The Wisconsin Doulas of Color Collective is a shining example of women’s power to make profound, positive change in one another’s lives and strengthen their communities. Engaging in a literal “labor of love,” these doulas care for other women of color through pregnancy, childbirth and the early stages of parenthood in an effort to save lives and support families.
African-American babies die at staggeringly high rates compared to white infants, regardless of their mothers’ education or socioeconomic status, but the doulas in the collective understand their clients’ experiences and work to help alleviate the stress that negatively affects their pregnancies. Doula and CEO Deanna Tharpe opened my eyes to the deep-seated, corrosive long-term effects of racism on the physical well being of women of color and their children. WIDOCC provides a vital, compassionate resource for pregnant women of color in Milwaukee. I hope this story shines a light on the collective’s important work.
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