Meet Cohort 4

Kristina Cheek, CLC
Baby LUV/Healthy Start

Valdosta, Georgia

Holding a Baby 1 Kristina embarked on her perinatal health journey in 2008 with the arrival of her first child, a transformative experience that profoundly shaped her life. From the moment she held her daughter in her arms and nursed her for the first time 15 years ago, her journey to becoming a doula, childbirth educator, and natural birth advocate began. Since then, she has served as a Family Support Specialist, lead lactation counselor, and Fatherhood Engagement Coordinator with the Baby LUV/Healthy Start program, and the former WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator of South Health District. Kristina is also a 2023 cohort selectee for the Morehouse School of Medicine Center for Maternal Health Equity Perinatal Patient Navigator Training program. She is dedicated to improving healthy birth outcomes for at-risk mothers and babies in her area, changing the birthing climate, and empowering women to have the best birth possible!

Personal Mantra: Make your own magic. Life is a cabaret!

Iris Elena Coates ​
Phoenix Rising Birth Works, LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

IMG 20220630 184309 078 1Iris Elena Coates is a holistic birthkeeper, interdisciplinary artist & the founder of Phoenix Rising Birth Works. She has been serving women & families in her community since 2016 and specializes in holistic birth preparation with a focus on serving women who have given birth by cesarean, are the mothers of angel babies, and/or have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Iris supports her sisters by creating safe, healing spaces for them to be held while they integrate their childhood, birth & parenting experiences through womb healing, inner love work & self-expression with healing, visual, literary & performance arts. Iris supports her fellow birth workers through community engagement as a speaker & educator offering holistic approaches to understanding, supporting and advocating for women walking this particular path.

Personal Mantra: I am magnetic. I allow myself to attract all desirable things NOW, while helping others do the same.

Jasmine Creighton, MS, CBS

California Black Women's Health Project (CABWHP)
Banning, California

JasmineCreightonheadshot 1Jasmine Creighton is a wife, mother of two, and pet mom of two proudly residing in the Inland Empire. She is a Maternal and Reproductive Health advocate, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist (CBS), Perinatal Health Specialist, and a lactation student pursuing the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential. Additionally, Jasmine is a board member of the Inland Empire Breastfeeding Coalition (IEBfC) as well as their Cultural Task Force Coordinator and Chair of the IE Black Breastfeeding Task Force. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA). Jasmine is passionate about everything birth and lactation-related and strongly advocates for more education and resources for Black communities.

Personal Mantra: Life is meant to be experienced.

Malikah Garner, MBA

Henry Ford Health/ BMBFA
Detroit, Michigan

IMG 1986 1Malikah Garner, a dedicated mother of two boys, advocate, and entrepreneur, is deeply committed to addressing racial inequities in health outcomes for Black Detroiters. Holding a BA from Saginaw Valley State University, an MBA from Northwood University, and a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion certificate from the University of South Florida, she serves as a Project Manager at Henry Ford Health for Hope Starts Here. Malikah is actively involved in various initiatives, including the Detroit Regional Infant Mortality Reduction Task Force, the Community Based Doula Task Force, and the Healthcare Anchor Network National Community Advisory CouncilIn 2017, she co-founded the Mommy Ambassador program and currently holds positions as a Board member and Mommy Ambassador At-Large at the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association. Malikah's breastfeeding journey and advocacy have been featured on national platforms such as Good Morning America. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Personal Mantra: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

Dasha Tate, PSD, BS 
Columbus, Ohio

DTate Mural 2Dasha Tate's passion is to facilitate the health equity of Black Families in all aspects of healthcare, from the perspective of the Reproductive Justice Framework. Dasha’s overall goal is to organize healthcare organizations and nonprofits, small and large, who need support in their administration, systems, and equity processes to lower mortality among Black families. She specializes in the management of staff, administrative processes and procedures, customer relations, and innovative implementation of organizational standards. 

Dasha started her public service career with the State of Ohio as an Unemployment Claims Examiner. Then she moved into the Maternal and Infant health field as a Certified Perinatal Support Doula with ROOTT. She advanced into the role of Family Services Supervisor where she led administrative processes and managed PSDs, intake, customer relations, home visiting services, and finance allocation. In May 2023, She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management from Franklin University in Columbus, OH. 

Personal Mantra: I am here to serve my people by creating equitable spaces that affirm our culture, intuition, and history.  Our experiences make us who we are by teaching us to trust ourselves, learn those lessons, and believe we are enough, exactly where we are.