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Meet Our Panelists
Erica Davis joined Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association in 2019 as a WIC breastfeeding community liaison, in conjunction with Michigan Public Health Institute, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In 2015, her most important role as a mother led her to explore new career opportunities in maternal child health. Erica believes that girls run the world and that cultivating Black women as leaders within the community and beyond is extremely important to increase health equity for black mothers and children.
Erica is a Flint, MI native, who has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a certification in Women’s Studies from University of Detroit Mercy. She is a certified lactation specialist, with several years of experience and credentials as a community health worker, educator, counselor, and advocate. She is also a Birth Equity Leadership Academy Leader at Health Connect One, and she is involved with SisterFriends Detroit. She is inspired by Detroiters’ commitment to community.
Erica is proud to come from a long line of breastfeeding women and she honors her family’s tradition in her work as a breastfeeding educator.
I’m Brittany Carter, a mother of 2. My first pregnancy was without a doula. Although my pregnancy was normal, delivery just went wrong. I almost lost my life due to complications with delivery. The thought of having to go through that again scared me. After getting pregnant I searched website after website to find a Black Doula to help advocate for me during delivery. After filling out (BMBFA’s) interest form after interest form, I got a call from Ashli confirming that she is my doula. I literally cried because I knew Ashli would save my life in that delivery room. Months later labor came and Ashli was my rock. Her voice was my focus through the pain. She coached me through 5 hours of painful drug-free contraction and 5 minutes of pushing. Thanks to her teaching me to advocate for myself and teaching my husband the support side of pregnancy we have a healthy baby.
Malikah Garner is a mother, advocate, entrepreneur and the Mommy Ambassador At-Large at Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA). Her journey with BMBFA began by attending Black Mothers Breastfeeding Club breastfeeding clubs. Now she is the co-founder and leader of the Mommy Ambassador program. Malikah’s passion for breastfeeding advocacy is centered on community support, impacting institutional policy, and inclusion in the breastfeeding community.
She has a background in marketing and project management with a degree from Saginaw Valley State University and a Master of Business Administration from Northwood University. She also has training in Strategic Planning Foundations. Malikah has a track record of high achievement in leadership, partnership renewal, and client engagement and satisfaction. She founded Detroit Youth Code, a computer programming bootcamp for Detroit youth.
Malikah is a proud advocate for the community. In 2021 she became a program coordinator with Hope Starts Here, Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership led by Detroit Maternal, Child and Family Alliance (DMCFHA). As a Mommy Ambassador with BMBFA, she has published articles about her breastfeeding journey and advocacy, and her perspective on normalizing Black breastfeeding has been featured on national platforms such as Good Morning America. Malikah is the proud mother of two amazing boys, Nolan and Aaron. She has exclusively breastfed her son Aaron for over 4 years.
Malikah is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Detroit Alumnae Chapter.
Elon Geffrard has been a birth doula since 2016, she came to doula work “accidentally” after being a home visitor for a local health department. While maintaining a private and community based doula practice, Elon has served as project coordinator, statewide speaker and consultant with a number of public health projects but finds her greatest joys in serving women as they transition into motherhood and fostering shifts in attitudes, policy, and practice around pregnancy, labor and birth- at the system’s level. She is a certified parent educator (Effective Black Parenting), certified childbirth educator (ICEA), trained in Lamaze childbirth education and is a certified lactation consultant (ALPP). She brings to the Birth Detroit team a passion for nurturing expectant families and enhancing the quality of women’s health services.
LaKeisha Grant works for Focus:HOPE as a Lead Home Base Teacher, and oversees two doulas and three home visitors. Lakeisha has a passion for working with pregnant mothers and children of early childhood age. She holds a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Spring Auburn University and Bachelors in Early Childhood Education from Rochester University. She is also currently in-training to be a Community-based Doula in BMBFA’s Community-based Doula Training Program.
Lakeisha is a Detroit native and mom of two beautiful daughters. She was a young mother who needed resources and did not know how to get to them so she became the resource. Lakeisha is a significant asset to her community and provides excellent support to aid in decreasing maternal and infant mortality in Detroit.
Robena Hill is a graduate of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association’s (BMBFA) third class of community-based doulas, and she joined BMBFA as the Lead Home Visitor and Community-based Doula in 2018. She provides childbirth education and group parenting instruction, and she is a Black Mother’s Breastfeeding Club organizer. Robena is known for her resourcefulness and her commitment to the Detroit community. She is the co-secretary of the Metro Detroit/Wayne County Breastfeeding Coalition, and an IHI Detroit Momentum Lab Pregnancy Design Team Member. She is also actively involved in her children’s schools and is the former President of the PASCA – Local School Community Organization at John R. King Elementary/Middle School. Robena has a background in geriatrics, and her selflessness has carried over into her support of mothers in labor, birth, postpartum care, and breastfeeding.