Ashlei Spivey


Project Overview

I Be Black Girl seeks to create a community of living wage-earning birth workers and doulas who support Black people with the capacity for pregnancy throughout their birthing journeys. By increasing access to doula care and embedding a healing program that allows these workers to recover from their own traumatic medical experiences, this initiative seeks to reverse negative trends in Black maternal health outcomes.

Five Questions

1What needs does I Be Black Girl address and how?

This project allows for Black women to heal and be well so they are able to support Black people with the capacity for pregnancy through their birth journey.

2Tell us about a moment that helped inspire your idea.

Birth work is native to my culture, yet we have been removed from the birth journey process unless you are a credentialed doctor. Having my own traumatic birth experiences made me pause and think about what is possible when I am healed and whole; and the impact it has on my community.

3What is the biggest challenge you face right now?

Addressing institutional racism in the medical sector.

4What other leaders have informed your work?

All Black liberation movement builders, including bell hooks, Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens and Dominique Morgan.

5Describe a participant, client, community member, or someone else who represents what your project is all about.

The participants in our program are Black women who want to support other Black women and people with the capacity for pregnancy through their birth journey. They are mamas, neighbors, friends, sisters—all people who share a similar goal of ensuring we don’t just live through our experiences but thrive.

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