This is a spectacular line-up of provocative leaders, elders, youth-- an extraordinary group of people from the frontline vanguard today who are analyzing, reflecting on and transforming our global culture. They are working to change the current harmful systems  to a world of care and compassion . What can we learn from them? How can we join them? Come be inspired, be challenged, have the hard dialogs, together. You will be transformed by these ground-breaking workshop sessions and become a community that is dedicated to social change for all future generations and to the protection of MotherBaby Mother Earth.

Join us, register today! 

Commit to a flourishing, just world , working with others who are willing and able to create the paradigm shift and social change for the well-being  of all life! Build a grassroots social movement, reflect with us, talk with us and act with us!

Khatera Aslami-Tamplen is an Afghan American who came to the U.S. as a young child with her family seeking refuge. She is a social justice advocate and a leader in bringing patient and family centered care to transform mental health and healthcare systems. Khatera is the Consumer Empowerment Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and a governor appointee to the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Khatera is married and the mother of two: one angel baby and a son. Her experience during the birth and death of her daughter, Lela in 2009 in a SF Bay Area Hospital brought the harsh realities of America's high infant mortality rate and health system failures to the forefront of her own life.This pivotal experience has informed her life's work.Along with her family support it has given her insight onto the Birth activist movement. She believes healing happens through sharing our stories and will be sharing her story for the first time.

Ruth Blanding

I am a Birth and Postpartum Doula (student CPM), a Certified Body worker, and a Fitness/Dance Instructor. I am a Birth Educator, a Certified Sacred Pregnancy Instructor, and much, much more. I am so glad you joined me here. Let’s heal and grow together!

It is my mission in life facilitate you as you are birthed back into the fold of the natural flow of the world around us by rekindling your connection to this flow in birth, body work and energy work, as well as ways to nurture healthy and loving self care!

 To me, Lotus Fire Bliss is not just services to be provided but a way to bring yourself to a healing space, renewing and recharging your “batteries”, and strengthening your light, so that you can more fully embrace life.

Hermine Hayes Klein (Director at Human Rights in Childbirth)

Mother and human-rights lawyer Hermine Hayes-Klein is the director of Human Rights in Childbirth, a consumer-generated, grassroots organization dedicated to making human rights in childbirth a meaningful reality for women all over the world. Hayes-Klein has been a law professor at The Hague and director of the Bynkershoek Research Center for Reproductive Rights (RCRR) at the Bynkershoek Institute in The Hague. She organized the first world-wide Human Rights in Childbirth Conference, which took place in 2012 and was attended by more than 300 experts in law, medicine, midwifery, childbirth, anthropology, ethicists, philosophers, policy–and parents.

Kathi Valeii (

Kathi is a mother, writer, speaker, and activist. She is the mind and voice behind the blog and facebook page, Birth Anarchy, and is a former birth doula and birth educator. Her decade-long years of bearing witness and listening to women’s stories offer a unique lens into the rampant abuses of women in today’s maternity care system. Kathi has been called “a true artist,” and “one of the brightest minds in this movement.” Her essays have appeared in numerous birth journals and online publications including, Squat Birth Journal, Midwifery Today, Mutha Magazine, and The Birth Institute. Kathi recognizes the continuity of reproductive justice from pre-conception to birth, and is passionate about advancing the security of those rights for all women.

PRESENT PLENARY PANEL-- Modern Women - challenges, realities, solutions

Black Women Birthing Justice (Collective at Black Women Birthing Justice (BWBJ)) Oakland, California

Black Women Birthing Justice is a collective of African-American, African, Caribbean and multiracial women who are committed to transforming birthing experiences for Black women. Our vision is that every woman should have an empowering birthing experience free of unnecessary medical interventions. Our goals are to educate women to advocate for themselves, to document birth stories and to raise awareness about birthing alternatives. We aim to challenge medical violence, rebuild women’s confidence in giving birth naturally and decrease disproportionate maternal mortality.

Black Women Birthing Justice (BWBJ) is a Bay Area organization that works to transform black women’s and trans/gender nonconforming people’s experiences of childbirth through action research, campaigns, doula training, and popular education.

Session: SOCIAL--Black Lives Matter: Centering Black Perspectives in the Alternative Birth Movement

Marcy Axness (Author, coach, educator at Parenting for Peace) Pine Mountain Club, CA

I'm the author of Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers , and I write and speak worldwide on prenatal, child and parent development. I also have a private practice coaching parents-in-progress. I'd say my most important (and joyful!) credential is being mother to Ian and Eve, both flourishing in their twenties. I'm happy to offer Birthkeeper Summit participants a free copy of my "Empowered Birth Checklist for Couples" ebooklet : 25 concrete ways you can confidently parent during this momentous family experience!

Session: EMBODIED--Parenting for Peace: Birthing the Next Generation of Peacemakers

    Matthew Cavanna (Creator at Living Bridges) Oakland, CA

    A bridge-builder by nature, I have synthesized my diverse trainings in shamanism, spirituality, performance, contact improvisation, bodywork, somatic therapy, limbic imprint recoding and conscious birth practices into a method I call Living Bridges. Within this container, I work with individuals and groups exploring the intersection of healing, birth, prayer, play, touch and movement.

    A graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, I am a founding member of the Movement Medicine Collective and the long-running Ecstatic Dance in Grass Valley, CA. Over the course of my journey as a healer, I am grateful to have received in-depth training in massage, the Hakomi Method, Somatic Therapy, Attachment Theory, Body-Mind Centering, Emotional Freedom Technique, Family Constellations, and Jon Eisman's Re-Creation of the Self Method. As a certified Birth into Being Facilitator, having studied with Elena-Tonnetti-Vladmirova, I am able to use my insights into the power of the conscious birthing field to help individuals and companies clear their creative pathways for whatever projects they are "birthing" into the world.

    Session:  PRESENT--The Sacred Role of Fathers in Conscious Conception, Pregnancy and Birth

    Rivka Cymbalist (Director at Montreal Birth Companions) Canada

    I have been involved in women's health for over forty years. When I had small children, I spent evenings studying midwifery texts. When they were bigger, I started attending births. Last year, at age 57, I became a CPM.
    I believe that loving the mother is crucial to the change we need to see on this planet. I believe that Birth Keepers are fundamental to this change, and when we can change our models of providing care we will see ripple effects we cannot imagine.
    I was born in Uganda, raised in Calgary ... I've been a subsistence farmer, a mother, a writer, a wife, a traveler... now I am opening a community space for all in Montreal. 

    Session: NURTURING--Educating our Birth Keepers: From the Grassroots Up

      Stephanie Dawn (CEO at Sacred Life Services) Los Angeles, California, United States

      Stephanie Dawn is a Spiritual Counselor, Coach and Mentor in business, life and birth, to the visionaries transforming the dominant paradigm of living and birthing, from fear to love. She has been called a 'thought leader' for the new paradigm of birth. She is the founder of the Sacred Birth Mentor Program, a 3 level, 2 year program, which offers birth professionals an opportunity to certify and teach Sacred Birth Work in their local community. A mother to two boys, both born with midwives in a hospital and home birth, she co-created the 7 week Homestudy Course My Birth Business Rocks with playwright and founder of the BOLD Method for Birth, Karen Brody.

      Session: SOCIAL--The Business of Being a Sacred BirthKeeper

      Farah Diaz-Tello (Staff Attorney at National Advocates for Pregnant Women) New York City

      Farah Diaz-Tello is a Staff Attorney at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, where her work has focused on using the human rights and reproductive justice frameworks to ensure women's right to birth with dignity and freedom from obstetric violence. She has filed numerous briefs speaking out against criminalization and shackling of pregnant women before state appellate courts and has defended women threatened with court-ordered obstetrical interventions in states across the U.S.

      Session:  SOCIAL--Dignity for Women Across the Pregnancy Spectrum

      To gain sovereignty over our reproduction, women need more than civil rights that can be affected by shifts in the political leadership. A large number of us need actual hands-on knowledge of contraception, abortion and birth, which can be gained through self-examination and self-treatment in groups. Some women have this knowledge, which was gained over the last 40 years. Each panelist, a doula, a public health researcher, a midwife, an abortionist and an herbalist, will share how she gained her knowledge with other women.

      Sat, 2 May 2015 3:00pm (1h 20m) Room 31

      Tags: Clear Workshop

      Carol Downer (Owner at Women's Health in Women's Hands) Los Angeles, CA

      Carol Downer introduced the concept of vaginal self-examination 1971 and co-founded the Feminist Women’s Health Center in 1972. She is the editor and/or co-author of several books, including “A New View of a Woman’s Body”.

      Women’s Health Specialists
      Women’s Health Specialists, a Feminist Women’s Health Center has been working for reproductive sovereignty for 40 years. In 1974, a group of 8 women, learning about their bodies by using plastic vaginal speculums and sharing information, opened their clinic with physicians to provide abortion and lay health workers to provide well women care in Chico, California. Proceeding from the goals of women knowing about and controlling their own bodies to achieve reproductive sovereignty and reproductive justice have enabled them to thrive, establishing six clinics and several community projects in Northern California. This growth has happened despite on-going anti-abortion attacks from violent protestors and several instances of bureaucratic harassment. Every woman who visits the WHS is given the opportunity to see her own cervix and receive health information in a friendly, non-judgmental atmosphere.

        Fabiola Santiago (Research Associate at Human Impact Partners) Oakland, CA

        Fabiola Santiago received her master’s degree in public health and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a research associate at Human Impact Partners, she conducts research to increase the consideration of health and equity in decision-making. A few years ago, Fabiola sought out and immersed herself into an innovative health project, the Shodhini Insitute. The workshops convened women in her Los Angeles community to learn about self-exam, their menstrual cycles, sharing herbal remedies and ancestral knowledge. The workshops helped them combat the shame that mainstream society imposes on women’s bodies; they came to see how the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender/sex, education, income, and other factors shape women’s experiences in mechanical and homogenous systems of care.

          Mary Lou Singleton

          Mary Lou Singleton has been a Certified Professional Midwife since 1999. She is presently the owner and primary midwife in homebirth practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is also a Family Nurse Practitioner. Her midwifery and nursing experiences inspired her to do a clinical apprenticeship in herbal remedies and to be a faculty member of classes in herbalism, teaching bioremediation and writing articles on the relationship of home birth to healing the earth. She is an earth activist, studying Permaculture design and writing articles on sustainable models of health care. She is on the advisory board of and supports the goal of reproductive sovereignty.

          Janna Blair Slack

          Janna Blair Slack’s professional training as a doula began in Los Angeles with a 2009 DONA Training. She co-founded the LA Doula Project in 2010. In addition to a number of advanced doula trainings, she had intensive birthworker training in Bali, Indonesia with Giudetta Tornetta and Ibu Robin Lim (Loving the Mother.) In Springfield, Oregon, she co-founded The Birth Cooperative in 2013. She’s an advisory board member of WellMama Oregon and publishes The Doula Experience, a pamphlet.

          Kathy Hodge

          Kathy Hodge attended University of Utah, holding the undergraduate research chair at the Eleanor Roosevelt Cancer Research Center in Salt Lake City on campus. In 1975, she came to work at the Feminist Women’s Health Centers in Los Angeles to participate in the group’s efforts to seize reproductive sovereignty through running women’s clinics, holding public women’s health education meetings, writing books and building a body of knowledge about female anatomy and physiology. She was a health worker, a director and a writer and a researcher. She was the Executive Director of the Orange County Feminist Women’s Health Center, 1982-1983 and she is a co-author of “A New View of a Woman’s Body”. In 1975, she and 8 other staffers conducted a study of their menstrual cycles. After the closure of the FWHC in 1983, Kathy was a legal-medical researcher, assisting witnesses and helping treating doctors with their background research, continuing her education in computer systems and mathematics. Her current employer is a practice management and Electronic Health Records software company. She has been an EDI Business Analyst for them and currently, she is a Reporting Analyst.

          Hirut Eyob is passionate about developing culturally and linguistically diverse childbirth and breastfeeding support services and resources. She launched her Montreal-based private practice, Integrated Lactation Consulting to develop facilities, and enhance workplace breastfeeding culture through training, policy and procedures. As a doula and reproductive justice advocate, Hirut applies early intervention strategies and preventative care models into her work using an anti-oppression framework
          She believes strongly in working in collaboration with others to build sustainable networks and communities that work toward the overall improvement of maternal and child health in Quebec, nationally, and internationally. The investigative and reporting work that she has done in the last 17 years has been used by many, including the United Nations to determine humanitarian aid, and by local players to develop initiatives, programs and interventions in the area of mental health.

          She credits her ancestors, unique background and intersectional identities (Ethiopian-Jew, Montréalaise, queer, mother of a gifted child with [dis]abilities) for keeping her grounded and connected. She loves traveling as a result of having lived/studied/and worked in Africa, North America and the Middle East.

          Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. (Director at Foundation of the Sacred Stream) San Francisco, CA

          Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. is the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, a school for consciousness studies in Berkeley, CA. She is the creator of Depth Hypnosis and the author of Return to the Great Mother, a book which offers mothers and birth professionals a path toward empowered birthing. She has trained many doulas, midwives and other birth professionals and has helped mothers and families navigate the passage into parenthood and beyond through individual Depth Hypnosis sessions and such classes as Tracking Spirit in the Birth Environment and Initiations of the Sacred Feminine.

          Session:  RELATED--Rites of Passage: The Sacred Feminine

          Cynthia Hoven (Core faculty at Rudolf Steiner College) Fair Oaks, CA

          Cynthia is passionate about working with the art of eurythmy as an experience for people to perceive the cosmic-creative forces in themsevles and in the world, and to learn how to work with them in an esthetic, harmonizing and expressive art. Her capacity to work perceive sensitively, speak warmly, and teach effectively allows her to work with a broad spectrum of students. She also enjoys teaching about spirituality from the perspective of Anthroposophy to the public, striking a note that is inspiring without being dogmatic. Cynthia is deeply committed to furthering her professional and personal work through the path of spiritual science. She is also an international organizer for a global game for youth, changing the planet through the power of play.

          Session: RELATED: Embodied Spirit: The Temple of the Body

          Susan Highsmith (President/Counselor & Educator at HRS Enterprises: Highsmith Renaissance Seminars) Tucson, AZ.

          Susan Highsmith, Ph.D. is an educator and counselor residing in Tucson, Arizona. She received her doctorate in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (SBGI). She has a BA in Women's Studies and an MA in Counseling & Guidance. She instructs masters and doctoral candidates, lectures at universities and community colleges, and speaks at international congresses addressing consciousness in the womb and the long-lasting effects of our earliest experiences. Susan is a National Board Certified Counselor (NBCC). She holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the American Institute of Holistic Theology, and seeks to balance psychological theory and practice with spiritual and holistic wisdom.

          Session:  RELATED--Return of Divine Mother: The Psychology & Spirit of Giving Birth

          Betty Idarius (director at Process Coaching Center) Ukiah, CA

          Betty is the director of Process Coaching Center and co-founder of Full Circle Wellness Resource Center in Ukiah, California. She practices there as a process coach, teacher and trainer, family constellation facilitator, as well as classical homeopath. She works with individuals, couples, and families.

          Her background includes 30 years supporting pregnant women and their families as a homebirth midwife, counselor, and educator. Betty dedicated herself to fostering an experience of birth that was gentle, supportive, and honoring of the sacred. She was one of the pioneers of waterbirth in the U.S. and is featured in the documentary Waterbabies.

          She graduated from the Pacific Academy of Homeopathic Medicine in 1995. Her special interest is women and children's health. She is the author of The Homeopathic Childbirth Manual: A Practical Guide for Labor, Birth, and the Immediate Postpartum Period.

          Betty has extensive training and experience in pre and perinatal psychology, rebirthing, gestalt therapy, bodywork, constellation work and indigenous wisdom and shamanic practices. She is certified as a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and as a Practitioner of Hypnosis using Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

          Beginning in 2000 and continuing to the present, Betty has immersed herself in learning and developing the modality of Process Coaching. Here she discovered the tools needed to be her own Healer, connecting with and bringing healing to the deepest parts of self.

          "I am an adventurer who loves to explore and discover the new territory of generating a world from the inside out where there is no longer any suffering, a world that feels wonderful to be a part of, where real love exists, and where we are each free to follow and manifest our deepest dreams, our deepest desires."

          Session: NURTURING--Birthing the Essential Sentient Connection: Feeling our Way to Healing

          Suzzette Celeste Johnson, MSW, MPA has breadth and depth in the health and human services field which spans public health, alcohol and other drugs services, mental health, criminal justice, and education. Her experience includes direct services, program planning and development, systems coordination/integration, health services administration, and training.

          Ms. Johnson’s professional and personal mission is to achieve health equity through developing transformational leadership approaches, fostering collaborations and coalitions, changing organizational practices, and educating providers. She is a skilled facilitator, educator, critical thinker and perennial student of social justice innovation, shifting paradigms, cultural humility, and Universal Spiritual Principles.

          Lynor Jackson-Marks, Psy.D., L.C.S.W. has breadth and depth in the health and human services field which spans mental health, medical social work, criminal justice, and education. Her experience includes direct services, program planning and development, systems coordination/integration, adoption and foster care services administration, and training.

          Dr Jackson-Mark’s professional and personal mission is to achieve health equity through developing transformational leadership approaches, fostering collaborations and coalitions, changing organizational practices, and educating providers. She is a skilled facilitator, educator, critical thinker and perennial student of social justice innovation, shifting paradigms, cultural humility, and Spiritual Principles.

          Session: CLEAR--Reproductive Health Equity/Social Justice in County Mother/Father Baby

          Jennie Joseph (Executive Director at Commonsense Childbirth Inc)

          Jennie Joseph is a British-trained midwife, a women’s health advocate, the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. and the creator of The JJ Way®. She moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey that has culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child healthcare system, markedly improving birth outcomes for women in Central Florida.

          Jennie has worked extensively in European hospitals, American birth centers, clinics and homebirth environments. She has been instrumental in the regulation of Florida midwives since the 1990′s and has been involved in midwifery education since 1995. She is the chair of Florida’s State Council of Licensed Midwives. Currently she owns a Florida licensed midwifery school attached to The Birth Place, her nationally renowned birth center and maternity medical home in Winter Garden, Florida.

          Due to the high prematurity rates experienced by low income and uninsured women she established an outreach clinic for pregnant women who are at risk of not receiving prenatal care. Her ‘Easy Access’ Prenatal Care Clinics offer quality maternity care for all, regardless of their choice of delivery-site or ability to pay, and have successfully reduced both maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in Central Florida. The Birth Place offers a unique opportunity for pregnant women to choose the site, setting and type of provider for their prenatal care and the delivery of their baby. Working in partnership with women by raising their status from patient to client, Jennie has empowered them to be proactive about their treatment and care. Fathers, family members, and friends are brought in as part of the mother’s team and engaged in the goal of helping her achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

          Jennie has pressed for linkages and collaboration with other public and private agencies in an effort to maintain continuity of care for the safety of her clients but also in order to bridge the gap between America’s maternity care practitioners. She has developed and administers perinatal professional training and certification programs to address the health care provider shortage, diversify the maternal child health (MCH) workforce and address persistent racial and class disparities in birth outcomes. There are both quantitative and qualitative studies underway regarding Jennie’s work as well as continuous reviews of the impact of her clinical and educational programs. Jennie’s model of health care, The JJ Way®, provides an evidence-based system to deliver MCH services which improve health, reduce costs and produce better outcomes all round.

          Jennie Joseph has built up a reputation across the United States and has given numerous presentations, including a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, in order to discuss the statistical data as well as describe practical solutions to improving birth outcomes. Jennie is a regular presenter at maternal child health conferences and organizations; she has a leadership position amongst US and international midwives movements and is a subject matter expert on racial and perinatal disparities in the USA.

          Jennie firmly believes in patient-centered, woman-centered care and works tirelessly to support the systems, providers and agencies charged with delivering that type of care. “Until women and their loved ones feel that they have enough knowledge and agency to be part of the decisions around their care and until they have access to the education and support that they are lacking, they will continue to be at risk.”-Jennie Joseph

          Session: CLEAR-- Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way! Midwifery as a model for reducing racial disparities, building community and creating revenue

          Nan Koehler (Midwife, Master Gardener, Yoga Practitioner) Sebastopol, California 95472

          Nan Koehler, MS, was born in Germany in 1941,during WWII and came to America at age 5. English was not Nan's first language, which gives her a unique perspective. She is an artist, biologist, botanist, midwife, farmer, Master Gardener, and yoga practitioner. She has five children and eleven grandchildren. Her second child was born in 1971 at home in Pennsylvania, a do-it-yourself homebirth. She is one of the founding Mothers of the Homebirth Movement. Nan began attending births as a doula in 1974 and worked with an OB/gyn from 1976 to 1988. She is a Licensed Midwife by the California Association of Midwives, in the first wave of licensing in 1986. After contracting Lyme Disease in 1988, Nan left her practice and became a farmer. Nan attended about 1,000 births, including many VBACs. She wrote, Artemis Speaks: VBAC Stories and Natural Childbirth Information (1989). Nan was arrested in 2002, in a midwife/witch hunt, and continues to endure the consequences of that experience. She continues to be passionate about permaculture, homesteading, self-knowledge, painting, and yoga. Sebastopol, California.

          Nan will be joined in her workshop by Joshua Halpern, a Naturopath, homesteader, author, poet, and musician who is one of the original drummers from the '60s and regularly attends ceremonies, and Shari Maser, one of the original circle song singers of the early '80s, who is also an accomplished musician, song writer, and ceremonialist. 

          Session:  EMBODIED--The Power of Sound

          Sage LaPena (Clinical and Traditional native American Herbalist at Mountain Thistle Botanicals and Consultation) Northern California

          Sage LaPena is a Clinical Herbalist, Ethnobotanist, lecturer, teacher, and gardener specializing in both Native American and Western herbal traditions. ‎From the age of 7, Sage has worked with local medicine people from various tribes of Northern California. Sage has birthed five children, four born at home. Sage was a lactation consultant and doula during some of the almost ten years as a nursing mother. She was also a Community Health Rep and Diabetes Educator with IHS for two years. Sage's focus is metabolic syndrome / Diabetes Maintenance and Women's Wellness for All.

          I started addressing the public with Indigenous and women's issues while in fourth grade and 'studying' California Indians. I have spoken on an array of topics from scientific botany, politics, women, herbalism and spirit as an Indigenous woman of California. Having participated in puberty ritual when it was illegal for many generations has been more than a blessing. It changes the path and stride of ones journey.
          i have spoken at UC Berkeley, UCDavis, CSUS, Mills College, UCSF, CSUC, Santa Cruz, SLO, Ohlone, Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium, for Cal Native Plant Society functions, garden Clubs, CRIHB, Local Women's groups and sharing circles……..etc

          Session:RELATED--From Girl to Woman and Sacred Life Bringer: Indigenous perspective on Puberty Ceremony and Beyond

          Sandra Lloyd-Depth Hypnosis Practitioner, trained at the Foundation of the Sacred Stream (Depth Hypnosis Practitioner at Journey) San Francisco, CA

          I have been in practice as a birth doula for 12 years for hospital and home births. I am a Depth Hypnosis Practitioner, trained at the Foundation of the Sacred Stream. Depth Hypnosis is a highly effective model for self-transformation that is a synthesis of hypnotherapy, Shamanism, Buddhism and Transpersonal Psychology. I have taught childbirth preparation for a decade, performed stand-up comedy for more than a decade in the Bay Area, and have performed in the Vagina Monologues at Berkeley Rep, and Birth, a play by Karen Brody. I think my fierce commitment to birthing women and my ability to use humor effectively in my presentations create a very satisfying workshop experience. I had the privilege this summer to travel in Peru and receive teachings from the Q'ero Shamans. We engaged daily in ceremony and ritual, especially honoring Pachamama, and I received the Munay-Ki Rites.

          Session:  NURTURING- Connecting with the Great Mother

          Myrna Martin (Director at Kutenai Institute of Integral Therapies) Nelson, BC, Canada

          Myrna is an RN, MN, Family Therapist and has worked with birthing families in different ways for 40 years. She teaches pre and perinatal health and psychology worldwide, and facilitates "Birthing Yourself" Process Workshops where 7 adults have an opportunity to explore and heal their own early developmental trauma in a safe,supportive, nurturing environment. She has developed a Pre and Perinatal Retreat Center in Nelson, BC, where she facilitates two week summer residential Intensives embodying both cognitive and deeply experiential personal work.

          Session: EMBODIED--Listening to Babies Listening to the Earth

          Gena McCarthy (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Public Health Nurse at Birth Spirituality and Healing) Richmond, California, United States

          Gena McCarthy RN, MFT is a perinatal psychotherapist, healer and community organizer trained in Shamanic, Buddhist and Cherokee Peacekeeper teachings and cross-cultural ways of healing.

          Gena is an EMDR certified therapist specializing in women and couple’s spiritual and emotional empowerment, enjoyment and growth in the journey of birth and parenthood… including healing Birth Trauma. She is a certified therapist in the Feeding Your Demons Practice developed by Lama Tsultrim Allione.

          Gena has been privileged to study and practice with a diverse range of communities and teachers in the fields of perinatal psychology, healing and spirituality.

          Over the last 30 years Gena has cultivated a non-judgmental, nourishing and effective way to reclaim and heal birth stories for mothers and birth professionals. This process brings participants greater ease in their lives, relationships, work and creativity. See workshops
          For many years, Gena has been an educator, a CE provider, a consultant and a peer support community organizer for Perinatal Professionals throughout the Bay Area.
          Gena co-founded the Contra Costa Perinatal Depression to Wellness Network and the Mt. Diablo Family Resource Network. She helped develop the Contra Costa Health Services Integrative Health Program.

            Sally Clark MFT works in private practice as an MFT therapist in Berkeley and Mountain View, specializing in healing relationships with the self and others through resolving early birth traumas and shock in children and adults. She uses many different modalities such as sandtray, play therapy, EMDR, reflective listening, prenatal psychology and family and couples therapy. She was also an adjunct faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies where she co-taught a class with Ralph Metzner entitled Alchemical Divination and Prenatal Psychology.

              Czarina Bowers has a background in psychology, early childhood development, education, and early intervention. Before birth work, she was an early childhood educator for over ten years. As a birth professional, she has received training from the Doulas of North America (DONA), the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), Cornerstone Doula Trainings, the Nursing Mother’s Counsel, Birthing from Within, Still Birthday, Sacred Pregnancy, & Birthing the Future. She is currently in the Birth Spirituality and Healing’s Renewing, Healing, CE Circle Series for Birth Professionals.

                Meadow Evans is a bodyworker of 14 years and a birth doula of 9 years. She has a massage certification through the Institute of Conscious Bodywork in Marin and did her prenatal massage training there. She has been attuned to the first two levels of Reiki through Mia Runanin, and is a practitioner of the Arvigo method of Mayan Abdominal Therapy. Meadow's doula training was through Natural Resources in San Francisco under the tutelage of Abigail Reagan and she has done further trainings through Heart and Hands, Cornerstone's Homeopathy for Pregnancy and Birth, and Gena Kirby's Rebozo Training. She is currently part of Birth Spirituality and Healing’s monthly Renewal, Healing and Continuing Education Birth Professional Circle Series.

                Marilyn Milos (Executive Director at NOCIRC) San Anselmo, CA

                Marilyn Fayre Milos, RN, is the co-founder and director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), co-founder of the International Symposia on Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights, and the USA representative of Genital Autonomy, an England-based international organization protecting children's rights. She is the co-editor of eight symposia books and editor of the NOCIRC Annual Newsletter. San Anselmo, California USA.

                  Hida Viloria (Chairperson at Organization Intersex International) Berkeley, California

                  Hida Viloria is Chairperson of OII, the world's largest intersex advocacy organization, and director of its American affiliate, OII-USA. She has a degree in Gender and Sexuality with high honors from UC Berkeley, has written about intersex in The Advocate, Ms.,, the American Journal of Bioethics, and others, and has been a guest on numerous television shows, including 20/20 and Oprah. On December 10, 2013, she became the first openly intersex person to speak at the United Nations, with Martina Navratilova, and others, for their Human Rights Day event, Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia. You can follow her blog, Intersex and Out, on Tumblr. Oakland, California, USA.

                  J. Steven Svoboda (Executive Director at Attorneys for the Rights of the Child) Berkeley, California

                  J. Steven Svoboda, MS, JD, received a Master's Degree in physics from UC Berkeley and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School. He founded Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) in 1997. In 2001, Steven presented the first and only known document ever accepted by the United Nations focusing on male circumcision. Steven received a Human Rights Award for his work with ARC. Steven has published three articles in the Journal of Medical Ethics and has also published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and all eight Springer books containing circumcision symposium proceedings. Berkeley, California, USA.

                  Soraya Miré (Executive Director at Persistent Productions) Los Angeles, California

                  Soraya Miré, is an award-winning director, writer, and, as a FGM survivor, she is an activist working to protect the rights of infants and children to keep their genitals intact. She was in a featured segment of the Vagina Monologues on FGM. Her film, Fire Eyes was featured at the International Women's Conference in Beijing, the UN Imnternational Conference onf Population and Development in Cairo, the Sundance Film Festival in the USA, and the UN in Geneva. Her book, the Girl With Three Legs: A memoir, was published in 2011.

                  Session: CLEAR--Protecting Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights

                    L. Samsarah Morgan, DD (Founder & Director at Nia Center for Birth and Family Life) Oakland, CA

                    L. Samsarah Morgan, DD. Dr. Morgan is an Interfaith Minister and Counselor, Apprentice Midwife, Family Life Coach, Birth and Postpartum Doula and Hypnotherapist. She is the founder & director of Nia Center for Birth and Family Life. Samsarah is the director of the Birth Professionals of the Bay Area, which has for the past 18 years trained birth and postpartum care givers & educators, with a focus on compassionate care as well as an inner focus and healing of internalized oppression and racism. In response, and in an attempt to heal the horrible rates of infant and maternal mortality, especially where this affects families of color, Samsarah is the founding director of Oakland Better Birth Foundation. This organization facilitates the training of birth workers of color, especially traditionally trained midwives and doulas. It offers grants to families wishing to work with a midwife or birth worker. She is member of the board for the Sacred Birth Angels Foundation, and the founder of The Decolonize (Occupy) Pregnancy Birth and Parenting Caucus of Occupy Oakland. She is also on the board of KPFA community radio.
                    Dr Morgan is a birth and postpartum caregiver and childbirth and parenting educator, celebrating over 34 years as a birth worker and trainer. Her private practice has offered counseling and healing sessions as well as workshops, seminars and retreats for individuals, couples, and families since 1991. In May 2014, she became a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach. She is a contributing writer for several on line magazines, including Weight Loss Solutions, 360 magazine, Every Little Thing, Birth Babies and Beyond, The Professional Doula, and The Occupy Oakland Media Collective.

                    Session: RELATED--When Baby Becomes An Ancestor: Infant Mortality, Black Children & The Community’s Role In The Healing Process

                    Maha Al Musa (Founder at Bellydance For Birth) BYRON BAY AUSTRALIA

                    Maha Al Musa is a mother of three, doula, writer, dancer, was voted for the One World Birth Hero National Award in 2011 and founder of Bellydance For Birth® since 1997. She has released two resources - a world first award winning book Dance Of The Womb endorsed by Sheila Kitzinger, Dr Michel Odent, Dr Sarah Buckley and NACE (Aust) as well as an award winning DVD voted Best Pregnancy Fitness Product 2013 in the readers choice award.
                    Maha is passionate about sharing her love to free women to birth their babies in the way they choose with a deep trust in their inherent birth wisdom and their baby’s journey. She shares bellydancebirth® as a path toward a sacred birth experience and now teaches workshops and presents at Conferences both nationally and internationally. She is also a passionate advocate of the right for choices in breastfeeding for both mother and baby. At 52 she is still breastfeeding her daughter Aminah, 6, and they have both been featured on National TV and Magazines in Australia and internationally. They will both be featured in a 2015 documentary on Breastfeeding for The Discovery Channel.

                    Session:  EMBODIED--Birth- The potential to liberate psychological and unconscious muscular patterns through altered states of consciousness


                    Yeshi Neumann, has been working as a midwife since 1970. In 2000, she created Homestyle Midwifery , a unique model of care, blending home and hospital birth. In 2006 Homestyle Midwifery received a certificate of honor from Mayor Gavin Newsom, and in July 2007 was voted "Best Way to Have a Baby" by San Francisco magazine.

                    In addition to her work in the United States, Yeshi has taught and learned from nurses and midwives in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Trinidad, Tibet, Morocco, India, and China. She is the team leader and principal educator of the maternal-child health project, Jungle Mamas , in the Amazonian rainforest in Ecuador.

                    Yeshi has facilitated hundreds of workshops about women's leadership, diversity, conflict resolution,organizational development, communication and healing family relationships. She brings her passion for women's empowerment and social justice to her work with mothers, grandmothers and community leaders. Yeshi also trains social change leaders from the non-profit, philanthropic, labor and socially responsible business sectors in the Art of Leadership at Rockwood Leadership Institute .

                    Yeshi has developed a relevant and inspiring curriculum for the grandmothers of our time, Conscious Grandmothering Workshops , and is the founder and director of the Conscious Grandmothering Council Network ( Conscious Grandmothering Councils )

                    Yeshi is a dedicated student and practitioner of Mindfulness. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting
                    In addition to being a Certified Nurse Midwife, Yeshi has a Masters degree in History and a Masters degree in Public Health. She is a regular speaker at national and international conferences.

                    Melanie Tervalon, MD is a nationally and internationally renowned physician, educator, community activist and thought leader. Her broad expertise in medical and social science, public health, and public policy is informed not only by her stellar academic training and professional experience, but also by the connections she has woven to the streets where everyday people and their triumphs and challenges reside.

                    Early Life

                    In many ways it makes perfect sense that Dr. Tervalon was born and raised in Philadelphia the city of brotherly love and host to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Her independent streak is legendary as is her commitment to social justice and equity. While she embraces the goal of health and wellness for all people, she is ever vigilant in challenging systems and practices that neglect, disregard or discard the underserved and less fortunate among us.

                    Themes in a medical school commencement speech* she gave over 30 years ago indicated that she would forge new ground in her profession. In this critique of her medical school, it wasn’t necessarily the science or the medicine she was taking on, but in the application or withdrawal thereof, she observed that doctors often made erroneous and prejudicial assumptions about patients they marginalized.

                    As a practicing Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA, she founded the Multicultural Curriculum Program. “Cultural humility” was the moniker that described her efforts to train doctors to set aside the pre-conceived notions about patients that substituted for their own lack of knowledge about the diverse and culturally complex communities they served. For more than two decades since the inception of this program, Dr. Tervalon has demonstrated in myriad ways how cultural humility can make the difference between sickness and health in the treatment of individuals and/or communities.

                    In her current role as a consultant, Dr. Tervalon crafts strategic plans for program and funding initiatives, provides expert knowledge in the field of culture, race, ethnicity and identity in health and health services, guides leaders or teams from ideas to implementation while modeling participatory processes, synthesizing large amounts of often disparate information for use in organizational planning or redirection, facilitates meetings for large and small groups, and provides individual coaching.

                    Dr. Tervalon has a reputation for building constructive, participatory relationships inside and outside of institutions, modeling respect for divergent points of view.

                    Dr. Tervalon received her MD from the University of California , San Francisco and a MPH and BS from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a highly acclaimed public speaker.

                    Arisika Razak, (Health Care Administration, UC Berkeley 1978, Certified Nurse Midwife, UC San Francisco 1980), is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Women's Spirituality, and past Director of the Women's Spirituality MA and PhD program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is also Director of Diversity at CIIS. Arisika is an African-American healer, ritualist, spiritual dancer, and educator who practices an eclectic mix of Earth-based spiritual traditions. She has worked with indigent women as an inner-city nurse-midwife for more than 20 years, focusing on the lives and cultures of women of color, which has led to her research interest in feminist, womanist, mujerista, and postcolonial epistemologies and worldviews, and in women's health. Arisika is a diversity trainer and spiritual dancer who leads spiritual and healing workshops. She has performed nationally and internationally; she was the 2008 American Association of Religion-Western Region's conference chair and vice president, and she is the organization's 2009 president.

                      Nedya Walker-- I am a collective member of Black Women Birthing Justice, an organization committed to transforming birthing experiences for Black women. I graduated from Mills College in 2013 with a degree in sociology, and hope to continue my education in midwifery to serve low income women in the Bay Area. I currently work at the Glide Foundation in San Francisco in the Men in Progress Program. In addition to my advocacy work, I enjoy singing in the Mills College Choir and serving on its executive board as Alumnae Liaison.

                      Virginia Sushila Schwerin (birth keeper,lifegiver of five sons, sexual health and wellbeing instructor) The World Classroom

                      Virginia Sushila Schwerin CPM LM CSE a maverick midwife, workshop and ceremonial leader since 1977.Sushila is a self defined "carrier of the pomegranite seed" one of Jeaninine Parvati's early accolades.She has five sons and a large multicultural family.Her path of mothering started as a teen mama of seventeen. At nineteen she attended Donna Ha's direct entry midwifery training:a first in the SF Bay Area.Sushila was a founder of the collective: In The Family Way. She is a " midwifery survivor' who rode in on the second wave of midwives in the era of near extinction of the American midwife. She has surmounted barriers to practice such as the prosectution of her own practice partner. In The Family Way created defense funds for persecuted midwives, rallies, PR strategies helping to launch the social change movement to humanize birth and to put women at the helm of birth care. Sushila worked with Kaati Shaff as the first chidlbirth educators at The Federal Correctional Institute.She has been a community midwife in rural New England, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, as staff at the midwifery school Maternidad La Luz, and in secondary care in New Zealand.Including competancy on the Treaty Of Waitangi. Sushila was widowed at 33, raising her sons as sole head of household.She is grandmother to Cyrus Ali and to one angel baby; Lela Yasmeen. Lela Yasmeen was born and died at a Bay Area hospital.Sushila was chief witness at the deposition that resulted in the hospital being charged with medical malpractice.Sushila honors her teachers for helping her live the ceremony of life into death in an intentional way. She asks to mention those : her mother and father, Sri Ma and Swamiji of the Devi Mandir, afro caribe elder; Dona Gloria Vargas. Grandmother and Godfrey Chips for sharing the chanupa & gifting the sweat lodge tradition to our woman's lodge of seventeen years, Swami Kripalu, James Etsitty whose ceremony brought her back, and the brave mamas,papas and babies who trusted in life enough to allow Virginia Sushila to catch their babies as a mere green maiden and become a keeper of sacred thresholds.

                      Theodora Wiyaka Itancan Chief // TaOyateKinWyunkapiWin - Her People See Her Woman // Oglala Lakota - born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Porcupine, South Dakota Sept.1980 // I was born at my Grandfather Theodore Ted Means home and delivered by my Grandmothers, Great Grandmother and parents Lakota Harden and Burton Chief. I grew up in the East Bay Area ,Oakland Ca. I am blessed to be the mother of Five beautiful children. Cetan Chief, 18 / Keshkoli Attakai , 15 / Cinnamon Kamimila , 13 / Sage Chief, 9 / Kinyaanii Mahpiya Chief , 5 // One day I hope to work as a midwife with my people on the Pine Ridge Reservation

                      Poonam Dreyfus-Pai, MPH, MSW is the Fellowship Manager at CoreAlign, where she develops the vision, direction, and implementation of the Generative Fellowship and Speaking Race to Power Fellowship programs. A long-time reproductive health, rights, and justice advocate, Poonam is also a full-spectrum doula, and co-directed the Bay Area Doula Project from 2012-2014. Her past work includes research of abortion stigma at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), evaluation of suicide prevention hotlines at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and program development at Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases (WORLD). She currently serves on the Board of Directors for ACCESS Women’s Health Justice and for Backline. Poonam lives in Oakland with her partner and their cat, Starbuck. When not working, she likes running, feeding her loved ones elaborate meals, re-watching Friday Night Lights, and attempting to photograph every minute of Starbuck's life. She is committed to building collaborative networks that support all sexual and reproductive experiences.

                        Sara Flores is the founder of ReCLAIM (Resisting Colonial Legacy And Its Impact on Medicine) Midwifery & ReCLAIM Healers Collective. Her roots in Detroit and Honduras, as well as her travels to Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Northern Ireland, and Africa have shaped her work in demanding and creating access to midwifery care for all under served communities, especially in urban areas, and in weaving traditional healing practices with allopathic medicine.
                        Sara lives and works as a Reproductive Justice and Birth-tivist (birth activist) at the intersection of her LGBTQ community, her Mestiza Indigenous community, and her radical urban social justice community. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner in Women’s and Transgender Health, and currently serves families in the Bay Area and Sonoma County as a home birth and birth center midwife. She is a co-author of Freeing Ourselves, a Guide to Health and Self Love for Brown Bois, the first health guide to centralize the voices of masculine-of-center and female to male transgender people of color in reshaping gender justice and holistic health. Central themes in Sara’s professional and personal life are building autonomous healing communities and reclaiming sacred indigenous science and healing traditions. She is currently practicing as a core healer and collective member of the Healing Clinic Collective, which provides free traditional healing clinics to communities most impacted by injustice throughout the Bay Area. Sara is now also the proud mother of Ruby Quetzal.

                          Lian Cheun is the Executive Director of Khmer Girls in Action. She is a 1.5 generation refugee from Cambodia. Lian spent close to 2 decades working in low-income communities of color. Lian started out as a youth organizer on the Kids First! Campaign and has since worked for funding for youth programs, organized for educational and health justice, volunteered and trained for numerous GOTV efforts and fought for workers’ rights regionally and internationally. In 2007, Lian helped Migrant Forum in Asia organize the very first regional, migrant domestic workers’ assembly in Asia. She was also the former director of the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). Currently, Lian also serves as a commissioner on The White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

                            Jeanne Ohm (Chief Executive Officer at ICPA, Inc) United States

                            Dr. Jeanne Ohm is a practicing DC in a family, wellness based practice since 1981

                            International lecturer on the topic "Chiropractic Care in Pregnancy and Infancy" to practicing Chiropractors and affiliated Care Providers

                            Post Graduate Instructor for numerous Chiropractic Colleges

                            Author of numerous papers on pregnancy, birth, children and chiropractic. Co-author of several research papers published in major CAM journals.

                            Founder of Makin' Miracles...Connecting Kid's n' Chiropractic, community outreach programs and resources to educate children and adults about the life saving benefits of chiropractic.

                            Producer and writer of the children's chiropractic song, "Power On!" and educational video, "Birth Trauma: A Modern Epidemic"

                            CEO for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association:

                            Executive Publisher and Editor of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine:
                            ICPA developer and instructor of the Webster Certification Proficiency Syllabus.

                            Current Board of Directors Positions:
                            ICPA Executive Secretary:
                            Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice:
                            Life Chiropractic College West:
                            Holistic Pediatric Alliance:
                            Foundation for Vertebral

                            Panel Member of Mothering Magazine: Ask the Exert:

                            Dr. Ohm's professional mission is to provide Doctors of Chiropractic with the skills and motivation to care for more pregnant mothers and children. She is committed to educating other practitioners with the information to support natural birthing in their practices. It is her understanding that birth trauma is a current chiropractic concern, and therefore it has become her goal to eliminate its damaging effects on the newborn. She intends to accomplish this by:

                            • adequately training DC's in specific chiropractic techniques and care for pregnancy, birth & infancy for the promotion of natural birthing.

                            • forming national alliances for chiropractors with like-minded birth practitioners and attendants

                            • empowering mothers to make informed choices in pregnancy and birth

                            • offering patient educational tools which address this issue

                            Dr. Ohm is married to Dr. Thomas Ohm, Chiropractor. They have six children who have all received chiropractic care since conception. They were all born at home and are living the chiropractic family wellness lifestyle.

                            Session:  EMBODIED--Great Expectations

                            Mar Oscategui (Founder/CEO at International Maternity and Parenting Institute) United States

                            Mary Luz (Mar) Oscategui is an international business, health and lifestyle coach who has successfully started and grown many businesses and organizations. She is the Founder and Educational Director of the International Maternity and Parenting Institute™ (IMPI), International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP), and Founder of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants (APSC)..

                            Additionally Mar founded The Baby Planner, Physical Awakening, and, offering holistic services in sacred pregnancy, baby planning, maternity and child sleep, health, fitness, nutrition, life coaching, stress management, yoga therapy and green living.

                            She has a multitude of trainings and experience related to business and health including: business management, sales and marketing, business start-up, business coaching, yoga instruction, yoga therapy, personal training, group exercise instruction, dance, wellness coaching, eco-consulting, baby planning, sleep coaching, and stress management.
                            Mar combines her business and health coaching to support maternity professionals, birth professionals, health professionals and mompreneurs. She offers individual consultations, workshops, and retreats.
                            Her enthusiasm, inspiration, creativity, and knowledge has helped a variety of businesses around the globe including:
                            Austria, England, France, Luxemburg, Bahrain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Peru, Chile, Bermuda and throughout the United States.

                            She is a passionate visionary in health, maternity, birth and business education and has been consulting and coaching for the last 17 years.
                            She is the author of “The Baby Planner Profession: What You Need To Know! The Ultimate Guide and Resource for Baby Planner Professionals,” and her latest book, “Green Body Green Birth”.

                            Mar lives in Marin, CA with her two children Bella Luna and Taj Orion Sky. 

                            Session: PRESENT--The Holistic Child Sleep Revolution: A Family Sleep Solution Model and Approach that Positively Impacts Birth and Our Earth

                            Laura Perez (CPM, LM at Espiritu Midwifery) SF, CA

                            Laura Marina Perez is currently the only Latina home birth midwife residing in San Francisco. Laura is also a co-founder and co-owner of Oakland's Bay Area Midwifery, A Community Wellness and Birth Center. She is passionate about women's reproductive health and reproductive justice. One day, Laura hopes to be an abuela and a curandera.

                              Alli Cuentos (Doula, CBE at Danza Clara Doula) SF, CA

                              Alli Cuentos works both as an educational consultant with Pulsing Word Consulting and as a birth and postpartum doula. She has formal studies in Painting and Art Education (Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence Italy), Somatic Movement Therapy (with Martha Eddy at the Center for Kinesthetic Education), Early Childhood Education (Cal State East Bay), Massage Therapy (Institute of Concious BodyWork/Alive and Well), Birth Doula Training (with Earth Lande at the Natural Birth Institute), Postpartum Doula Training (with Ann Grauer at DONA), Prenatal Yoga (with Jane Austin at the Mama Tree Prenatal Yoga School), and Infant Massage (with Amy Cooper at Flourish Arts Studio). She has coordinated Early Education programs serving Latino families as well as taught in public schools and preschool settings. Following the arrival of her two children, Alli was called into birth work and is currently receiving mentorship from Licensed Midwife Laura Perez as well as partnering with Licensed Midwife Maria Iorillo to provide midwife/doula packages for families choosing homebirth. Alli is a volunteer doula at the Homeless Prenatal Program and the Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Program (TAPP) program.

                              She is a lifelong learner and activist, continually studying and searching for ways to support movement building and equal access. When not working as a doula, Alli sits on the board at her daughters preschool (Centro Las Olas), teaches kids dance classes, paints murals, is on the Stewards’ Collective of the Secret Garden (a nonprofit community garden space in the Mission District), and most importantly…cuddles with her family while eating lots and lots of popcorn.

                              Session: PRESENT-- Community Conversations about ART-Artificial Reproductive Technology

                              Raylene Phillips, MD (Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital) Loma Linda, CA

                              After raising three children as a stay-at-home mother, Dr. Phillips received a Masters degree in Developmental Psychology, became NIDCAP certified as an Infant Developmental Specialist, and then attended medical school at University of California, Davis, graduating in 2004. She completed her pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in Loma Linda, CA and is currently an attending neonatologist in the NICU at the same hospital as well as Medical Director of Newborn Nursery at Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta.

                              Dr. Phillips is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, is a Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and is the current President of the National Perinatal Association. Her primary areas of interest are mother-infant attachment, breastfeeding support, and Family-Centered Neuroprotective Care of premature infants in the NICU.

                              Session: EMBODIED--The Sacred Hour: Uninterrupted Skin to Skin Immediately after Birth

                              Pennie Opal Plant (Co-founder at Idle No More SF Bay & Movement Rights) San Pablo, California

                              Pennie Opal Plant, of Yaqui/Mexican/Choctaw/Cherokee/European descent, has been a grassroots activist for over 30 years. She is one of the founders of Idle No More SF Bay and Movement Rights. Her current focuses include ensuring the future of the next 7 generations, climate justice, and indigenous rights. She has two adopted daughters and a grandson, and is also an artist and poet.

                              Session: SOCIAL--Inspiring Communities to Action

                              Barbara Rivera (Founder at BirthPower) Woodbridge,NJ

                              Barbara Rivera is a birth activist from and resides with her husband and 3 children in NJ. She is the founder of BirthPower, and creator of Empowered Birth Awareness Week, which is a campaign to raise awareness about the power of making informed choices during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

                              Rivera is a United Nations, New York Representative for OMAEP (World Organization of Prenatal Education Associations), and she is a contributing member of APPPAH (Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health).

                                Suzanne Arms (Founder-Director BTF at Birthing The Future) Bayfield, CO

                                Do you want to go home filled with energy, excitement, and ideas about how to create a lasting change, globally and within your community? Get ready for a rocket ride! This session will have you jumping out of your seat and get your creative juices flowing about the possibilities of creating new and lasting change. 

                                Session: SOCIAL-Simple Proven Tools for Local and Global Change to End Violence Against Women

                                  Loretta J. Ross was a co-founder and the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective from 2005-2012, a network founded in 1997 of women of color and allied organizations that organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement.

                                  She is one of the creators of the term "Reproductive Justice" coined by African American women in 1994 following the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. She is a nationally-recognized trainer on using the transformative power of Reproductive Justice to build a Human Rights movement that includes everyone.

                                  Ms. Ross is an expert on women’s issues, hate groups, racism and intolerance, human rights, and violence against women. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of social justice issues and how this affects social change and service delivery in all movements.

                                  Ross has appeared on CNN, BET, "Lead Story," "Good Morning America," "The Donahue Show," "Democracy Now," and "The Charlie Rose Show. She is a member of the Women's Media Center's Progressive Women's Voices. More information is available on the Makers: Women Who Make America video at

                                  Ms. Ross was National Co-Director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants. As part of a four-decade history in social justice activism, between 1996-2004, she was the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia. Before that, she was the Program Research Director at the Center for Democratic Renewal/National Anti-Klan Network where she led projects researching hate groups, and working against all forms of bigotry with universities, schools, and community groups. She launched the Women of Color Program for the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1980s, and led delegations of women of color to many international conferences on women's issues and human rights. She was one of the first African American women to direct a rape crisis center in the 1970s, launching her career by pioneering work on violence against women.

                                  She is a co-author of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, written with Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, and Elena Gutiérrez, and published by South End Press in 2004 (awarded the Myers Outstanding Book Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights), and author of “The Color of Choice” chapter in Incite! Women of Color Against Violence published in 2006. She has also written extensively on the history of African American women and reproductive justice activism.

                                  Loretta is a rape survivor, was forced to raise a child born of incest, and she is also a survivor of sterilization abuse. She is a model of how to survive and thrive despite the traumas that disproportionately affect low-income women of color. She serves as a consultant for Smith College, collecting oral histories of feminists of color for the Sophia Smith Collection which also contains her personal archives.

                                  She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University and a second honorary doctorate degree awarded from Smith College in 2013. She is pursuing a PhD in Women’s Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.

                                  Session:  SOCIAL--Appropriate Whiteness for Feminists

                                  Kay Sandberg (Founder and President at Global Force for Healing) Ashland, OR

                                  Kay Sandberg, MA (Convener) is Founding President of Global Force for Healing, a visionary nonprofit convening the Healthy, Compassionate Birthing Network. This is an association of grassroots projects working with underserved global communities in remote and indigenous areas, based on a woman-centered model of care. Kay believes passionately that “The way we are with birth is the way we are with Mother Earth”. Now is the time to consciously imprint love in the birth experience for the wellbeing of mothers& babies everywhere, and as a way to return Mother Earth to balance and wholeness. She is the ecstatic grandmother of Laleh Joon, and mother of Emika and Takumi Abe. Kay’s work as an organizational capacity builder and healer is dedicated to them and all future generations.

                                    Neelam Bhardwaj (Maternal & Infant Health Manager at Unicef Uganda) Kampala, Uganda

                                    Neelam Bhardwaj, MD has a passion for healthy birthing and the wellbeing of mamas&babies. She has participated in Global Force for Healing’s Healthy Birthing network since 2013. Neelam has been a Health and Nutrition specialist with UNICEF Uganda for two years, where she leads maternal, newborn, HIV and AIDS programs. She has worked for over 15 years for different International development agencies, including the United Nations. She has worked in South Asia, Pacific, the MENA Region and East Africa to create various models that contribute to decreasing maternal mortality.

                                    Dr. Bhardwaj has also worked on reproductive health initiatives in Sudan, set up emergency obstetric care in Sierra Leone, supported post-Tsunami development in Aceh, Indonesia, and contributed to maternal and child health programs in various states of India, where she was born. She has had the honor of presenting her work at various national and international conferences in all these countries. Neelam is an award-winning innovator to create appropriate technology solutions to support healthy birthing, including the Birth Cushion and indigenous partogram. She is the proud mother of two adults sons.

                                    Numfor Munteh (Founder and CEO at Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development) Bamenda, Cameroon

                                    Numfor Alenwi Munteh is a contemporary social entrepreneur who has led many maternal and child health innovations in Africa. He is the Founder and CEO of Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development (CASD) located in Bamenda, Cameroon. Over nine years, Numfor Munteh has made great strides in community health development and public advocacy, winning six national and international awards. His latest award was for "Best Innovation on Making Quality Matter in Family Planning" awarded by organizers of the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning, 2013 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).

                                    Rachel Zaslow (Co-Founder and Executive Director at Mother Health International) Virginia and northern Uganda

                                    Rachel Zaslow is a midwife and Executive Director of Mother Health International, an NGO that supports high volume midwifery model of care centers. She co-founded Earth Birth: International Women’s Health Collective to promote local practice, the sharing of skills across culture and protect the role of the traditional midwife. Rachel has a PhD in feminist theory and teaches courses in Women’s Health and International Development, War and Trauma, as well as the intersections between Narrative and Medicine.

                                      Robin Lim (Founder and Director at Yayasan Bumi Sehat) Indonesia and the Philippines

                                      Robin Lim ("Mother Robin," or "Ibu Robin") is a midwife and founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) health clinics, which offer free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to anyone who needs it. She and her team have been working since 2003 to combat Indonesia's high maternal and infant mortality rates, and the Bumi Sehat birth centers serve many at-risk mothers.[1] She was awarded the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year award by the CNN news network[2][3][4] for helping thousands of low-income women in Indonesia with healthy pregnancy and birth services.

                                      Session:  PRESENT--Life-Saving Innovations & Sustainable Birth Models from the Global South

                                      Shelley Sella, M.D. (abortion provider at Southwestern Women's Options) Albuquerque, New Mexico

                                      After completing medical school and a year of internship, I worked with home birth midwives in Santa Cruz for two years. I subsequently completed medical training and became an obstetrician/ gynecologist. Since 2000, I have been exclusively providing abortions. Before his assassination, I worked with Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, providing first through third trimester abortions. For the past five years, I have been providing the same service at Southwestern Women's Options clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am a fervent supporter of the midwifery model of care and and bring that belief into my work as an abortion provider.

                                      Christine Litas

                                      Christine is a full-spectrum doula who trained with BADP in June of 2013. She is currently volunteering as a birth doula at San Francisco General Hospital and Homeless Prenatal Program, and doing clinical abortion support in Santa Rosa. She is also an active member of BADP’s Salon Series team and loves learning about anything health and reproductive justice related.

                                      After being on the road for over five years, she’s happy to be settling into the bay area and grounding into doula work, although she has traveled as far as Australia to help her best friend give birth to a beautiful baby boy. She loves doula work, as it’s an amazing way to support and nurture people through their process, while empowering them and being committed to reproductive rights. On any given day, it’s not unlikely to find her riding her bike, tending to her garden, enjoying a hike, weaving a basket, fermenting just about anything, and cooking colorful meals for her friends.

                                      Amber Bell

                                      Amber is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer of Guatemala, where she spent two years working in public health. While there she also established and coordinated local women's groups with a focus on reproductive health. Amber currently works as a perinatal health educator and full spectrum doula. She is also a volunteer with the Bay Area Doula Project where she works to coordinate monthly events on Reproductive Health. Amber also works as a Sex Ed teacher for middle schoolers at her local Unitarian Universalist church in Oakland.

                                      Liz Donnelly (Bay Area Doula Project)

                                      Liz Donnelly (Co-Director) is a full-spectrum doula, a student nurse, and a future Midwife. She facilitates the Bay Area Doula project’s monthly Salon Series on Reproductive Health. In the past she has volunteered as a birth doula with the San Francisco General Volunteer Doula Program, worked as a counselor for women choosing abortion at the Women's Options Center, and volunteered as a doula with Mother Health International in rural northern Uganda.Liz is committed to supporting individuals to understand, articulate and embody their own truth with respect to their reproductive experiences. She is passionate about the role of lay-healthcare practitioners in improving reproductive health outcomes and is committed to empowering communities to participate in providing for their health care needs.

                                      Aumatma Shah (Holistic Fertility Specialist at Dr. Aumatma) United States

                                      Dr. Aumatma is a Naturopathic Doctor, with an MS in Nutrition, who has been studying and practicing for over 12 years. She is a caring, gentle, and skilled doctor who knows how to step out of the way to allow the client’s inherent healing process do its magic.

                                      As a healer, she knows that the true healing is not her doing something to the other person, it is really her ability to hold space and allow for the unfolding. Dr. Aumatma is also well-trained in many modalities in addition to her degrees: Restorative Medicine, Homeopathy, BodyTalk, Biofield Analysis, Functional Testing and Herbal Medicine.

                                      Dr. Aumatma is committed to deeply listening to the individual's body-mind, without pre-conceived notions, so that the medicine can reveal itself and be truly individualized for exactly what the person needs.

                                      Currently, Dr. Aumatma also teaches at ACTCM in SF and has her own private practices in Oakland and Silicon Valley.

                                      Session: EMBODIED--Three MisConceptions about Conception and what to do about them so you can start your family without drugs and injections

                                      Nekole Malia Shapiro-- helps you dive into your body to find your own best expert for your own best life. She combines a lifetime of hands-on body work experience with her Columbia University pre-medical and cultural anthropology studies. She is a second-generation grassroots organizer, educator and bodyworker. Nekole finds some of her greatest personal growth through her 20 year relationship with her husband and through consciously parenting two powerhouse daughters.

                                      Today, Nekole is a go to person for parents, birth pros, sex educators, activists and countless others searching to bring the human back to humanity. Her “almost indescribable” approach is catching on. One small warning…… Nekole has been known to change lives!

                                      Her first curriculum, EmbodiedBirth quickly brought Nekole to the center of those altering the current culture of birth. She’s been published in SQUAT, ICEA, BOLD and Orgasmic Birth.  She has shared the stage with luminaries like Dr. Christiane Northrup, Ina May Gaskin, and Penny Simkin.

                                      Session: CLEAR--Having the Tough Conversations: Using the wisdom of MotherBaby to fortify our community.

                                      Diane S Speier, PhD (Director at Birth, Growth and Healing Ltd) Cheshire, United Kingdom

                                      Before immigrating to the UK in 1998, Diane was the founder and director of The Family Tree Center for Parents in New York. Diane became a certified childbirth educator and started attending births as a labor companion (doula) in 1978. After training in the facilitation of human potential, THE BIRTH EMPOWERMENT WORKSHOP® was born as a powerful weekend intensive for pregnant couples seeking a multidimensional and holistic approach to birth and parenting. This workshop evolved into a couple’s retreat designed to deepen intimacy while empowering the family. Diane also practices psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, and as a perinatal psychotherapist she specializes in the psychology of parenthood, the psychophysiology of birth, postnatal depression and recovering from birth trauma.

                                      In keeping with the digital age, and in collaboration with her daughter, Mariel Sands, her 35+ years of experience has been harnessed as an empowering and reassuring postnatal app for an international audience of new parents. Digital Doula® brings time tested postnatal wisdom into the 21st century and delivers it in a format that this generation of childbearing women can connect with. Based on the book, The Handbook for the Postnatal Period (in progress), this postnatal resource for new mothers (and fathers) also gathers updated information, research, articles and videos and brings them directly to the consumer.

                                      Session: PRESENT--Postpartum Presence: Empowering the Family Space in the Postpartum Period

                                        Leny Strobel (Project Director at Center for Babaylan Studies) 

                                        Leny M. Strobel is professor of American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University and is the author and editor of several books on the process of decolonization and indigenization for Filipino Americans.

                                        Session: CLEAR--Doing Shadow Work to Birth a New Culture

                                          Jurgen Kremer
                                          (Society for the Study of Shamanism)

                                          Jurgen Kremer is professor of Psychology at Santa Rosa Junior College and at Sonoma State University. He is the author (with R.Jackson Paton) of Ethnoautobiography: Stories and Practices for Unlearning Whiteness, Decolonization, Uncovering Ethnicities (ReVision, 2014)

                                          Session: CLEAR--Doing Shadow Work to Birth a New Culture 

                                          Heather Thompson (Research Director at Mountain Midwifery Center) Denver, CO

                                          Heather Thompson, M.S., Ph.D., is an applied molecular biologist working as the Research Director at Mountain Midwifery Center, an out-of-hospital birth center in Denver, Colorado. As a queer-identified postpartum professional with more than ten years of experience, she is passionate about being a resource for LGBTQ folks navigating the entire perinatal experience. Heather is deeply committed to increasing access to evidence-based, physiologic birth to families of all kinds and serves on the American Association of Birth Centers Research Committee, the Executive Board of Improving Birth and as part of the Leadership team at Elephant Circle, an organization dedicated to serving traditionally marginalized populations. She especially enjoys helping health care providers expand their practice to include queer, trans, poly and other non-traditional families. A queer parent herself, Heather enjoys romping outdoors in her home state of Colorado with her family.

                                            Zoë Williams (Organizer at 9to5 Colorado) Denver, CO

                                            Zoë Williams has a 15 year history of community organizing in the Denver area for reproductive justice, racial justice, economic justice, and queer rights. Currently, they work as a transit organizer for 9to5 Colorado mobilizing with low-wage women for affordable, accessible, and safe public transit. As a popular education and anti-oppression facilitator, Zoë has generated and presented unique curricula to groups ranging from medical providers to elementary school students. Zoë is a genderqueer and queer parent with a deep love of herbalism, foraging, and cats.

                                            Session: SOCIAL-- Supporting LGBTQUAI families through pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding: Tools for birth workers

                                            John W Travis, MD, MPH (Founder at Wellness Associates) El Cerrito, CA/Byron Bay, Australia, specialized in preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins University, founded the first wellness center in the US (1975), and co-authored the best-selling Wellness Workbook.

                                            He espouses full-spectrum wellness, which embraces body, mind, emotions, and spirit, encompassing the entire lifespan and connecting all aspects of environment—infant and adult wellness, community wellness, and global systems wellness.
                                            His special interest is preventing Male Postpartum Abandonment Syndrome (MPAS)—which results in the epidemic of disappearing dads.

                                            Session: PRESENT--Why Dads Leave—Why Dads Stay

                                              Kathi Valeii (Founder at United States

                                              Kathi is a mother, writer, speaker, and activist. She is the mind and voice behind the blog and facebook page, Birth Anarchy, and is a former birth doula and birth educator. Her decade-long years of bearing witness and listening to women’s stories offer a unique lens into the rampant abuses of women in today’s maternity care system. Kathi has been called “a true artist,” and “one of the brightest minds in this movement.” Her essays have appeared in numerous birth journals and online publications including, Squat Birth Journal, Midwifery Today, Mutha Magazine, and The Birth Institute. Kathi recognizes the continuity of reproductive justice from pre-conception to birth, and is passionate about advancing the security of those rights for all women.

                                              Session:  CLEAR--Fighting the Right Fight: Birth as Part of the Feminist Struggle

                                              Rachel Zaslow is a midwife, mother and occasional academic. She has a PhD in feminist theory and is Executive Director of Mother Health International, a non-profit which works to protect and uplift the role of traditional midwives.

                                              Session: RELATED--Traditional Midwives, Education and the Colonization of Knowledge.