A couple of years ago, while hosting a meeting of black birth workers and birth advocates in New Orleans we decided we should create a campaign to educate our community about the benefits and value of doulas and normal birth. As the conversation continued, and as we outlined a plan, it dawned on me… it will be great to get our sisters motivated and informed about natural birth and doulas but when they ask “Where can I find a doula?” what will our answer be?
You see in 2012, when we had this meeting, I could literally count the number of working doulas in New Orleans and the black doulas working in New Orleans… I could count with my fingers. In a city that has a population that is nearly 70% black… that was a problem! To make it even worse, there were NO local doula trainers. Not ONE. Every so often a trainer would visit from afar and unfortunately, I have heard most left lots to be desired.
The way I saw it, we definitely had a problem and I set my mind to do something about it. Fast forward to today, and I am preparing to do my third official Sista Midwife Productions’ Birth Sister Training in New Orleans starting May 16. This is the first of three I am planning this year. The beautiful thing about my training is that while it is certainly not exclusively for black women, the black women in my community who are drawn to this work are also drawn to my training. I am proud that my first two classes combined included a total of 16 students, 13 of whom identify as black and more than half of them attended on scholarship.
I am proud that my training is endorsed by individual birth advocates, as well as local doula and community groups. I am proud that I am making a difference by expanding the reach of birth work in my community. Recently all over web there have been articles and questions about where are the birth workers of color? Where are the trainers of color? *Raises hand* We are here. We are learning and growing. We are working hard to do our part.
“Nicole’s passion for birth work and women’s health rights is infectious! During her training I couldn’t help but be engaged, and afterwards I left feeling like I, and all other women, could shake and move the world.” ~ Shayla B. – Mississippi
Since I conducted my first training, I have been asked… Are you going to take your training on the road? What can I do to get you to Texas, California, Florida, Georgia? And my answer has been, I don’t really know but build it and I will come. Most recently, I have been asked about conducting a training in Tennessee. AND… when I said “build it and I will come” my sister Angelique “Sobande” Greer, herbalist and founder of Natural Choice Botanica School of Herbalism and Holistic Health took me at my word.
With that said, I am very pleased, proud, and excited to announce that my first “on the road” doula/birth sister training will be taking place June 17-June 22, 2014. This VERY special event will be far more than a doula training as women come together from various parts of the country to RENEW – REBIRTH & RETREAT. We will come together to learn, relax, bond, and grow within a serene retreat center.
Now… not only is my sister Sobande the reason I am travelling to TN, she is also a spiritual teacher, healer, and herbalist who will share her wisdom with us during the phenomenal event. I had the pleasure to learn from her during the last Wise Women’s Herbal Conference in Ashville NC and she is bout it! Throughout this retreat she will share with us her wisdom, her passion for healing, and her love of nature.
This event gives YOU a unique opportunity to receive my full 36 hour Birth Sister/Doula Training and training and guidance from Sobande all while we sit at the feet of mother nature. Throughout the training we will incorporate time for self guided meditation and facilitated retreat activities. Whether you are at the beginning of your journey into birth work and you are looking for a foundation, OR you are an experienced doula/birth sister and you want to increase your knowledge base and re-ignite your fire, this training is for YOU! The back drop for this retreat is the serene Penuel Ridge Retreat Center which sits on 135 acres in Middle Tennessee a short drive outside of Nashville.
I promise you this is an event that you do NOT want to miss. In order to make sure this is an enjoyable experience for everyone, registration is VERY limited. The registration for this event is only $850 and this includes EVERYTHING… your training, your lodging, your meals, and your serenity. Registration is currently open and today you can reserve your spot for $100. As the training dates approach, the registration rate for this event will increase so reserve your space today! I look forward to seeing you there and experiencing growth, love, knowledge, joy and laughter with you! Let’s come together and #BirthSomethingBeautiful!
“My Doula training experience was great! Nicole is a wonderful trainer and I would recommend Sista Midwife Doula Training to anyone!”
~ Queen Hope Parker – New Orleans