4th Annual Virtual

Black Maternal & Child Health Summit

Building Our Collective Power to Secure Reproductive Justice.

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

Forging Forward for Black Birth Justice

Join the Foundation for Black Women's Wellness and the Black Maternal and Child Health Alliance of Dane County for the 4th Annual Wisconsin Black Maternal & Child Health Summit.

This one-day conference, hosted by and for Black Women, is intended for Black Women and Black Birthing People who are Mothers, Birthing Parents, Birth Workers, Community Leaders and Black Women Reproductive Justice advocates in Wisconsin who are ready to join forces to share our successes and to drive solutions together.

Wisconsin leads the nation in racial birth disparities impacting Black women and babies, and is among the top in the nation for Black infant mortality. Black mothers in Wisconsin face a 3x's greater maternal mortality rate than our white peers, and simultaneously face social, economic, and healthcare barriers that place their health and well-being at risk.

Yet, Black women continue to pioneer solutions to address this problem, from positions of community, systems, and policy. Black Doulas, birth workers, non-profit and community leaders, grassroots activists, healthcare professionals, business owners, policy makers, and Reproductive Justice advocates are doing the work and driving new critical visibility, accountability, and solutions to turn the tide.

Join us as we celebrate Black women's work, and create new synergy to drive change in Wisconsin's first-in-the-nation racial birth disparities. We will prevail!

Forging Forward for Black Birth Justice

With Additional Support from

Keynote Speakers



9:00 am

Welcome, Opening Remarks & Presentations

With Sponsor Remarks and Distinguished Guests

Opening Remarks

  • Lisa M. Peyton, Founder, CEO & President, The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness
  • Dr. Tiffany Green, Co-Chair Emeritus, Black Maternal and Child Health Alliance of Dane County; Associate Professor, UW-Madison Departments of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Renee Moe, CEO, United Way of Dane County

Sponsor Remarks on Behalf of the Dane County Health Council

  • Ariel Robbins, Program Director, Dane County Health Council
  • Shelia Stubbs, Wisconsin State Representative, District 77
9:45 am

Opening National Panel 1: The State of Black Maternal & Child Health in the United States - Where We Are and How We Pave the Road to Reproductive Justice


Lisa M. Peyton, Founder, President & CEO, The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness

Adrian Jones, Director for Community Health Improvement in UW Health Office of Population Health


  • Dr. Terri Major-Kincade, Double Board-certified Neonatologist and Pediatrician
  • Kanika Harris, Director of Maternal and Child Health, Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Dr. Diamond Williams, Associate Dean for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, UW Madison School of Nursing & BMCH Alliance Member
10:45 am

Special Messages

11:00 am

Morning Panel 2: We Are the Change: Leading the Way to Reproductive Justice for Black Families and Communities Across America


Gabe Doyle, Chief Health Initiatives Officer, The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness

Tara Wilhemi, Founder and CEO, EOTO, Inc. and BMCH Alliance Member


  • Kendra Sutton-El, Founder and Executive Director, Birth in Color, Richmond, VA
  • Shantell Riley, Co-Founder, Doula Village, Milwaukee, WI
  • Juan Irby, Founder & Owner, Dad to Dudla, Charlotte, NC
12:00 pm

Special Messages & Musical Break

12:15 pm

Keynote Address

Dr. Karen A Scott MD, MPH, FACOG

Chief Black Feminist Physician Scientist and Founding CEO & Owner, Birthing Cultural Rigor®, LLC

1:00 pm

Wellness Break - Let’s Move!

Christine Russell, Director of Health & Wellness Programs, The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness

1:10 pm

From the Ashes - Documentary Highlight

Theresa Fortune, Activist and Founder, Communing With Community, and Maternal Mental Health Advocate

1:15 pm

Afternoon Panel 1 - Midwives & Birth Justice Advocates: Raising Our Voices and Making the Difference from the Front Line


Micaela Berry-Smith, Senior Program Manager, Community & Maternal and Child Health Initiatives, FFBWW

Tamara Thompson, Co-Director, Maroon Calabash, Founding Member, Wisconsin Doulas of Color Network, Midwife-in-Training & BMCH Alliance Member


  • Racha Thani Lawler-Queen, CEO & Owner, Gather Ground Midwifery & Certified Midwife
  • Toni Taylor, Co-Owner, Chicago Birthworks Collective
  • Theresa Fortune, Activist and Founder, Communing With Community, and Maternal Mental Health Advocate
2:00 pm

Afternoon Panel 2 - Changing Systems to Support Reproductive Justice


Carola Gaines, Community Liaison / Sr. Advocate, Quartz Health, FFBWW Board Member

Zakiyyah Sorensen, Outreach Manager, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health


  • Dr. Jasmine Zapata, Wisconsin Chief Medical Officer, State Epidemiologist for Maternal Child Health and Chronic Diseases
  • Dr. Jill Denson, Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center
  • Courtney Hayward, Director of Government Relations, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
2:45 pm

Closing & Calls to Action

While you're waiting for 2025,
take a look back at our past Summits