2023 SMC Doula Conference – Keynote


"Dr. Doula" Andrea Little Mason, Ed.D.

Andrea Little Mason, Ed.D., affectionately known as "Dr. Doula", is an educator, scholar, researcher, advocate, Relationship Strategist, Legacy Builder and one who Considers of the Heavens and uses her expertise to promote resourcefulness in Black families, especially during the childbearing year. 

“Don’t worry Anny, when you have your babies, I will come where you are and show you everything you need to know…”. These are words Dr. Doula recalls her mother saying to her before she became an ancestor about one year before she became a mother for the first time. Little did she know that those words would be a catalyst for her life’s work in the future. Even without having her mother present to guide her, Dr, Doula found herself involved in the births of her family and friends. Even though she didn’t know what to do, she knew that she was supposed to be there for her sisters. That ignited a passion to actively seek the knowledge she felt was missing from her life.

Dr. Doula’s desire to reconnect to birthing traditions led her to South Africa to participate in a Zulu Doula Exchange. In her experiences there, she saw similarities between some practices in the township and her southern upbringing. She continued to make connections and received opportunities to speak at the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal about the importance of African peoples remaining connected to their indigenous practices even in an era of modernization. She also began collaboration with the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge Systems and, in 2019, was a keynote speaker at the first Traditional Birth Attendants Conference held in South Africa. She emphasizes the connection between traditional birth skills of Diasporic African women and African traditional practices in the preservation of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Dr. Doula uses opportunities for international travel and collaborations to expand her global knowledge of indigenous practices in order to share those insights with others. As an influencer and thought leader in birth culture, she encourages WOMBmen of African descent to embrace the best of what previous generations have to offer, so they can “Reclaim Their Birth Rites & Restore Family Practices”. She shows them how to empower themselves by reclaiming and embracing indigenous knowledge and practices that have been lost, stolen, surrendered, abandoned and forgotten. "SANKOFA" teaches us: "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot"... even if what you have forgotten is something as magnificent as BIRTH.

She has been in friendship, partnership, and marriage for almost 30 years with her college sweetheart, Eugene, aka Coach Gene. Together they are Relationship Strategists whose focus is to equip individuals to Build Legacy. She counts her greatest accomplishments to be her four sons: Eugene IV (28), Imani (26), Andreu (21) and Omari (19).