In this episode I am joined by Aza Nedhari, co-founder and executive director of Mamatoto Village, a non-profit training and deploying community health workers to support women through pregnancy, childbirth, and the first months of parenting. Nearly 90 percent of the organization’s clients are African American women who, as a group, suffer dramatically worse maternal health outcomes than other women. Aza pioneered the organization’s comprehensive perinatal health worker training, which uses the community health worker model as a blueprint for creating pathways for women of color in human services and maternal health professions.
Aza is a midwife and family counselor, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in human services. With a concentration in organizational leadership and management, her goal is to cultivate innovative models of perinatal care. She is also currently working on legalizing certified professional midwives in the District of Colombia.
We discuss systemic racism and barriers facing the midwifery profession in the U.S., as well as the benefits of the community birth worker model. We also talk about Aza’s extremely pivotal role in the development of my book, Babies are Not Pizzas.
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