BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH CARE CRISIS PANEL SPEAKERS

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meet the speakers


Racha Tahani Lawler, CPM, LM | Licensed Traditional Homebirth Midwife

Racha Tahani Lawler is a California licensed midwife, skilled in the midwifery traditions of her Southern U.S. and South African ancestors. She is the direct descendent of midwives, dating back four documented generations. Racha obtained her formal education in hospitals as a nursing student and at the historically accredited midwifery school Maternidad La Luz. She ultimately chose traditional midwifery without nursing school, and obtained her license to practice midwifery in 2004 after the home waterbirth of her first born son. All three of her children were born at home in water, post due date and they have attended well over 280 births either carried on her back or sitting at her side. On August 14th 2017 Racha Tahani Lawler was officially recognized by the South African government as a Traditional Healer, Sangoma and Umbelethisi/Midwife. She was humbly initiated into the Zulu nation and continues her Zulu and isiZulu language education. Maintaining her African and American midwifery matriarchy birth right. 


Debbie Allen | Traditional Midwife and founder of Tribe Midwifery 

Twenty-five years ago I experienced a hospital birth with my first son. It was filled with unnecessary interventions and most importantly... it lacked the tenderness and intimacy that I believed is the core of childbirth. When I became pregnant again, birthing in a hospital did not sit well with my spirit. I sought the alternative, which was hard to find in 1995. My second and third sons were born at home surrounded by family and friends with Midwives. The indescribably beautiful and powerful experience of those home births inspired my pursuit of natural birth, education and choice for women... and eventually Midwifery!  For the next 17 years I supported women as a Doula. In 2008 I decided to study Midwifery - which I did in California, Utah, and Florida.  I currently serve families as a midwife in the greater Los Angeles area.


 Noni Limar | Mama / Musician / Activist

Noni Limar is a true creative. With a decade long resume of work in film/TV, theater, commercial and music she is representative of the current generations commitment to create by any means necessary. As a musician she was a part of the Grammy Award winning Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Within the world of theater she has directed, starred in and produced plays and productions at Los Angeles Theater Center, Apollo Theater in NY, Highways Performance Space and the New York Hip Hop Theater Festival. As a writer, she has been invited to share work at The Lincoln Center in New York and the Market Theater in South Africa. The SABC Documentary I AM WOMAN was made about her international work as a director and producer. She just completed a development deal with Warner Bros Television and has been working on creative direction for Black Lives Matter Art and Culture since 2016.