Acerca de

BLACK Premature .jpeg



Equal opportunity is one of our country's most cherished ideals, and no single factor influences whole-life success as strongly as a healthy birth and early childhood.


Yet today, Fresno's African American women and babies disproportionately experience preterm birth — 14.9% compared to 8.4% for white women — and Black babies are over 3 times more likely to die during their first year of life.



I'm a second-year MPH student in the 2-year Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health program. I am passionate about health equity and addressing the determinants of health that impact the maternal and child health population in the United States.  


Over the last year I’ve worked with the Virginia Department of Medicaid on their doula Medicaid reimbursement policy which is scheduled to go live in 2022. 

Abena Asare

Jackie Mendelson.jpg

I’m a second-year in the MPH Nutrition program. My background is in food system work and I am particularly interested in policy advocacy and building climate resilience into our food system, as well as grounding all of my work in food sovereignty.


Food justice is at the intersection of many of the same systemic and structural barriers to health equity, and I’m excited to bring my background into the reproductive justice sphere. 

Jackie Mendelson

Jo Williams.JPEG

I'm a second year MPH student in the Health and Social Behavior program. I am a strong believer in reproductive justice and have spent much of my career advocating for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of foster youth. I am excited to bring my advocacy skills to the birthing world.

Jo Williams

Sagaree Jain.JPG

I’m a second year MPH students in the Health and Social Behavior program. I’m passionate about reproductive justice and have worked on reproductive justice research projects in Uganda, Malaysia, and the United States.


I’m also big on community led, participatory research, and am excited to bring that focus to this project. 

Sagaree Jain


During an MA-level course titled "PH 218B: Evaluation of Health and Social Programs" offered by Julianna Deardorff, PhD at UC Berkeley, we are partnering with a group of MPH students for the development of an evaluation plan for the BLACK Doula Network. On the BLACK Doula Network's side the MPH Team is supervised by Stephanie Leonard, PhD