2021 Doula Training Training Scholarship

Hello, I am Sumayyah “Sumi” Franklin* and I am the foundress and Creatress of
Sumi’s Touch Birth and Postpartum Services. Sumi's Touch offers services and
training for the birth & postpartum period. We provide emotional, spiritual,
educational and physical support from conception to postpartum. 

For years, we have ensured that our trainings are accessible to community
members called to this work and now with CO-VID 19 disproportionately hurting our communities, we know this work is needed now more than ever.  

We are this turning to our community to ask:
1) Can you donate to our scholarship program ?
2 ) Can you share and spread the word so that others can also support? 

The funds from this scholarship will support 20 students with a partial scholarships for Sumi's Touch Doula Training School. Doulas are an essential part in ensuring the vitality and thriving of BIPOC birthing people and babies. 

Systemic racism deprives Black, Indigenous and Women of Color of
Intergenerational Wealth and Financial Mobility, depriving them of resources
required for accessing training and mentorship. We have the passion. We have the capacity. We just need the funds  to support us in doing our work. 

Why Fund BIPOC ( Black, indigenous, People of color) to become Doulas?         

~Black birthing people and babies are dying at epidemic rates in the U.S. Recent CDC data shows that black birthing people are 3-4 times more likely to die during birth than white birthing people. In some communities, black birthing people are 12x as likely to die during birth as white birthing people.
RACISM is causing black birthing people and babies to die.

~Research shows that financial status, lifestyle, education and access to medical care do not protect black birthing people from dying in birth. (Black birthing people with advanced degrees are more likely to die during birth than white birthing people who did not complete high school and don’t receive prenatal care.)

~The stress of racism harms Black birthing people’s bodies. Researchers use weathering to explain black birthing people’s physiologic response to systemic and medical racism, as they 1) endure life in a country where they experience chronic systemic racism, and 2) confront medical racism when they seek healthcare.

~91% of midwives in the U.S. are white.[1] Only 2% of midwives in the U.S. are black, far under representing the population (12.7%) of black people in the U.S. While there is no reliable estimate for the number of doulas in the US, we can infer that the makeup is quite similar to that of midwives. 
One of the contributing factors for having such low rates of both midwives and doulas is that there are few effective programs that provides anti-bias training. in fact, Research shows that medical students and healthcare providers continue to believe that black people feel less pain and “black skin is thicker than white skin.” Healthcare institutions are required to offer “cultural competency” training, but fail to address healthcare providers’ deeply held, unconscious beliefs regarding race. This is also seen amongst various doula trainings. If we arent directly speaking to it and centering and amplifying the voices that are the most impacted then we are allowing space for such basis is to continue to kill us. 


Doulas are an essential component to stopping this maternal and infant mortality and morbidity crisis in the US. This is because they act as a liaison, they can be a buffer to the crass treatment and neglect that many BIPOC experience, they offer continuous support no matter the setting, and they can accompany anyone since their scope is non-medicalized or regulated. 

Studies show that when doulas are present shit shifts. We see how the birthing outcomes across the board improves. We see how people are simply living more and their babies too! 

By supporting me in training more BIPOC doulas you are making a direct impact on addressing this silent genocide. This is a tangible action to support in keeping us alive.

This is the start, the seed money, in a scholarship fund that will expand our capacity to train more people and provide more direct services to those who otherwise wouldn’t have the financial means. 

Learn more about the our trainings at www.sumistouch.com/ 


Sumayyah Franklin
Oakland, CA

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