Meet Our Team

Steering Committee

Naa Amissah-Hammond

Senior Director of Grantmaking, Groundswell Fund 

Monica Beltran

Program Officer,
W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Amanda Cosler

Founder, Birth Justice Fund at Groundswell Fund and Independent Funder

Melissa Gradilla

Director of Grantmaking,
Every Mother Counts

Joanna Lauen

Program Director, Reproductive Health and Justice, Irving Harris Foundation

Andrea Palmer

Program Officer,
Pritzker Children’s Initiative

Tanya Taiwo

Senior Program Officer,
Yellow Chair Foundation

Strategic Advisors

Betsy McNamara

Strategic Advisor

Betsy McNamara, Principal of Full Circle Consulting, serves as Strategic Advisor to Funders for Birth Justice and Equity, a group she helped start in 2012 as the Midwifery Funders Group. From 2007 to 2019 Betsy served as consultant to the Transforming Birth Fund, awarding $7 million in funding in support of making the midwifery model of care the norm in the US maternity care system. Betsy has also served as consultant program manager to the Bean Foundation and the Alexander Eastman Foundation, both in NH.

When not working in philanthropy, Betsy’s consulting practice focuses on fundraising for non-profit organizations. Betsy has raised tens of millions of dollars for organizations in education, human services, affordable housing, the arts, and land conservation. Betsy lives and works in Concord, NH and serves on the boards of the NH Community Loan Fund and Community Bridges.

Nakeenya Wilson

Strategic Advisor

Nakeenya Wilson has worked in Black maternal health advocacy since 2018 after experiencing a traumatic birth in 2016. Nakeenya has a Masters of Art in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation and is a DONA trained doula. Nakeenya served as the first full-time Director of Austin-based non-profit Black Mamas ATX, which is a Perinatal Safe-Zone as part of the National Perinatal Health Collaborative. Nakeenya is a founding member of the Maternal Health Equity Collaborative (MHEC), a Texas-based organization focused on maternal health outcomes, centering Black birthing people. In 2020, MHEC was awarded $1M Safer Childbirth Cities grant to provide perinatal childcare to Black birthing people during the prenatal, birth and 12-month postpartum period. Nakeenya serves on many boards and committees including the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee and Subcommittee on Maternal Health Disparities, and the Central Texas Region March of Dimes Board of Directors. Nakeenya enjoys working with members of the community, medical professionals, interns in undergraduate and graduate programs, media, and legislators to address Black maternal health and mental health issues. She has provided presentations, served on panels, and has appeared on shows and podcasts to increase community education and promote awareness campaigns.

Community Council

Jamarah Amani

Southern Birth Justice Network, Midwife, Executive Director, Florida

Jamarah Amani, LM is a community midwife who believes in the transformative and healing power of birth and that every baby has a human right to human milk… Read Full Bio

Haile Cole

Community Organizer, Researcher, Connecticut

Originally hailing from a small Central Texas town, Haile has spent most of her adult life working and playing in Austin, TX. She has a B.A. in Sociology and… Read Full Bio

Twyllia Dillion

HealthConnect One, Executive Director, New York

Dr. Dillion has 10+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector spanning philanthropy, Medicaid reform, maternal-child health, data analytics, and academia… Read Full Bio

Raena Granberry

California Black Women’s Health Program, Executive Leader, California

Raena is an Inglewood native and Spelman College graduate who began in politics as a community engagement specialist with the California Democratic Party… Read Full Bio

Jackie Joy Ho-Shing

Access Esperanza Health Clinics, Community Health Coordinator, Texas

For the past 8+ years, Jackie Joy has worked in South Texas as an educator and advocate to help young folks access sexual reproductive health care… Read Full Bio

Helena Jacobs

Alaska Native Birthworkers, Community Doula, Alaska

Helena Benozaadleyo Jacobs (Koyukon Athabascan) is the daughter of Dee Olin and David Hoffman, and the granddaughter of the late Lillian and Fred Olin… Read Full Bio

Sunshine Muse

Black Health New Mexico, Midwife & Executive Director, New Mexico

A writer, advocate and anti-colonial health equity champion, Sunshine Muse leads Black Health New Mexico, a Black woman-led and founded non-profit… Read Full Bio

Aza Nedhari

Mamatoto Village, Midwife, CEO, Washington, D.C.

Aza brings more than 18 years of experience in community organizing, reproductive justice, and program development. Aza is a licensed Certified Professional… Read Full Bio

Tammea Tyler

Global Foundation for Girls, Doula, Board Chair, New Jersey

Tammea has spent 25 years as an operations and program leader utilizing an anti-oppression, racial equity, and feminist lens. Most recently she served… Read Full Bio

Leseliey Welch

Birthing Detroit, CEO, Michigan

Leseliey (she/her) is a public health leader with a business mind and a visionary heart, holding love as a guiding value, a way of being, an action and a politic… Read Full Bio

Fiscal Sponsor

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