Doula • noun (doo-luh): someone who serves; a person that supports the process (in others) of bringing forth new ideas, new actions, new life.
Do-ula • verb (doo-luh): to serve; to support a person or people by using your unique talents to contribute to their empowerment.
Community Engagement Specialist, "Community Doula", Founder of The Doula Part
In our world, there is enough for everyone; everyone is worthy of the absolute best. We breathe new life into systems that have failed our communities. Our world is sustainable because everyone does their part.
We help people and organizations use their interests in food security to contribute to the wholeness of communities. We do this through visioning, management, partnerships, and engagement.
I AM A COMMUNITY DOULA. Over the past 15+ years, I have directed, managed, and developed programs in neighborhoods throughout Chicago addressing critical needs in the areas of senior citizen care, affordable housing, veteran services, economic development and food security. Having utilized assistance from social programs for myself and my family, I also have the experience of being on the receiving side of community support. I know how important it is to have access to helpful services in times of need.
Feeding people is my deepest passion so whether I am cooking myself, sourcing and distributing food donations, or collaborating with food producers, I work everyday to make sure people in need of nourishment get it. Food is my tool to express love, gratitude and support and I believe it heals some of the world’s deepest wounds.
After I became a mom, I felt called to expand how I support others so I trained to become a Postpartum Doula. In this role, I supported moms and families as they welcomed a new baby home and wrapped their minds, hearts, and lifestyles around the birth. I did not always know how my Community Organizer expertise and my Doula experience could blend to support others' efforts to do good in the world. I figured out the magic as I worked on community projects focused on supporting moms and families during an unprecedentedly challenging year (hello, 2020).
Now infusing my community work with doula practices, I offer project management and organizational consulting for projects that are directed at feeding people. I also co-founded @TakeItOffMyPlate - a community-based project that feeds people throughout Chicago in thoughtful ways. As a Doula, I cultivated skills to serve with empathy, empowerment, and efficiency. I now bring that into my community work to serve from the heart rather than ego.
In my early days of working in the community, I was taught to serve from a place of trying to fix “broken” people. This is reminiscent of some negative experiences I’ve had as a recipient of charitable services that felt dehumanizing. This ego-based pattern in the world of community work is known as "the savior complex." Many social systems function in this way and ultimately do not fix the problems they intend to solve.
My style is to lead and develop community projects from the heart, with a sense of equality and empowerment because anything less does not truly serve our communities. I have the ability to recognize when personal egos are limiting a project and blocking what needs to be expressed from the heart. Operating at this higher level of consciousness allows me to form meaningful partnerships and to assist more people more completely.
As my client, I will help you level up in how you serve! If you get involved with your community through your ego to "save" or “fix” people it always leads to implementing strategies that are out of touch and quick burnout. My commitment is to help you share your resources in a way that is truly fulfilling and effective--from your heart and with an intention of partnership. From this place, you empower those you serve. Rather than a fantasy about saving the world, you are a part of a real solution for change.