The Women’s and Gender Center and the Multicultural Resource Center invited abortion doulas—Ash Williams (he/him), Libby Branham (she/her), and Shanti Moore (she/her)—for a discussion on doula practice. The focus of this panel is to address topics such as: what abortion doulas are, the culture of doulas in relation to BIPOC, doula practice as it is connected to anti-capitalist forms of care, access to medical care for marginalized communities, and the intersections of doula work with queerness. We are excited to give space to these speakers to speak on their work and advocacy for reproductive care.
ASH WILLIAMS (he/him) is a Black transmasc person from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Since 2012, Ash’s work has included theorizing dance and performance art as tools for understanding bodies and corporeality within The Movement for Black Lives; leading rapid response and guerilla actions, particularly as an architect of Charlotte Uprising, which followed the murder of Keith Lamont Scott; and abolitionist organizing at the intersections of gender justice, racial justice, reproductive justice, and anti-carcerality to build alternatives to police and policing. Ash is currently Project Nia's Decriminalizing Abortion Resident. He holds a Master’s degree in Ethics and Applied Philosophy, and a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and a Minor in Dance from UNC-Charlotte. For the last 6 years, Ash has been vigorously fighting to expand abortion access by funding abortions and training other people to become abortion doulas.
SHANTI MOORE (she/her) Originally from Chicago, Shanti has been in the Atlanta Metro area for over 20 years and began her career as a Registered Nurse. It was during the 13 years she spent in mental health nursing that her passion for advocacy began to grow. After working as an RN, and a licensed massage therapist, she began her work as a doula in 2017 by providing volunteer labor support to birthing people from underserved communities. In 2020, Shanti joined SisterSong’s Birth Justice Team and through her work with the organization, helped to create a Labor Support Training course for birthing people with limited access to doulas. She also helped organize a Queer Parenting Panel to help Queer and Transgender individuals explore avenues to parenthood. Shanti is currently a student nurse-midwife, as well as a birth justice activist and continues to use her skills and experience to directly improve birthing outcomes for Black and Brown people and other marginalized communities.
ELIZABETH BRANHAM (she/her) Libby is originally from Albuquerque, NM (occupied Pueblo, Tiwa, and Manso territory) and has had the privilege to weave her life all over the Southwest and seeks to support the web of relationships that hold her and her values. She recognizes the violent history and context from which she comes and seeks to utilize the power of that truth to construct something better. She’s in love with water and the desert and the delicate dance they do. She has organized and educated around issues of sexual violence, land defense, water protection, anti-racism, police/ border abolition and serves as an abortion doula. She looks to leadership that identifies the root and recognizes the tangled nature of it all to find sustainable solutions. She is inspired by non-hierarchical collaboration and aims to live in joy and love in that pursuit. She has begun a love affair with strapping skates to her feet and asking others to give her a shove (it is a nice outlet in a world that summons many heavy feelings). She can also be found in a kitchen distilling or baking something experimental or outside testing how lost she can get. If you’re unfortunate enough, you may even hear a poem she crafted in the wee hours of the morning. She is grateful for most things: simple and complex and hopes you feel that gratitude.
Co-sponsors: OICR, QRC, SWAGS Department, English Department, Student Activities,
Advocates for Reproductive Care, and Reproductive Justice Alliance