Who We Are

Our 21-member body is comprised of local Black women leaders, advocates, and community influencers. We are co-chaired by inaugural members Dr. Tiffany Green, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Alia Stevenson, Chief Programs Officer with the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness.


Dr. Tiffany Green, PhD

Associate 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 Associate 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.

Lisa M. Peyton, MsEd.

CEO & President, The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness

Lisa M. Peyton is the Founding CEO & President of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, a Wisconsin based non-profit established in 2012 whose mission is to energize, mobilize, and support Black women to transform their health through education, advocacy, and powerful partnerships. Her award-winning work was spurred by her 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 12th year that empowers women and girls to sustain healthy, wellness-centered lives. Lisa is actively engaged in a number of local, statewide and national efforts that promote healthy, thriving, sustainable communities.


Ravyn Cruse

Black Maternal & Child Health Alliance Coordinator

Ravyn Cruse is a University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute Fellow serving a 2-year placement with the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness (July 2023 - July 2025). In her role with the Foundation, Ravyn serves as the Black Maternal and Child Health Alliance Coordinator, working to advance efforts to empower and support Black women and birthing people to secure birth equity. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Ravyn completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Fisk University in Nashville, TN, and earned her Masters of Public Health degree from Xavier University in Louisiana. Ravyn’s career interests include advocating for and addressing vulnerable populations' experiences with inadequate healthcare, healthcare access and poor patient experiences. During her graduate career, she has gained experiences in behavioral health, recreation development, emergency planning and grant writing while using her health equity lens to explore gaps and to propose equitable and culturally competent approaches. As a University of Wisconsin Fellow, she continues the mission of the Institute of operationalizing health inequity. With the values and missions of the Foundation of Black Women's Wellness and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Ravyn looks forward to positively impacting the lives of Black women in Dane County while striving to be a Well Black Woman.


Hershey Barnett Bridges

Co-founder of African American Breastfeeding Alliance

Hershey Barnett Bridges has dedicated her life to address African American breastfeeding disparities through dissemination of information, research and support so that every African American family will make well-informed decisions regarding the choice to breastfeed. She has over 30 years experience in public health; and in teaching women, colleagues, students, and peers in breastfeeding expertise. Hershey continues to update information through, seminars, conferences, online courses, and hands-on experiences.

Micaela Berry-Smith

Community Partner

Micaela Berry-Smith is a Doula at Harambee Village Doulas. She is certified as an Infant Specialist and Protective Factors Trainer. With a degree in Early Childhood Development and Art Therapy, Berry has had a multifaceted career and is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and community in every season of parenting, and advocating for those whose voices aren’t heard.

Jill Denson

Public Health Supervisor, Public Health Madison & Dane County

Jill has developed and participated in many initiatives to combat disparities among pregnant women and infants, including Centering Pregnancy, Centering Parenting, and a Big Sister intervention (Community Health Worker Model). Jill has also participated in Fetal and Infant Mortality Reviews (FIMR) and Maternal Mortality Reviews. Jill is an active member of Black Mama Matters Alliance’s, CityMatCH and March of Dimes. Jill Denson holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work specializing in child welfare. Jill is currently a PhD candidate at the Zilber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, concentrating in community and behavioral health promotion.

Gloria Farr

Community Health Liaison, Allied Wellness Center

Gloria Manadier-Farr is the Community Health Liaison for the Allied Wellness Center which focuses on health promotion and direct assistance and support for people facing addiction and a myriad of concerns. Gloria is Community Chaplain for Nehemiah Development Corp. She has 20 years of experience in the fields of substance abuse, trauma, and mental health. She is a licensed substance abuse counselor and minister of Fountain of Life Covenant Church.

Carola Gaines

Community Liaison/Sr. Advocate, Quartz Health

Carola Gaines, Community Liaison Manager, has worked for Quartz and UW Health for 26 years, serving Medicaid families in advocating and creating programs that support their health and assist in removing barriers to receive quality health care. Since 1994 the Quartz BadgerCare Plus(BC+) membership has grown from 1,200 in Dane County to approximately 45,000 members in 16 Counties and still growing. She is challenged daily as she works to meet the needs of the members in the many areas of their lives. Her goals are to coordinate and provide a heightened level of support to Quartz BC+ providers and BC+ membership, by implementing innovative programs to improve access to care and striving to decrease health inequities. Carola serves on several community Boards and committees. She has received numerous awards and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Sharon Gilbert

Home Visiting Nurse Consultant, State of WI Department of Health Services

Sharon is a Home Visiting Nurse consultant within the Department of Health (DHS) services. Sharon's primary function has been involvement on the Core Home Visiting State Team within Department of Children and Families (DCF). Sharon connects and supports shared crosswalks of measures and objectives between DHS and DCF departments. The DCF State team provides ongoing support to Local Implementing Agencies (LIA) programing as relating to Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Federal performance measures and outcomes.**

Adrian Jones

Program Manager, Community Health Improvement, UW Population Health

Adrian Jones is the Program Manager for Community Health Improvement in UW Health's Office of Population Health. As a program manager, Adrian is responsible for managing multiple initiatives that bridge the gap between clinical care and community-based efforts. More specifically, she works closely with organizations that are led by African American women whose collective goal is to eliminate inequities for African American families. Through collaboration, data, and community voice, Adrian helps to develop the Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Strategy process. She strongly believes community members are the experts in providing the blueprint needed to ensure that individuals and families thrive in Dane County.**

Corinda Rainey Moore, PhD

Community Engagement Manager Unity Point Health - Meriter

In her current role, Corinda is responsible for the Community Health Needs Assessment, Community Benefits and Community building activities. Her passion is healthcare, racial justice and equity, advocacy, networking and bridging relationships. Corinda worked the past 5 years at Kids Forward as the Community Engagement Manager. In addition, Corinda worked for 27 years in mental health with 21 of those years being at Journey Mental Health Center as a Clinical Team Manager of three programs serving adults with severe and persistent mental illness.

Ariel Robbins, MPH

Care Coordination Project Manager, Group Health Cooperative South Central Wisconsin

Ariel Robbins is the Project Manager for the Dane County Health Council Care Coordination project working to eliminate black-white racial disparities in low birthweight and infant mortality through a county-wide technology-based care coordination system. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 8 years on projects with varying focus areas including access to healthcare, health equity and health education. She received her Bachelors of Science in Community Health from the University of Texas at San Antonio and her Masters of Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. In her downtime she enjoys volunteer work and is especially proud to mentor black youth who are experiencing adverse homelife situations.

Tamara Thompson

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, 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.

Felica Turner Walton

CEO & Founder, Healing Our Hearts

Felica Turner-Walton has always vowed to work in the medical field. From age 12 as a candy striper to now returning to her first love as a Certified Grief Support Specialist as well as a Doula. Felica will be enrolled with UW of Wisconsin-Madison for Psychology starting Fall 2020. Felica is a mother to 5 beautiful Children, she is also 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 (2016) Felica works to advocate for mothers to have an opportunity to have a safe space for moms to discuss and share their loss and ways to grieve healthily.

Sheray Wallace

Founder, Meadowood Health Partnership

Sheray Wallace is a long time Meadowood resident, community organizer and activist in the Dane County Area. She brings a wealth of knowledge ranging from youth capacity building, violence intervention, domestic violence support, elderly care, and community and medical services. She has been instrumental in securing resources for residents in need and establishing wrap-around programing for families which include a clothing closet, youth learning space, work and focus space, and private space for medical and healthcare related needs.

Tara Wilhelmi

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."

Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH

Pediatrician, UW Health

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".

Zakiyya Sorenson

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Zakiyyah Sorensen, BSN, is the Outreach Manager and Engagement Hub Director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Collaborative for Reproductive Equity (CORE). She directs the strategic planning and vision for CORE outreach and engagement and builds community stakeholder networks with organizations and individuals supportive of CORE’s mission. Zakiyyah facilitates the identification of community research priorities and the development, translation, and dissemination of research findings in support of community needs in Wisconsin. Her approach emphasizes reproductive and knowledge justice principles as guiding frameworks for collective liberation.

Zakiyyah is a Registered Nurse (RN) and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Nursing. She specializes in sexual and reproductive healthcare and public health. Zakiyyah’s nursing experience includes public health nursing with the Madison and Dane County Public Health Department, medical-surgical nursing with the William S. Middleton Veterans Affairs Hospital in Madison, and as a long-term care nurse at the Central Wisconsin Center. She has presented on reproductive health and reproductive justice at the National Sexual Health Conference, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s Safe Healthy Strong Conference, HCET, and Providers and Teens Communicating for Health. Zakiyyah lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband.

Dr. Diamond D. Williams

UW Associate Dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Diamond D. Williams (she/her) stands as an exceptional beacon of change, serving as the inaugural Associate Dean for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing. With a resolute dedication to addressing health disparities and fostering inclusivity, she oversees the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion while setting strategic priorities for the school that build health equity.  

Known for her multifaceted and engaged leadership, Dr. Williams is a driving force behind organizational growth, guided by her visionary thought leadership and innovative approaches. Her public health career is marked by a profound commitment to community outreach, grant management, and program oversight.  Recognized as a former, trusted advisor to the White House, she provides invaluable insights on community engagement and outreach strategies – taking ‘meeting people where they are to new heights’. In addition, Dr. Williams' public health journey extends to having co-managed a multi-million-dollar infant mortality program spanning across Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties. This initiative addressed the urgent need to reduce Wisconsin's high infant mortality rate, which remains one of the highest in the United States and focused on chronic stress due to racism and social discrimination as key drivers of poor birth outcomes among African American mothers and babies.  

At the core of her advocacy lies a profound commitment to the health and well-being of people.  Dr. Williams tirelessly champions the development of culturally relevant programs, capacity building, facilitating systems change using innovative, and community-driven asset and evidence-based strategies, ensuring equitable opportunities especially for those often forgotten about. Her unwavering dedication to driving positive change earned her the esteemed title of "Doctor of the Year" in 2023, a testament to her impactful contributions to health equity and being of service. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Williams played a pivotal role in administering one of Wisconsin's largest statewide grants, focusing on vaccination health equity. With a budget of $30.8 million, she facilitated the  allocation of funding resources to over 185 grantees across all 72 counties, particularly targeting  communities with high vaccine hesitancy and historical mistrust of government. Beyond crisis management, Dr. Williams has adeptly managed organizational grants and budgets exceeding a quarter of a billion dollars,  and currently supports nonprofits in expanding their work in communities. As a result of experiences that have drawn close to her and her loved ones, her research interests span a wide spectrum, encompassing Black maternal and child health, substance use, Alzheimer's, women's health, and sexual health. 

Dr. Williams has shared her expertise on various platforms, addressing critical topics such as health equity engagement, COVID-19 response strategies, HPV vaccination, and cervical cancer prevention. Her  presentations resonate with a depth of knowledge and a fervent commitment to advancing public health. Rooted in her experiences as a proud native and fabric of Milwaukee, WI, Dr. Williams is a graduate of Howard University where she studied maternal and child health education and biology, Morehouse School of Medicine where she studied public health and cancer epidemiology, and Walden University, where she became the youngest Doctor of Public Health and only black woman in her graduating class. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Kappa Psi Omega Chapter in Madison, WI and the Wisconsin Public Health Association, among other organizations.  

Dr. Williams embodies an infectious enthusiasm that fosters collaboration and teamwork, driven by her unwavering dedication to creating a healthier, more equitable world for all. Her journey is characterized by a steadfast commitment to equity, service, and the relentless pursuit of transformative change.

Tamisha Binion

Founder, A Peace of Lovelace

With a heart full of compassion and a spirit dedicated to nurturing others. Tamisha is a Full Spectrum Doula, Herbalist, Florist, Laboratory Tech, and the Founder of A Peace of Lovelace Apothecary. Tamisha's mission is rooted in empowering her community through knowledge on essential topics such as lactation support, prenatal care, postpartum care, holistic remedies, spiritual guidance, and more.

Through her expertise and commitment, Tamisha's greatest passion is supporting individuals to find serenity and reminding them how powerful we are.

Cheryl Casey Grant

Outreach Specialist Administration

Cheryl was born in Brooklyn, New York and later moved to Wisconsin with her family.  She is married to Jermaine Grant for 27 years. They have raised eight children together, and they are proud grandparents of 16 grandchildren ranging from the ages of eight months to 16 years old.

Cheryl has graduated from Madison College with an associate degree in Human Services, she graduated from Almeda University with a bachelor’s degree in human services with a major in Social Work and a master’s degree in social work.

Cheryl Casey Grant has worked in the field of human services in Madison, WI for 30 years.  She has worked with families who have experienced social economic difficulties.  She worked with those individuals and families to help improve their lives and their social economical needs. She is currently working at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in the OBGYN Department as an Outreach Specialist.  In her current role she is working with OBGYN doctor’s and community agencies to help bring information to the community on women’s health issues.

Cheryl’s main goal is to help with health disparities for black moms and other women of color experiencing hardship in Wisconsin and across the United States. Cheryl is involved with many community organizations and leadership programs such as African American Opioid Coalition, Homeless Consortium, Fetal Infant Mortality Review, Risked Based Care Work Group and Maternal and Infant Mortality Review Team. Cheryl works to help end the health disparities and to improve healthier outcomes for children of color.

Partners & Consultants

Annette Miller, M.S.

CEO & President, EQT By Design, LLC

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.