The goal of Maternal Mental Health NOW’s Black Birthworkers Community is to build capacity, create community, and provide support to Black birth workers in order to improve access to holistic, culturally appropriate perinatal mental health care for Los Angeles County’s Black birthing population.  Under the leadership of a 12-person Advisory Committee, the Black Birthworkers Community organizes events and iniatives that provide opportunities for care, celebration, support and connection between members of the Black workforce serving LA’s Black birthing community.  


Anita Burdette
Anita BurdetteMedical Social Worker
Dr. Aziza Shepard
Dr. Aziza ShepardCo-Founder and Executive Director
Dr. Alina Whitmore
Dr. Alina WhitmoreChief Executive Officer
Youth Enterprise Inc.
Dr. Sydney Curls
Dr. Sydney CurlsPelvic Health Physical Therapist
Nakeisha Robinson
Nakeisha RobinsonConsultant, LA County Dept. of Public Health and i.D.R.E.A.M. for Racial Health Equity
Marquita Jones
Marquita JonesCommunity Outreach Liaison
The Children’s Collective Inc., Black Infant Health Program
Ebony Harvey, RN
Ebony Harvey, RNBirth Doula, CEO & Founder
Shiré Wortham
Shiré WorthamSocial Worker
Dr. Sinmi Bamgbose
Dr. Sinmi BamgbosePsychiatrist
Mindful Health Solutions
Janelle Watson
Janelle WatsonFounder & Marriage Family Therapist
Kimberly Gray
Kimberly GrayDirector of Development
Anna King, LCSW, PMH-C
Anna King, LCSW, PMH-CDirector of Training

Black Birthworkers Enrichment Fund

Black communities face the most substantial barriers to accessing timely, culturally sensitive, and informed prenatal and perinatal health and mental health care. What’s more, the providers best equipped to deliver high-quality care – Black birthworkers – carry the heaviest burdens as it relates to costs associated with sustaining their practice and caring for families. As a result, our region is facing a severe shortage of holistic, Black-led resources, the most integral component of caring for families navigating pregnancy and postpartum.

In response to this crisis, Maternal Mental Health NOW launched the LA County Black Birthworkers Enrichment Fund in hopes of improving the well-being and birth outcomes of the Black birthing community by caring for those who care for them. Funding was made available to support Black Birthworkers at three levels:

Training and Education: Up to $600 for costs associated with new certification, continuing education units to maintain an existing certification, conference registrations, other educational opportunities, etc.

Personal Expenses: Up to $300 for costs associated with emergency childcare, transportation, food, equipment, ergonomic chair/desk for work from home, etc.

Self-care: Up to $100 for costs associated with a spa day, therapy session, personal day off work, supplements/vitamins, etc.

Maternal Mental Health NOW received an overwhelming 29 submissions to the first release of the Black Enrichment Fund, which speaks to the need this funding fills within the birthworker space. Maternal Mental Health NOW awarded a total of $10,400 to 17 Black birth workers, primarily for education and training purposes. We are looking forward to releasing this funding opportunity again soon!

For questions, concerns, or feedback please e-mail us


The Black Birthworkers Community is a direct response to the Perinatal Mental Health Conference for Black Birthworkers, Providers & Clinicians that Maternal Mental Health NOW and iDREAM for Racial Health Equity hosted in May 2021. The conference was the culminating event of the Improving Perinatal Mental Health Outcomes for Pregnant and Postpartum Black Birthing People in LA County project.  The conference had 188 attendees, including mental health professionals, doulas, lactation consultants, parent and childbirth educators, nurses, home visitors, midwives, and physicians.  Overwhelming feedback from conference participants included requests to have additional opportunities to learn, network, celebrate and care for other Black birth workers on an ongoing basis.

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Are you providing care to the Black birthing population in Los Angeles County? Would you like to learn about future opportunities for rest, relaxation, care, connection and celebration? Please click the link below to stay informed!

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