positive perinatal experiences and outcomes. Studies show that women with doula support experience shorter labors with fewer interventions and newborns are healthier and more likely to breastfeed. The benefits of doula care are even greater when there is a cultural match between the client and doula in which the doula looks like the client and understands her culture, language, and community.
What’s Our Mission & Vision?
Our mission is to create an exceptional generation of professional doulas, particularly BIPOC doulas, who can enter the workforce with sustainable careers, improve maternal and infant health outcomes, and meet the ever-changing needs of birthing and postpartum people.
Our vision is to decolonize the birth work profession and eliminate the gap in maternal-infant health disparities that disproportionally impact communities of color.
• Increase diversity in the doula profession by training BIPOC doulas and trainers
• Bridge the gap between doulas and the Traditional Health Worker registry process
• Prepare BIPOC doulas to succeed in the workforce by providing business training, mentoring, and a supportive peer community
• Ensure that all doulas make a livable wage by advocating for the value and effectiveness of doula services
• Improve maternal-infant health outcomes, particularly within BlPOC communities, by providing long-term, culturally-specific doula care
• Increase equity awareness in the doula profession through education and training using a racial justice lens
• Collaborate and build positive relationships with community interests and stakeholders
Who Are We?
Community Doula Alliance is founded by four entrepreneurial doulas with extensive teaching, mentoring, business, and nonprofit experience in the Portland birth community.
- Kimberly Porter is the Executive Director, Board President & Co-Founder
- Raeben Nolan is the Board Secretary, Program Director & Co-Founder
- Merriah Fairchild is Co-Founder & Faculty Staff
- Brooke Noli is Co-Founder & Faculty Staff
- Marnellie Bishop is Board Treasurer
- Lilian Olero is a Board Member
Want To Help?
If you want to help us create meaningful change in the Portland Birth Community, here are some ways to help:
- Donate! We have received a generous grant from a local foundation for 100K, and our current goal is to raise additional funding of 150K for organizational, doula training, and program costs. If you or someone you know would like to make a financial contribution to our fundraising efforts we are gratefully accepting donations.
- Consider Being A Board Member! We are looking for committed, skilled and resourced people who believe in our mission and vision to join the board.
- Volunteer Your Services! If you have a skill set you’d like to donate that can help advance our efforts we’d love to hear from you.
- Social Networking! Help spread the word about what we’re doing on your social media platform or by connecting us with journalism opportunities.
- Build Bridges! If you know a person or organization that might be interested in what we’re doing please reach out to them and see if you can help build a bridge of connection on our behalf.
If you have a resource to donate, please contact Kimberly Porter at email@example.com
Who Is Our Executive Director?
Community Doula Alliance is led by Kimberly Porter, our new Executive Director. She is a fearless, trailblazing change agent, whose mission is to create a society where all children are born with equal opportunities for a healthy start by creating a racially diverse doula workforce to provide culturally-specific maternal care for African/African-American, Indigenous, and LatinX families. She is a Community-Based Mental Health Therapist, Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, Infant/Toddler Parent & Perinatal Mental Health Psychotherapist, PSU Adjunct Professor, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board Chair of the Oregon Infant Mental Health Association, founder of The Sacred Roots Doula Program at The Black Parent Initiative, Vice President of the Portland Doula Association, and current standing Diverse Communities Board Chair of the Oregon Doula Association. She lives in Beaverton with her adult son and teenage daughter and enjoys cooking diverse dishes, traveling abroad, and reading and engaging in thought provoking discussions with friends over dinner.