Doula and Birth Expert
Stevie Merino (Sol and Roots) is a proud queer indigenous islander woman (CHamoru & Boricua) raised in the diaspora of the LBC. She wears many different hats as a: cultural practitioner, community organizer, anthropologist, birthworker, IBCLC speaker, and trainer. She has been a doula since 2015. After becoming pregnant with her little one she felt called to this work, jumped completely in and since then it has been a fast moving train! Stevie has been a community organizer & activist since 14 years old, her politics shape the way she approaches life & this work. She is a single mami to a beautiful energetic 7 year old.
Stevie is the Executive Director, and co-founder of the Birthworkers of Color Collective and doula of Color training. Stevie presents around the country on perinatal health disparities, experiences, and traditions of communities of Color with a special focus on LGBTQ+ folks, Pacific Islander communities, & birthworkers of Color. As a living arts practitioner, she has curated two exhibits highlighting pregnancy, healing, and traditions. One in 2019 at the Pacific Islander Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM) that was the first of it's kind based off her research entitled "Carrying the Pacific: Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting" and the other at SovernLA a group show that is currently on display entitled, " Ceremonies: Pregnancy, birthwork, & life."
Stevie sits on various leadership positions in the community, birthwork, and academia including the American Anthropology Association as an appointed ombudsperson.
Stevie is fiercely dedicated to advocating, serving, collaborating, and uplifting communities of Color. She believes: This birthwork is political. This birthwork is activism. This birthwork is ancestral healing. This birthwork is essential.
Stevie’s goal is to spread awareness about birthing disparities and the ways birthing people of Color are affected by the medical industrial complex. She uses her profound background in Anthropology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to support the research and engagement she does as a birthworker. She offers access, knowledge, and empowerment to birthing people, new parents, and beyond through community support, resources, and cultural competence. Similarly, Stevie is committed to building community with people of Color that share her goals of advocacy, social justice, and birthwork. Stevie has an abundance of experience in community organizing, including but not limited to trainings, workshops, and discussions. She would love to collaborate with other birth workers, community activists, and social justice advocates.
Stevie has a Master’s degree in Anthropology, her research focused on Pacific Islander Birth Disparities and Traditions. She has conducted and presented research at many national conferences, hospitals, universities, and organizations centered around birth workers of Color, advocacy, health equity, and decolonizing birth. Stevie’s mission is to increase visibility, representation, and to create spaces for queer birthing people and birthworkers of Color.