The 2nd Annual SMC Doula Conference
Summary Report

The 2nd Annual SMC Doula Conference • September 8 – 10, 2023 • Portland, Oregon 

This year’s conference theme, “Restoring the Village to Improve Birth Outcomes,” not only guided our workshops and sessions but resonated in every interaction, conversation, and shared experience throughout the conference. More than 100 dedicated professionals from across the country convened to delve deep into this theme, making it a truly incredible experience.

The ceremonial drumming procession, inclusive of distinguished dignitaries like Oregon State Representative Travis Nelson and our Platinum Sponsor IMAMAA, to the soulful singing of the Black National Anthem, established a safe space with a foundation of trust, reverence, and communal strength. The workshops, plenary sessions, and our three keynote speakers drove home the importance of our collective role in improving birth outcomes and restoring our village’s supportive essence.

We were also excited to recognize three champions in the doula profession during our awards luncheon, for the Outstanding Doula Leadership Award, Outstanding Doula Advocate Award, and the Outstanding Doula Community Service Award.

We also wanted to highlight the delightful additions this year. Friday evening’s cultural engagements, like head wrapping and belly binding, were extremely popular. Our exclusive sponsor reception facilitated deeper connections, while our Sunday breakfast provided yet another opportunity to network and learn. Not to mention, our photobooth, which was a fun-filled spot for attendees, and the live auction, which had enthusiastic participation.

We are deeply grateful to all our attendees, speakers, sponsors, vendors, and volunteers for their unwavering support in making this year’s conference truly an event to remember.

Above all, this year’s conference underscored the importance of collaboration, unity, and ongoing education. We shared moments of joy, reflection, and, most importantly, healing. As we celebrate the success of this year’s conference, we are already looking forward to next year. We are thrilled to announce the dates for our next conference – September 6-8, 2024. Make sure and mark your calendars and prepare for another transformative experience!

We would be honored to have you join us again. Together, we can increase the number of Black doulas, and other doulas of color, offer continuing education credits, teach the latest skills, build community, and champion the critical mission we have undertaken as doulas.

Thank you for your commitment, passion, and dedication to the cause. Let’s gather once more in 2024 and build on this year’s momentum of restoring the village to improve birth outcomes!

See the conference highlights here.

By The Numbers

Workshop Impact

Save the Date: September 5-7, 2025, 3rd Annual SMC Doula Conference