According to recent studies, Black women are nearly three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes compared to white women. While these statistics certainly call for pause, women like Latham Thomas and her brand, Mama Glow, are doing the work to ensure Black birthing people are better supported during their pregnancy journey.

Her global maternal health and education platform recently celebrated its highly successful Doula Expo from May 20, 2023 - May 21, 2023. Back for the third time in two years, the two-day festival held at Hudson Yards in New York City, brought together over 1,000 doulas, birthing individuals, families, non-profit organizations and maternal health brands for a transformative experience of education, advocacy, networking and community building.

"The Doula Expo is a celebration of what is possible," shared the Mama Glow founder. "We are shaping a future where every birthing individual receives the support and care they deserve. The festival affirms our commitment to amplifying voices, championing reproductive justice and fostering a community of leaders."

Hosted by actress, mom and maternal health advocate, Tatyana Ali, the event—themed "Birth to the Future"—covered timely and thought-provoking topics from the Momnibus bill, to strengthening the birth work workforce, reproductive health, and reimagining how to leverage data and technology to forge an expansive and inclusive vision for the future of maternal health.

Additionally, there were conversations between some of the best thought leaders, changemakers, researchers, mothers, and brand executives throughout of today, including Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey; Megan O’Neill, associate beauty director at Goop; community organizer, Marz Lovejoy; Carol’s Daughter founder, Lisa Price; Black Girls Smile Inc. founder, Lauren Carson; and Good Morning America contributor, Alicia Quarles. 

A highlight of the expo was the fireside chat with Ali and Thomas. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star opened up about her personal birthing story, that she now shares on her platforms as well. She emphasized the power of storytelling within the context of the maternal health crisis and the healing power of being supported by community.

“I grew up believing and being taught that storytelling has a purpose. We are storytellers because we are human,” Ali said during the conversation.