Jamaa Birth Village Team

Jamaa Birth Village is a dynamic maternal health organization with a small & mighty core staff. Meet the Women who make Jamaa the warm, serene, community-care space that it is.

Brittany "Tru" Kellman, CPM
Founding & Executive Director

Brittany Tru Kellman

Tru is the founder of Jamaa Birth Village and serves as Executive Director & Lead Midwife. She is a mother, Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Doula & Doula trainer, Certified Lactation Counselor and Author of 2 books. Tru has seen hope restored, thriving pregnancies, healthier births and postpartum periods through her years as a birth advocate and provider. Tru believes in empowered, gentle and culturally engaged care and brings that to the St. Louis metro area. Tru is the first Black Certified Professional Midwife of Missouri and a multiple award winning provider.

Eboni Hooper-Boateng, CD 
Breastfeeding Coordinator

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Eboni Hooper-Boateng is the Breastfeeding Coordinator at Jamaa Birth Village. She is passionate about providing families the encouragement, support and education needed to achieve their infant feeding goals. As a lactating mom she knows the value of peer support and strives to empower everyone she works with by centering their needs. As a certified Full spectrum Doula and Childbirth Educator, Eboni not only offers practical knowledge but incorporates holistic, traditional care practices that aim to improve maternal and infant health outcomes for St. Louis families.

Konjit Avent
Evaluation Coordiantor

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Konjit Avent is the Evaluation Coordinator for the STL 360 Doula Initiative through Jamaa Birth Village & partners Generate Health STL. For over 20 years, she has served the St. Louis Metro-East area through behavioral health and wrap-around systems for children and families. As a Katherine Dunham Scholar, Konjit combines her cultural arts background and evaluation skills to help make St. Louis a Safer Childbirth City through Jamaa Birth Village's culturally congruent maternal health models of care and training components.

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Mrs. Eleanor Dansberry
Administrative Coordinator

Mrs. Eleanor Dansberry is the Administrative Coordinator for the STL 360 Doula Initiative with Jamaa Birth Village. By nature Eleanor is warm and welcoming and treats everyone with the utmost respect. Eleanor has worked as an Outreach Coordinator for free mammogram programs for uninsured and underinsured women, predominantly Black women, and brings her community outreach expertise to support newer Doulas in the St. Louis region. Eleanor also enjoys spending time with family, reading, traveling and learning new and exciting things.

Grace Haukap Doula

Grace Haukap
MOMS LINE + CERTIFIED DOULA

Grace Haukap is a MOMS Line co-facilitator at Jamaa and has been a birth and postpartum doula for 2 years.

She is dedicated to empowering, educating, supporting and teaching advocacy to pregnant women and new moms. She delights in offering many techniques to encourage the best possible birth outcomes. Grace specializes in all spectrums of births and postpartum care.

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Simiya Sudduth
Certified Full Spectrum Doula

Simiya Sudduth uses she/her and they/them pronouns. Simiya is a full spectrum doula, Traditional Usui Reiki Master and 200-hour yoga and meditation teacher with additional certification in prenatal yoga. As a yoga teacher, Simiya specializes in prenatal and postpartum yoga, meditation and mindfulness for pregnancy, birth and parenting. .

Simiya's approach to doula support is rooted in social justice, while being centered upon supporting the mind-body connection through encouraging self-care, mindfulness and holistic nutrition.

Our Wise Woman Council

Benetta Ward

Benetta Ward

Board Chair & Certified Doula

Benetta Ward, MPH

Benetta Marie Ward, MPH is a St. Louis native who has a background and passion in Health Education and Maternal and Child Health. She is a graduate of the greatest HBCU in the Midwest, Lincoln University- Missouri with a Bachlors in Health & Wellness in 2012. She later earned her Masters in Public Health from the University of South Florida- Tampa in 2014.

She recieved her Perinatal Doula certification through Jamaa Birth Village in 2016. Her personal belief and birth philosophy is the power of informed choice. She understands that this can only be achieved with knowledge.

With knowledge, comes empowerment to advocate and make informed decisions. This is what she hopes to encourage through her work with women, children and families. The reproductive process is a sacred journey and no one should have to do it alone or with little knowledge or understanding of what their choices are. To be apart of anyone's journey is a true blessing and she is dedicated and honored to travel that journey through being a doula and also helping support Jamaa Birth Village as being a vital pillar in the community by serving as a board member.

Brittany Ferrell, RN, MPH

Brittany Ferrell, RN

Jamaa Board Co-Chair & Wise Woman Council Member

Brittany Ferrell, RN, MPH

Brittany is a 30-year old community activist, organizer, and nurse from St. Louis, MO. She currently works in high risk obstetrics, and as a Fellow with the Black Futures Lab-- and organization strategically using data and policy to build independent Black political power throughout the nation.

Committed to the overall well-being of all Black people and people of color, Brittany has committed the next two years to Washington University’s Brown School in pursuit of a Master of Public Health. She has an interest in maternal health disparities, reproductive health, and the intersections of race, class, and health.

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Jennifer Jester

Jamaa Board Member & Certified Professional Midwife

Jennifer Jester, CPM, MPH

Jennifer Jester, CPM, Jen Jester is a staff Certified Professional Midwife at Jamaa Birth Village. She has served over 500 St. Louis families over the last 15 years in the St. Louis metro area as a birth Doula and Midwife. As a community Midwife, Jen provides attentive care to women and families at Jamaa Birth Village and supports our lead Midwife at home births as an assistant.

Jen understands that few experiences can be as empowering and rewarding as realizing your body's full potential to bring life into the world and honors the sacred and vulnerable space of birth.

Jen is dedicated to serving Tru and the community at JBV, and is committed to providing respectful and skilled midwifery care to the Village.

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Kim Martino-Sexton

Jamaa Board & Wise Woman Council Member

Kim Martino-Sexton, Educator, Doula

Kim Martino-Sexton is a proud member of the Jamaa Birth Village Wise Woman Council, a MOMS Group co-facilitator and has been a birth professional for 22 years in the St. Louis area.

She is an advocate for maternal mental health, human rights in childbirth, and postpartum justice. Kim is passionate about holding space for women as they explore and grow as mothers and she is looking forward to continuing to support the families of Jamaa.