Alex is a trained abortion doula with a passion for accessible health care and education. She has worked with the Western North Carolina AIDS Project and Tranzmission Prison Project, with an interest in making a dent in social inequities via free resources and education. She is a graduate of UNCA's Health and Wellness Promotion program, and spent most of her time in school focused on women and queer studies, HIV prevention and learning how to reduce health disparities. When she's not working with Open Umbrella Collective, you can find her dorking out about harm reduction, reading, or lovin' on her cats.
Alyssa was trained as a birth doula at the Seattle Midwifery School in 2005 and then sat in on meetings for the Prison Doula Project in Olympia, Washington, which spawned a desire to work with marginalized pregnant people. While traveling and observing more socialist health care systems and cultures that attached less of a stigma on abortion she remarked the contrast with the lack of support financially, emotionally and legally that people seeking abortion in the United States often come up against. When the Open Umbrella Collective began, she was overjoyed to have a chance to help support the project & people seeking abortions. Besides being very honored to work with the Open Umbrella Collective she spends her time flower farming & plotting her next big scheme.
Emily is a trained Postpartum Doula, Social Worker, and pro-choice mother of two. In addition to serving with the Open Umbrella Collective, Emily volunteers with the local Rape Crisis Center, teaches sewing classes to immigrant mothers, and works with the MAMA Community Health Project. She also serves as the marketing chair for the Doula Association of the Mountain Area (DAMA), working to educate the community about the benefits of doula support. She is dedicated to women's rights and empowerment, and believes that every woman, regardless of economic status, should be supported through all their reproductive choices. When not serving as an abortion, birth, or postpartum doula, you might find Emily tending to her chickens, while reading Young Adult Fiction and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Erika is a trained abortion, birth, and postpartum Doula, as well as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She has worked and volunteered in diverse settings across the spectrum of reproductive health, including as a midwife's assistant, a birth control/pregnancy options counselor, and in a health department STD clinic. She is currently raising a wild toddler and working as a nurse in the county jail. Erika is co-founder and co-coordinator of Open Umbrella Collective, and loves scheming about how to make the doula model of care more accessible to everyone.
Mary is a trained abortion doula and is currently becoming a certified birth doula. She is a junior in college, studying chemistry and women's studies. Though just beginning her doula experience, Mary is excited to support and empower women through the spectrum of pregnancy. She believes that every woman's body deserves privacy and respect, and hopes to provide that as a doula. Mary plans to go on to nursing school in the near future to fulfill her life's goal of providing compassionate, non-judgemental healthcare to women. When she's not contemplating the connections between corporeal feminism and doula work, Mary enjoys listening to records, running around outside, and petting puppies.
Vanessa holds a BA in Activism and Social Change with a focus on Reproductive Justice from New College of California. She was trained as a birth doula at the Natural Birth Institute in San Francisco and spent several years in the Bay Area doing radical healthcare outreach, including work with Women's Choice Clinic in Oakland. She is a queer, radical feminist and herbalist dedicated to the realization of a world where everyone has access to comprehensive, compassionate healthcare and all people are treated with dignity and respect. Some of her heroes include bell hooks and Angela Davis. Vanessa enjoys spontaneous dance parties and writing love letters to friends. She is learning how to crochet.