Born Into This

A conference for birth workers and leaders interested in the intersection of social justice, technology and creativity.

July 12-13, 2018


This is an invitation to engage in a public conversation among birthworkers, a call to accountability, to make contact across our differences in service of the past, present and future possibilities of both the field itself and of our lives, asking the fundamental question: What were we born into?

Shed all your ideas of a conventional birth conference and join us anew as we explore entrepreneurship, social justice, technology, and intersectionality.

This conference is for all birth workers, holistic health professionals, thoughtful leaders and creators to gather and ignite the birth justice movement.

We will learn, create and organize together to better serve our professional development and collective wisdom.

Curated by DTI.


SoCo 2

South Congress Hotel
1603 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX


Carmen Lane

M. Carmen Lane, MSOD (African-American, Mohawk, Tuscarora) is a two:spirit birthworker, writer, organizational consultant and personal development coach living in Cleveland, Ohio. Their poetry has been published in numerous journals and is a contributor to the Lambda Literary nominated anthology Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two Spirit Literature.  Carmen’s first collection of poetry, Calling Out After Slaughter (GTK Press) was published in 2015. They are the founder and director of ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership, an urban retreat center and experiment in holistic health, leadership development, life-long learning, intergenerational community building and indigenous arts & culture.

Katie Vigos

Katie Vigos is a registered nurse, doula, and mother of three sons in Los Angeles, California. She created Empowered Birth Project in 2014, an online platform that reminds birthing people of their power, encourages healing through storytelling, and shares information and education. In 2017 she launched #IGallowuncensoredbirth, a petition to Instagram to declassify physiological birth as offensive material and end birth censorship. The petition currently has over 19,000 signatures and is being internally reviewed by Instagram. Katie envisions a world in which all birthing people and their families feel supported and empowered in their choices.

Dr. Alicia D. Bonaparte

Dr. Alicia D. Bonaparte is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College and trained as a medical sociologist with a specialization in reproductive health, health disparities, and female crime and deviance.  Her research interests include the gendered social hierarchy within American medicine as well as the intersection of race and gender in healthcare practices and racial disparities. She is also co-editor of the anthology Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy, and Childbirth. This book places black women’s voices at the center of the debate on what should be done to fix the broken maternity system and foregrounds black women’s agency in the emerging birth justice movement. Mixing scholarly, activist, and personal perspectives, the book shows readers how they too can change lives, one birth at a time.

Sera Bonds

Sera Bonds is CEO and founder of Circle of Health International, a humanitarian organization providing reproductive, maternal, and newborn health care in crisis settings around the world. She has worked with teenage and minority mothers in rural areas of the Western U.S.; with refugee communities in Boston; with commercial sex workers on issues of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam; with female evacuees from hurricanes Rita and Katrina in Louisiana; with survivors of natural disasters in Oklahoma; with the social service and healthcare provider community in Central Texas to stop human trafficking; with refugees arriving in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, traveling from Latin America, and with midwives in Northern India, Guatemala, Tibet, Palestine, tsunami-affected Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Jordan, Haiti, Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and Israel.

Dawn Thompson

Dawn is a self-proclaimed Healthy Birth Warrior. She worked for 14 years as a birth professional experiencing firsthand the challenges of the “standard of care” in hospitals before moving headlong into advocacy and activism. In late 2011, she organized the first Rally to Improve Birth and established a 501c3 organization, ImprovingBirth. ImprovingBirth, Inc has gone on to become the largest consumer advocacy organization for childbirth in the US. Dawn is willing to have the tough conversations about how we can no longer continue doing things the same way and how we can work together to make things Better.

Surabhi Kukke

Surabhi Kukke has worked in the field of women’s health and human rights for 20 years. Currently, she serves as a Senior Health Programs Consultant to Futures Without Violence, focusing on capacity building and resource development for health care workers on assessment and response to IPV and the intersections between IPV and HIV. She is based in Austin, Texas where she serves on the Board of Mama Sana Vibrant Woman, a grassroots organization working to improve birth outcomes for Black and Latina women in the city. She has also provided technical and research support to international agencies including UNDP, UNIFEM, RTI and Action Aid. Kukke has a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University.


Estrella Jaramillo

Cofounder Bwom app. Originally from Spain, Estrella leads the US/America expansion of B-wom, a platform that offers personalized programs for women’s health with exercises, educational articles, habits and a tracking tool. Her mission is to break taboos around female intimate health and to raise awareness about the importance of building habits to increase your wellbeing and sexual experience. When we asked her about the best part of her job, she said “Having the honor of saying the word “vagina” in front of a room full of men -usually investors- almost on a daily basis”.

Francie Webb

Francie Webb  lives in Harlem, NYC. With 14 years as a middle school teacher behind her, she discovered a new calling after her two transformative births.. She is a birth and postpartum doula and is currently training to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). As founder and CEO of TheMilkinMama, and the author of the highly-reviewed book Go Milk Yourself: You Have Power. Express It! She is dedicated to helping parents have more power, more freedom, and less stress. A native of Virginia who somehow still says “you guys”* instead of “y’all,” Francie graduated from Duke University and earned Masters Degrees from Pace University and Bank Street College of Education. Among other aspirations, she hopes to become a midwife one day.



Barbara Verneus

Barbara Verneus is the founder of Tiny & Brave Holistic Services; a blogger; maternal life coach, while being a single mother of one. Barbara has been a trained Birth Companion (doula) since 2004. In 2006, Barbara went overseas through the African Birth Collective to Senegal, West Africa assisting midwives in labor and delivery. In 2008, she obtained a Graduate certificate from Boston University in Maternal and Infant Care in Public Health. Barbara received her Master’s in Counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family in 2016. She has written for Mater Mea; Mothering Naturally, Black Women Birthing Justice; MadameNoire and #NoPrivateParts. Barbara is a strong advocate in being an instrument of healing to women, mothers and mothers-to-be who have experienced trauma; while inspiring more Black and Brown women to enter the birth work field. She is also advocate/activist on the issue of the infant and maternal disparities happening within Black communities.

Miriam Zoila Pérez

Miriam Zoila Pérez is a queer Cuban-American writer and activist whose work focuses on race, health and gender. In 2016, she gave a TED Talk: How Racism is Harming Pregnant Women–and What Can Help, which has been viewed over 850,000 times. Pérez is the founder of Radical Doula, a blog started 11 years ago to cover the intersections of birth activism and social justice from a full-spectrum doulas perspective. She is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in publications like the New York Times, Colorlines, Splinter, The American Prospect, Rewire and Talking Points Memo. Pérez is the author of the self-published Radical Doula Guide: A Political Primer for Full-Spectrum Pregnancy and Childbirth Support, which has sold over 2500 copies.



Ash Spivak is a birth doula and reproductive health educator based in NYC. She is the co-founder of Cycles + Sex a platform to learn about your body via massive events and digital content. Her work has been featured on multiple outlets including Teen Vogue, Newsweek, Refinery29 and Business Insider.  She is passionate about helping people take control of their bodies and thereby overall wellbeing. 

Heather Gallagher is an international award-winning, published and exhibited family photojournalist. An advocate for social justice and maternal health, Heather documents birth thru death with dignity and the focus of her images is the universality of the human condition regardless of age, sex, race or socioeconomic status. 
Heather’s work has been featured in Texas Monthly, Huffington Post, Spin Magazine, Origins Magazine, Peach Fuzz Magazine, Hello My Tribe, Love Child Mag and her clients span the globe. Heather is based in Austin, TX and is a mother and wife. 


July 12 : Pre-conference Gatherings

Mastermind with the founders of DTI
   VIP ticket only

VIP Cocktail Party
   VIP ticket only

Birthworker of Color Gathering
  For birthworkers of color attending the conference

July 13 : Conference


Decolonizing at the Root: Settler Colonialism, Granny Midwives & the  Mayhem of Intersectionality within Birthwork (In Loving Memory of Erica  Garner)

Advocates and Activists for Change

 Birth World Meets Innovation

 Social Media as a Change Maker

 Stories of the Doula

 The Power of Language

 The 5 Year Itch: What’s Next?


Conversations and Stories

Performance Art

 Chain Stitching by Ft. Lonesome

 Stick and Poke Tattoos by Dope Toast

⟩⟩  A special add on ⟩⟩

DTI’s EDU Childbirth Educator Training – July 11 & 12 

This is a  2-day in person Childbirth EDU Training with Jenny Bennett. This add-on is available for both conference attendees and those only seeking Childbirth Education Teacher Certification. Head here for more information and registration*

*Register for the conference and receive a $100 discount on this training. Discount code will sent in the confirmation email

*More info coming soon! Head here for our live updates…



More to come!

If you are interested in sponsoring our event, email us at


⟩  For every VIP ticket sold, Born into This will donate $25 to the DTI Scholarship Program ⟩

⟩  Tickets are non refundable ⟩


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