What Is This Organization About?
Community Doula Alliance is a Black Woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit in Portland, Oregon. Our nonprofit is structured around two primary programs: Diverse Doula Program and Portland Doula Training.
Diverse Doula Program is a community based doula program dedicated to creating spaces for diverse doulas, especially Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian and other racially and linguistically diverse, underrepresented 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 and economic justice, and racial equity framework in order to increase awareness and promote the number of Black, Indigenous & Latino/a/x doulas in the workforce. PDT provides a variety of online and in-person training that include: primary doula support, Traditional Health Worker (THW) support, doula certification, continuing education classes/workshops, community doula training and advanced doula training. PTD trainings will be translated to other languages representative of our local communities, which includes: Spanish, Swahili, Somali, etc. Community Doula Alliance is also committed to promoting its diverse community of 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.
Our Executive Director
Community Doula Alliance is led by Kimberly Porter. 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 Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian and other racially and linguistically diverse, underrepresented 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.
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 protected]