Shafia Monroe is a veteran midwife, a doula trainer, a cultural competency trainer, an herbalist, and a motivational speaker. She holds an Independent Primary Midwife certification, a BA in sociology, and a Master of Public Health.
Shafia began her birth work in the early 70’s. Monroe is profiled in the book “Granny Midwives and Black Woman Authors" for her ground-breaking work in training Black women as homebirth midwives in Boston, Massachusetts, her hometown. In 2016 Madame Noir noted her “Queen Mother of a Midwifery Movement,” for establishing the non-profit Boston Traditional Childbearing Group (TCBG) in 1978 to improve birth outcomes. This was the beginning of her organized outreach efforts, to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and to encourage Black women to consider home birth and midwifery services as an act of self-determination; Shafia spent 16 years serving as a home birth midwife, a community organizer, and the CEO of TCBG.
Shafia moved to Portland, OR in 1991 and founded the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) in response to the shortage of midwives/doulas of color, to celebrate the contributions of Black midwives, increase their numbers, and empower families to improve birth outcomes. Shafia has been an influencer in national and local advocacy for better maternity care for underserved populations. Under her coalition work, Oregon became the first state to investigate the use of doulas to improve birth outcome with HB33111; and later Medicaid reimbursement for doula was passed.
In 2014, she created Shafia Monroe Consulting/Birthing CHANGE to help health care providers and doulas, achieve cultural competency, enhance patient satisfaction and improve birth outcomes.
To build capacity in birth work, she has trained over 3,000 people as SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companions to reduce infant mortality and to honor the legacy of the 20th Century African American midwife.
Shafia is a member of the Oregon Health Authority-Office of Equity and Inclusion: Cultural Competency Continuing Education Advisory Committee, National Alliance of Black Midwives, Oregon Islamic Chaplain Organization, Oregon Doula Association, Home Birth Summit Planning Committee, Black Mamas Matter Alliance and Black Mothers ACTT for Safe Care Initiative.
Shafia’s work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors; including the Life Time Achievement Award for Human Rights in Childbirth; Life Time Achievement Service Award for Community Health; the Midwife Hero Award from American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) Midwives of Color Committee, the Unsung Shero Award, and 2019 Women of Excellence Health & Wellness Award; and she featured in “Women Making History in Portland,” Mural.
Shafia is a wife, a mother of seven, and nana of nine. She mentors hundreds of women to claim their power as healers, midwives, doulas and activists. In her spare time, Shafia enjoys cooking for family and friends, walking, gardening, reading, writing, fishing, and horseback riding.