Featured Speakers

Learn about our featured 2018 Birth Institute speakers, including our Keynote, Closing, and General Session speakers.


Shafia M. Monroe, DEM, CDT, MPH

Keynote Speaker

Shafia Monroe is an internationally renowned midwife, doula trainer, healer, author, and speaker.  She is founder of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), the first U.S. Black midwife non-profit organization, founded to increase the number of midwives and doulas of color.  She has championed reproductive justice for more than three decades. In 2012, Madame Noir noted her “Queen Mother of a Midwife Movement,” because of her pioneer midwifery work intersecting with reproductive justice work.  In 2014 she opened Shafia Monroe Consulting/Birthing CHANGE, helping health care professional and doulas achieve cultural competency, increase clients, and improve birth outcomes.  In 2017 she founded Midwives, Others, and Mothers Alliance (MOMA)_Against Police Violence in response to the murders of pregnant of women by the police.  Shafia’s message calls us to the work of ‘birthing change’ – increasing personal capacity, as health care professionals, doulas, and birth workers, that will ensure inclusion for better birth outcomes, and a world where all babies see their first birthday, and where mothers live to raise them.


Sister Angela Murdaugh, CNM, MSN, FACNM

Closing Speaker

Sister Angela is a Franciscan Sister of Mary and a native Arkansan.  She came to Texas in 1972 after finishing nurse-midwifery school at Columbia University in New York and an internship at St. Vincent’s Home and Hospital in Philadelphia.  In Raymondville, Texas she established the first freestanding birth center in Texas as part of Su Clinica Familiar, a migrant health clinic. In 1981, Sr. Angela was elected the President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.  During her term of office she helped to forge the Joint Statement between the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which remained in place for 20 years.  Sr. Angela returned to Texas after her presidency and established another freestanding birth center, Holy Family Services.  It is a private, non-profit model that brings quality nurse-midwifery care to a population of underserved and impoverished women.  She served on the Department of Health committee that wrote the Texas Birth Center Regulations and also assisted in the revision ten years later, as well as another revision in 2002.  


Dr. Maria Valentin-Welch, CNM, DNP, MPH, CDP, FACNM

Dr. Valentin-Welch is presently Frontier Nursing University’s Chief Diversity Inclusion Officer.  Maria is a National Certified Diversity Professional and an Assistant Professor. In the past, she was the State Maternal Health Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She has over 30 years of public health, clinical, didactic teaching experience, and has worked with vulnerable populations such as pregnant homeless women, uninsured, underprivileged, and undocumented women from different cultures. Dr. Valentin-Welch is a strong supporter of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and was instrumental in assisting the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) down the path of adding D/I into their strategic goals during her tenure as chair of the Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC).

More Dynamic Speakers

  • Mary C. Brucker, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN - Associate Clinical Professor, Georgetown University
  • Erica Deerinwater - Billing Specialist, Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center
  • Chris Dominguez - Business Administrator, All About Babies 
  • Ann Geisler, CPCU, AU, AAI - CEO, Sourthern Cross Insurance Solutions
  • Tyler Hixson, BFA - Founder, MarketingTEA
  • Abigail Lanin Eaves, CNM, MSN - Executive Director & Founder, Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center
  • Ann McCarthy, MSN, CNM - Clinical Director, The Midwife Center
  • Julie Moon, CNM - Clinical Director, Alaska Family Health & Birth Center
  • Judith Nowlin, BA - Co-Founder & CEO, iBirth App
  • Dave Pulley, MSM-RMI, CPCU, RPLU - Assistant Vice President, MedPro Group


More speakers will be added soon!