2nd Annual Wisconsin Black Maternal and Child Health Summit
Winning the Fight for Our Lives
9:00 am - 3:00pm CST
A one day virtual conference for Black Women, Mothers, Birthing Parents, Birth Workers, Community Leaders and Reproductive Justice Advocates in Wisonsin
Join us as we celebrate Black women's work and create new synergy to drive change in Wisconsin's first-in-the-nation racial birth disparities.REGISTER NOW
Monica R. McLemore PhD, MPH, RN
Tenured Associate Professor, University of California-San Francisco, Family Health Care Nursing Department
At the University of California, San Francisco, Monica McLemore is a tenured associate professor in the Family Health Care Nursing Department, an affiliated scientist with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, and a member of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. She retired fromclinical practice as a public health and staff nurse after a 28-year clinical nursing careerin 2019, however, continues to provide flu and COVID-19 vaccines.Herprogram of research is focused on understanding reproductive health and justice. To date, she has 87peer reviewed articles, OpEds and commentaries and her research has been cited in the Huffington Post, Lavender Health, fiveamicus briefs to theSupreme Court of the United States, and threeNational Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine reports, anda data visualization project entitled How To Fix Maternal Mortality: The first step is to stop blaming womenthat was published in the 2019Future of Medicine edition of Scientific American.Her work has appeared in publications such as Dame Magazine, Politico, ProPublica/NPR and she made a voice appearance in Terrance Nance’s HBO series Random Acts of Flyness. She is the recipient of numerous awards and currently serves aschairfor Sexualand ReproductiveHealth section of the American Public Health Association.She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursingin 2019and was named the Thelma Shobe Endowed Chair in 2021.
Program Manager, Community Health Improvement, UW Health
Adrian Jones is a public health leader and reproductive justice advocate with over 15 years of experience in community health improvement. In her present role with UW Health, she manages efforts to advance the improvement of health outcomes and to reduce disparities in Dane County through community collaborations and targeted programming. She previously served as Community Health Educator for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, and is a sexual and reproductive health educator specializing in working with women and young adults. Adrian has taught comprehensive sexuality education in schools and provided sexual health trainings to youth-serving professionals, and has trained community health educators locally and statewide. She also previously worked as a Program Coordinator for the Girls, Inc. Program at Goodman Community Center, and is a gifted developer of adolescent health programming. Adrian is a graduate of the University of WI Madison where she received a dual Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and Women Studies with a certificate in Sexuality education.
Alia Stevenson, M.S.
Chief Programs Officer of The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness
Alia Stevenson serves as Chief Programs Officer with The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. An advocate for health, wellness, and equity, Alia brings a holistic approach to her work through assessing and improving environments to support the health needs of both individuals and organizations. She brings a track record of experience in shaping health equity efforts that disrupt disparities, and is an expert in team development, program planning, evaluation, and training facilitation. Alia was recognized as one of Brava Magazine’s 2015 Women to Watch, is a 2017 graduate of Nehemiah’s African American Leadership Capacity & Development Institute, and a 2017-2018 Human Impact Partner Health Equity Awakened Fellow. A former Foundation Board member and volunteer, Ms. Stevenson most recently worked for local government as the City of Madison’s Organizational Development Manager, and as Policy, Planning & Evaluation Manager and Health Equity Coordinator for Public Health Madison & Dane County. In these roles, she launched successful programming including the City of Madison’s Women’s Leadership Series and the Public Health Madison & Dane County’s health and racial equity team. Madison native, Alia is an active member of the Greater Madison community, presently serving as Co-Chair of the Board for Forward Community Investments and on the board of Edgewood College’s Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership Program.
Founder & CEO, EQT By Design
Annette launched EQT By Design to focus on developing diverse, inclusive, sustainable strategies in public engagement, equitable community development projects, and organizational cultural change management. As CEO and founder of EQT By Design, Miller’s passion is ensuring that inclusion and engagement are front and center in her work. Annette is committed to the deconstruction of processes and practices that create inequity within organizations and systems. She seeks to listen, learn, and engage diverse voices within and outside of organizations to co-create inclusive processes and people-centered decision-making.
Program Director, Dane County Health Council
Ariel Robbins, is the Program Director for the Dane County Health Council managing a portfolio of reproductive justice initiatives that connect clinical care activities with community-based programming. Connect Rx Wisconsin is a Care Coordination program that centers the impact of social determinants of health and addresses Black maternal child health inequities. The overall goal of Connect Rx is to eliminate racial health disparities resulting in low birth weight and increased infant mortality in the Black birthing population of Dane County.
She has worked in the non-profit health care sector for the past 9 years on projects with varying focus areas including access to health care, health equity, and health education. She received her Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the University of Texas at San Antonio and her Master of Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center with a concentration in Management and Policy. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and is also Certified in Public Health.
Advocacy and health promotion are at the heart of both her professional and personal life. She is the co-chair of the Community Whole Health section of the Wisconsin Public Health Association, Treasurer for the African American Health Network of Dane County and is a member Global Shapers -Madison Hub. In her downtime, she enjoys volunteer work and is especially proud to mentor black youth who are experiencing adverse home-life situations.
Director of Health & Wellness Program, The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness
Christine Russell serves as Director of Health & Wellness Programs with the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. She brings over 15 years of experience supporting and administering health and wellness programming for hospital systems, global pharmaceutical companies, and national health management organizations, bringing greater health, wellness, and outcomes to employees and families. Christine is also a practitioner with training as a fitness instructor and wellness coach, rounded out by her experience with program implementation, data analytics, marketing, and communications, and leading strategic initiatives. Christine’s passion for community impact has inspired her local work in Greater Madison to support underserved individuals and their families through maternal care, financial, and physical well-being. Her transition from corporate wellness to community health drives her commitment to further support her own community.
Chief Executive Officer, National Healthy Start Association
Deborah Frazier currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the National Healthy Start Association. Ms. Frazier has a stellar national reputation having spent 30 years of her professional career in the field of maternal and child health. She is a past member of the HHS Secretary’s Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM), and the former Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health for the State of Arkansas. Ms. Frazier has a long and very rich history with Healthy Start and the Association serving as grantee evaluator, technical advisor to projects, Project Director for New Orleans Healthy Start, founding member of the Association and past board member. In her role as Co-Chair of the Association’s Development Committee, she was responsible for securing funding critical to the growth and expansion of the organization –establishing regional conferences, the Healthy Start Leadership Institute and the Partnership Grant with AMCHP and CityMatCH. Ms. Frazier has lent her expertise and knowledge as a consultant to numerous national organizations including The American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists developing and implementing their National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Program (NFIMR), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to evaluate community-based programs and to the National School Health Workgroup to develop national standards and policies for school health programs. She has provided consultation to community-based programs across the country involving the development of strategic plans, needs assessments and designing programs and services for those in need.
Felica Turner Walton
CEO & Founder, Healing Our Hearts
From the age of 12, Felica Turner-Walton has always vowed to work in the medical field, first as a candy striper to now returning to her first love as a Certified Grief Support Specialist and Doula. She is a mother to 5 beautiful Children and the CEO and Founder of Healing Our Hearts Foundation where she works to assist African American mothers after the loss of a child as well as working to assist with COVID Relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. After the loss of her son Zaire in 2016, Felica has worked to advocate for mothers to have a safe space for to discuss and share their loss and be supported in healthy ways to grieve. Felica is currently studying Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH
Pediatrician, UW Health - Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Community Health, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Dr. Zapata is an award-winning author, public health strategist, researcher, and physician. Her focus is on utilizing innovative, community-centered, and system shifting strategies to impact health outcomes for children and families in a radical way. She is double-board certified in the fields of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine and works as a UW Newborn Nursery Hospitalist practicing at Meriter Hospital. She is also an assistant professor at the University of WI School of Medicine and Public Health where she is a Centennial scholar and serves in a variety of clinical, research, teaching and leadership roles aimed at increasing diversity in medicine and achieving maternal child health equity locally and nationally. Outside of the hospital, she is passionate about youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, book writing, singing, playing volleyball and spending time with family. Her ultimate mission in life is to use her infectious energy, gifts, and passions to "heal, uplift and inspire".
Health Equity Policy Director, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health
KatrinaMorrison is a fierce advocate for racial justice and a second-year law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She presently serves as the Health Equity Policy Director at the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH), where she works diligently to advance policy solutions that will disrupt Wisconsin’s persistent disparities in maternal and child health. Before joining WAWH, Katrina worked at Planned Parenthood of Advocates Wisconsin and in the Wisconsin State Legislature for the Assembly Democratic Leader. Katrina is passionate about the power of policy to create meaningful systems and culture change and aims to make a lasting difference in the lives of Black women throughout our state.
Supervisor, Wisconsin Maternal & Infant Mortality Prevention
Kenmikiiya Terry currently supervises the Maternal and Infant Mortality Prevention Unit within the Bureau of Community Health Promotion at Department at Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The MIMPU comprised of the Maternal Mortality Review Team andCommunity Outreach Team.
Kenmikiiya have worked in the social services field for more than seventeen years in varying capacities, ranging from child welfare, public health/health education, health program coordination, mental health, project management and program implementation. She has built a strong network of relationships with a wide variety of community partners. Kenmikiiya understands that Maternal and Child Health not only impacts families but the communities in which those families are apart of.
Executive Director, Essentially Empowered, Inc.
Lakeeta Watts is the founding Executive Director of Essentially Empowered, Inc, Certified Community Health Worker, Full Spectrum Holistic Doula and Certified Lactation Specialist. Lakeeta aims to reduce health disparities in people of color through trauma informed care, advocacy, and policy change.
Founder, CEO & President of The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness
Lisa Peyton-Caire is the Founding CEO & President of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. Her work as a passionate advocate for women’s health was spurred by Mother’s untimely death at age 64 from heart disease in 2006, after which Lisa established Black Women’s Wellness Day, an annual summit now in its 11th year that empowers women and girls to sustain healthy, wellness-centered lives. The Foundation is an outgrowth and progression of this work which has mobilized a movement in the Greater Madison community and across Wisconsin to intentionally address and improve Black women’s health. Based on her work and impact, Lisa was appointed to serve on newly elected Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ Health Policy Advisory Council through which she was able to influence proposed policies addressing maternal and child health and health disparities in our State.
Lisa also previously served as Assistant Vice President of Life, Learning and Events at Summit Credit Union (2014-2018) where she and her team led the company’s efforts on Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Wellness, Financial Education, Community Giving, and Corporate Events.
An experienced leader, manager, and educator, Lisa has led impactful work over the past 20+ years spanning the PreK – 16 education, non-profit, women’s health, and financial service sectors. She is actively engaged in a number of local efforts to promote thriving, sustainable communities, and serves on the board of Unity Point-Meriter Health, the Center for Resilient Cities, and the UW Population Health Institute Advisory Board; and previously on the boards of Sustain Dane and A Fund for Women. Among her lasting contributions to community is the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s highly successful DoIT Information Technology Academy (ITA), a pre-college technology training & college access program she designed and launched with colleagues in 1999 and now in its 20th year.
Lisa has been widely recognized for her work in women’s health and community stewardship and was recently named among local health innovators on the Madison Magazine’s 2017 M List. In 2016 she was recognized as one of 44 Most Influential African Americans in Wisconsin by Madison365 Magazine. Other honors include the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health Woman of Character Award (2015) for her efforts to mobilize Black women and partners to eliminate health disparities. She is the 2014 recipient of the Public Health Madison & Dane County Leadership Award, 2014 Brava Magazine Woman to Watch, and was nominated an “Everyday Health Hero” by the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation in 2013. Additionally, she is a 2008 UW Alumni Association Forward Under Forty Award honoree for her service and impact on the world by living the Wisconsin Idea.
A Mother of five, Lisa holds a Masters of Science degree in Educational Leadership & Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a proud former Hampton University student, home of the Pirates, where she completed her first three years of undergraduate studies.
Program Manager, Maternal & Child Health Initiatives, The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness
Micaela Berry-Smith serves as Program Manager for Maternal and Child Health Initiatives with the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. She brings to the Foundation an impressive track record of work and service in birth equity leadership, early childhood education, and social entrepreneurship. For over 15 years, Micaela has worked extensively with children and families in diverse settings, and has led several high-impact efforts including most recently serving as Co-Executive Director of Harambee Village Doulas, and previously as Assistant Director for the YMCA's before and after school programs for middle school children. Micaela has also managed her own Nanny service in the Greater Madison area, matching in-home childcare providers to working professional families. She completed a double major in Early Childhood Development and Art Therapy at Metro State University in St.Paul, Minnesota and is a DONA trained Doula, certified Infant Specialist, certified Lactation Consultant, a Protective Factors and Ages and Stages Trainer, and a former Head Start Teacher. Micaela is a 2019 Madison Magazine MList Awardee recognized as an outstanding Innovator.
Spoken Word Artist
Director of Multicultural Business Strategy, CUNA Mutual Group.
In her current role, Opal is dedicated to leading and advancing the efforts of the Multicultural Center of Expertise (MCOE). The MCOE exists to help CUNA Mutual Group understand multicultural consumers, identify business opportunities, develop action plans, and execute those plans to better serve customers and generate substantial business growth. In 2020 she was named as one of Wisconsin’s 51 most influential Black Leaders by Madison365 Media.
Opal received her bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and a Master of Science in Organizational Development from Edgewood College.
Opal is also a spoken word artist and emcee. She has been performing poetry nationally since 2016, and released a full-length studio spoken word album called"My Name Is Opal"in 2019.The album has been streamed in over 30countries certifying Opal as a SpotifyVerified artist. You can stream the album on all major streaming platforms including Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and more. The album is also available for purchase on iTunes.
Opal is also a co-host of Black Currency, a financial literacy podcast available on all platforms. She serves on the board of directors for UCAN (Urban Community Arts Network)and The Midwest Chapter for the African American Credit Union Coalition.
Director, Population Health, UW Health
Robin is the Director of Population Health at UW Health and a partner organization representative on the Dane County Health Council. She also serves as acting President of the Wisconsin Public Health Association. She earned her Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences and Bixby Certificate in Population and Reproductive Health from the University of California-Los Angeles in 2006. Robin is a Certified Health Education Specialist who has primarily worked with African American and Latinx communities in Los Angeles and Madison around the topics of maternal and child health, HIV and immunizations. Her areas of interest include community health improvement, systems change, collaborative partnerships and supporting the conditions for all people to have the best opportunity to live well and thrive.
Founder, Shades of You, Shades of Me
Shonita Roach is the founder of Shades of You, Shades of Me. Her life’s work is to improve maternal mental health care for women of color and empower them to advocate for their care.
In 2019, she organized the first Multicultural Maternal Mental Health Conference, which took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was the first-ever conference focusing specifically on the mental health needs of pregnant women and mothers from diverse cultures. She succeeded in bringing awareness to the needs of often-neglected communities of pregnant and postpartum women.
Doula & Child Birth Educator, Mother Earth Doula Care
Tamara N. Thompson is a Black femme activist, Lactation Counselor, Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Student Midwife. Tamara is a founding member of the Wisconsin Doulas of Color Collective, co-founder of Harambee Village Doulas, a community based-doula organization, and Maroon Calabash, a Black Womyn led Reproductive Justice organization. Tamara’s activism work includes the intersections of pregnancy and racism, incarceration, trauma, gender identity, infant loss, trauma, economic status, and access to human milk.
CEO & Founder, EOTO Culturally Rooted
Tara Wilhelmi leads a local grassroots community recovery and wellness organization, EOTO Culturally Rooted. She is a Certified Peer Specialist and state trainer of Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) providing support to individuals navigating mental health, substance use and trauma recovery. Driven by her passion for positive social change and thriving, healthy communities of color she enjoys acting as a connector and seed planter working on several impactful collaborations throughout Wisconsin. As a Certified Peer Specialist and studying doula Tara subscribes to a "each one teach one" knowledge and skill sharing ideology that she believes is key to challenging systemic injustice."
Tiffany Green, PhD
Assistant Professor, UW Departments of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dr. Tiffany Green is an economist and population health scientist and a nationally recognized expert in racial/ethnic and nativity disparities in reproductive health. She is currently Assistant Professor of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Green earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her B.A. in economics from Florida A&M University. Her research focuses primarily on understanding the individual, family, and structural-level determinants of disparities in women’s health and birth outcomes. Dr. Green’s mission is to shed light on how and why Black women, regardless of socioeconomic status experience the worst maternal and child health outcomes.
United States Senator Tammy Baldwin
About Tammy Baldwin
Tammy Baldwin has committed her life’s work to public service because she has a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of Wisconsin’s working families. In the proud tradition of Wisconsin’s state motto, Forward, she believes that we must always work together to help provide fairness, equality, and economic opportunity for all.
Born and Raised in Wisconsin
Tammy Baldwin was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised by her grandparents in the Badger State. Her grandfather was a scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her grandmother was a gifted artist and seamstress who became chief costumer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Theater Department.
Tammy was raised by her grandparents because her mother struggled with mental illness, chronic pain, and drug abuse. Tammy had to grow up fast, as her mother struggled with addiction to prescription drugs her entire life. When the opioid epidemic spread across Wisconsin, devastating countless families and entire communities, Tammy worked in the Senate to make sure Washington finally stepped up and supported local prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts throughout the state. She also authored and worked to pass the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act, bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Obama that strengthens oversight of the VA’s opioid prescribing practices and provides safer and more effective care for our nation’s Veterans.
When Tammy was nine years old, she was diagnosed with a serious childhood illness similar to spinal meningitis. She spent three months in the hospital. Her grandparents had health insurance, but they weren’t allowed to list Tammy as a dependent. Their insurance wouldn’t cover her care, and they were forced to make great sacrifices to pay for Tammy’s health care.
Tammy got better, and her grandparents looked for a health insurance policy that would cover her in the future. But they discovered that because of her previous illness, they couldn’t find such a policy. Not from any insurer. Not at any price. Tammy had been branded with the words “pre-existing condition.”
Now, because of the Affordable Care Act, championed by Tammy in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate, children have protections that they didn’t have before and can’t be denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
As her grandmother grew older, Tammy served as her grandmother’s primary caregiver – an extremely rewarding, but also challenging responsibility. Growing up in a grandfamily and being a caregiver shaped Tammy’s future in public service, and she led the bipartisan effort to support family caregivers by sponsoring and passing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act in the Senate which was signed into law in 2018.
A Commitment to Public Service
Tammy graduated from Madison West High School and went on to double-major in political science and mathematics at Smith College. In 1989, she received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
In 1986, while in law school, she served on the Madison Common Council, filling an aldermanic vacancy. Tammy was then elected to four terms (1986-1994) on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. In 1992, Tammy was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly as a State Representative for the 78th District, serving three terms.
In 1998, Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District shattered the state’s glass ceiling and elected Tammy as the state’s first female member of Congress and the nation’s first openly gay challenger sent to Congress. She served seven terms in the House of Representatives, serving on the Budget Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Energy and Commerce Committee.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tammy helped craft the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, leading the effort to include the provision that now allows young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans up to age 26. She was also the lead sponsor of the Buffett Rule to ensure tax fairness, fought for student loan reforms to make higher education accessible and affordable, and developed a strong record of fighting against unfair trade deals that have shipped American jobs overseas.
Working for Wisconsin
Elected to the U.S. Senate on November 6, 2012, Tammy won a hard fought race and made history as Wisconsin’s first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate and the first openly gay member elected to the U.S. Senate. In 2018, Senator Baldwin was re-elected by the people of Wisconsin with 55.4% of the vote.
In the Senate, Senator Baldwin is committed to working across party lines to strengthen the essential pillars of economic security for working families: investments in education and workforce readiness, building a strong Made in Wisconsin manufacturing and agriculture economy, quality health care for all Americans, and protecting the retirement security of today’s seniors and future generations.
Senator Baldwin has also made addressing the student debt crisis and college affordability a top priority. After holding roundtables with students and recent graduates struggling with the cost of a higher education, Senator Baldwin introduced the America’s College Promise Act to make the skills and credentials necessary for success in today’s economy attainable for all Americans, regardless of socio-economic status. Senator Baldwin’s legislation would create new federal-state partnerships to provide two years of tuition-free access to community or technical college programs.
As a leader in the Senate championing stronger Buy American policies, Senator Baldwin has worked across party lines to support our workers, manufacturers, and businesses. She has supported Made in America legislation, and pushed Presidents of both parties, to require the federal government to give preference to American companies and spend taxpayer dollars on American-made products and American jobs. Senator Baldwin worked to include Buy American reforms in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which makes a historic investment to create jobs and rebuild America’s infrastructure. The bipartisan legislation invests in fixing our roads and bridges and rebuilding our water infrastructure, including help for local communities to replace lead service lines and address Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals so that we provide safe and clean drinking water to people across our state. It also expands access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband for Wisconsin families, students, small businesses, and farmers.
Senator Baldwin knows firsthand that Wisconsin farmers are the backbone of our rural communities. Representing America’s Dairyland, she has been a leader in the Senate supporting dairy farmers, cheesemakers, and food processors by working to pass legislation that provides them the tools they need to innovate, develop new dairy products, reach expanded markets, and move our agriculture economy forward. She also worked to make sure her bipartisan FARMERS FIRST Act was included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides funding for local mental health resources and expands access to stress reduction strategies and suicide prevention programs for people who work in agriculture.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Baldwin supported legislation to fund and distribute vaccinations, deliver stimulus checks and expanded tax cuts for working families, extend unemployment insurance to those out of work, and provide federal funding to small businesses, schools, and state and local governments to help them get through the public health and economic crisis.
Senator Baldwin serves on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the Senate Appropriations Committee. She is also Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.
Wanda Irving, MPA
Co-Founder/President, Dr. Shalon's Maternal Action Project
Wanda Irving, MPA
Wanda Irving has served as the Managing Partner of Irving Associates for the past 15 years, where she provides technical, consulting and coaching services to various nonprofits in the areas of leadership, organizational development and project management. Early in her career, Ms. Irving developed a passion for and a track record in leading community betterment and social change initiatives. For nearly three decades, she worked in the federal government, city government, faith-based organizations and the non-profit arena where she focused her energies on positively impacting communities and individuals by providing effective leadership and helping organizations to develop meaningful partnerships through shared visions that achieve innovative solutions to complex community issues. In January 2017, Ms. Irving’s daughter, Shalon Irving, PhD, MPH, MS, CHES died from childbirth related complication, three weeks after the birth of her daughter. Devastated by her daughter’s untimely and completely preventable death, Ms. Irving has become a staunch advocate for eradicating maternal mortality deaths among Black women, while raising her now five-year-old granddaughter. Ms. Irving received a Masters of Public Administration from Baruch/CUNY College as a National Urban Fellow, and an A.B. in English/American Studies from Dartmouth College, among the first class of women at Dartmouth. She was a 2010 graduate of Leadership Maryland and has served as an Ombudsman to the Department of Defense ESGR office since 2013.
Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes
Mandela Barnes serves as Wisconsin’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. He is the firstAfrican American to serve as a Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, and the second African American elected to statewide office. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Lt. Gov. Barnes is the son of a public-school teacher and a manufacturing assembly line worker, a proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools, and a graduate of Alabama A&M University. At the age of 25, Lt. Gov. Barnes was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where he served two terms. Now, as lieutenant governor, he serves as the Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change and also serves on the Governor’s Health Equity Council, Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy and Capability, Wisconsin Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Wisconsin Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, and the statewide 2020 Census Complete Count Committee.The lieutenant governor uses a platform of sustainability and equity to fight for solutions that invest in opportunities and fairness for every child, person, and family in Wisconsin, regardless of zip code.
Wisconsin State Representative Shelia Stubbs (District 77)
Elected in 2018 as the first African American state representative from Dane County, Shelia Stubbs is a true public servant and champion for social and racial justice and Black Maternal & Child Health. Representing Dane County District 77, which covers the South and West parts of the City of Madison, Rep Stubbs is also the current Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, leading on issues impacting the lives of all Wisconsinites. Representative Stubbs is also a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, leading on critical issues since 2006; and recently proposed a unanimously passed resolution establishing April 11 -17th as Black Maternal and Child Health Week in Dane County.
Wisconsin State Senator LaTonya Johnson
Elected to Wisconsin's 6th Senate District in 2016, LaTonya Johnson previously served in Wisconsin's 17th Assembly District since 2012.
Sen. Johnson has lived in Milwaukee for over 30 years. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Tennessee State University. Before being elected to public office, LaTonya owned and operated a licensed in-home childcare service. She served as President AFSCME Local 502, the union representing in-home childcare providers in Milwaukee. She went through Emerge Wisconsin, an intensive training program for progressive women who want to run for office and is a proud alum of the Class of 2012.
In addition to her legislative committee appointments, which includes serving on the powerful Joint Committee on Finance, Senator Johnson serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Wisconsin Legislative Children's Caucus, a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, a member of the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council, an advisory member of the UW Health Population Institute, an advisory member of Family Impact Seminar, and serves on several other commissions and councils related to public safety, democracy, and health care.