The BElovedBIRTH Black Centering team is led by our Black midwives.

Our BElovedBIRTH Black Centering team has all the kinds of care providers needed for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. We are a team of passionate Black midwives, family support advocates, doulas, lactation consultants, and obstetricians. We know what it means to be Black, and are committed to providing the very best care to Black families.

Meet our team

Midwives

Amber Bell, CNM, IBCLC

Certified Nurse-Midwife and Lactation Consultant
Amber is a certified nurse-midwife and certified lactation consultant. Born and raised in Orange County, California, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature, with a minor in sociology, from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree in nurse midwifery from UC San Francisco.

Likes: Camping, quilting, visiting family in Jamaica, dancing, and being Black
Dislikes: Dishonesty and bananas

Bryonna Mathews, CNM

Certified Nurse-Midwife and Doula
Bryonna is a certified nurse-midwife and certified doula. Raised in Atlanta, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a master’s degree in nurse midwifery and women’s health from UC San Francisco. Also a certified doula.

Likes: Dancing to Afrobeats (favorite musical artists are Nigerian), skating at the beach or at Lake Merritt when it’s warm, DIY home-decor projects, Netflix and chill with husbae, Arizmendi pizza, travel and hiking, and essential oils
Dislikes: Cucumbers, cold weather, germs, spiders, and negativity

Jasmine Swinson, CNM

Certified Nurse-Midwife
Jasmine is a certified nurse-midwife at Highland Hospital. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and language from the University of La Verne and a master’s degree in nurse midwifery from UC San Francisco.

Likes: Cycling with my favorite road bike along the coast and dancing the night away in pre-pandemic times
Dislikes: Cold weather

Jyesha Wren, CNM

Certified Nurse-Midwife and Black Centering Program Coordinator
Jyesha is a certified nurse-midwife and doula at Highland Hospital. She is co-founder and co-leader of BElovedBIRTH Black Centering and coordinates program development, logistics, and evaluation. Her interests are in Black Centering, shared decision-making with patients and providers, eliminating racial disparities, and promoting normal physiologic birth. Born in New Orleans and raised in Northern California, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at UC Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in nurse midwifery from UC San Francisco.

Likes: African and Afro-Latin dance (samba, bachata, and kizomba), capoeira, big trees and houseplants, stretchy pants, making things with my hands (jewelry, crafts, essential oil products), and hanging out at the beach with my little one
Dislikes: Spicy food and racism

Breastfeeding Specialist

T’Amentanefer Lumukanda Camara, IBCLC

Lactation Consultant; Doula
TaNefer is a certified lactation consultant, infant feeding specialist/educator, certified doula, and maternal health strategist and healer. Born and raised in Oakland, she holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and health education and a master’s degree in health care administration.

Family Support Advocates

Danielle Davis

Family Support Advocate; BElovedBIRTH co-facilitator
Danielle is a family support advocate with the Alameda County Public Health department’s Maternal. Paternal, Child and Adolescent health unit. Born and raised in Oakland, she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, East Bay.

Likes: My blackness, shopping, music, and spending quality time with my family and friends
Dislikes: Having to continuously explain why Black Lives Matter, cooking, and cats (but only because I’m allergic)

Monique Houston

Family Support Advocate; Resource and Referral Lead
Monique is a family support advocate with the Alameda County Public Health department’s Maternal, Paternal, Child and Adolescent health unit, certified domestic violence counselor, and Black Centering’s lead of resources and referrals. She is also certified in motivational interviewing and trauma-informed services and harm reduction. She was born at Highland Hospital and raised in Oakland.

Likes: Cooking with a fresh breeze and good music—music is my therapy (fave Pandora stations: Tamela Man Radio (gospel), Jill Scott Radio (R&B/neosoul), Kevin Hart Radio (comedy), and Trap Music (don’t judge me).
Dislikes: Cats (only because of continuous nightmares throughout life!)

Aminah Robinson

Family Support Advocate; BElovedBIRTH co-facilitator
Aminah is a family support advocate with the Alameda County Public Health department’s Maternal, Paternal, Child and Adolescent health unit. Born and raised in Oakland/Berkeley, she attended the California Culinary Academy.

Likes: Food and family
Dislikes: Negativity

Obstetricians

Ashlee McCorkle-Jamieson, MD

Obstetrician; Women’s Reproductive Health Equity Fellow
Dr. McCorkle-Jamieson is an obstetrician and gynecologist and the 2020-2021 fellow in Women’s Reproductive Health Equity. She earned her MD and completed residency at Howard University.

Likes: Almost all music and traveling with close friends
Dislikes: “Jiggly” foods and inconsiderate people

Lasha Pierce, MD

Obstetrician; Director, Kaiser Oakland–Alameda Health System OB/GYN Joint Residency Program; Director, Women’s Reproductive Health Equity Fellowship
Dr. Pierce is an obstetrician and gynecologist, site director for Kaiser Oakland–Alameda Health System’s OB/GYN Joint Residency Program, and director of the Women’s Reproductive Health Equity Fellowship. Her interests include health equity, managing diabetes in pregnancy, community healing and population health, holistic healing, cultural humility, and medical education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physiology from San Francisco State University, received home-midwife training, earned an MD from UC Irvine, then completed residency at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco.

Likes: Laughter, courage, good food, generosity
Dislikes: Arrogance

Leadership Champions

Jennifer Braddock, CNM, MSN

Certified Nurse-Midwife and Midwifery Manager
Jennifer is a certified nurse-midwife and Alameda Health System’s Midwifery Manager. Her interests include traditional/herbal medicine, breastfeeding promotion, sacred birth rituals, community health, and addressing health disparities. She earned a BA from Spelman College and a BS in nursing from New York University, and completed CNM training and a master’s degree in nursing from UC San Francisco.

Kevin Smith, MD

Obstetrician and Maternal Child Health Department Chair
Dr. Smith is a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon, and chair of Alameda Health System’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His interests include reducing health disparities, mentoring others, and treatment of fibroids and other conditions using minimally invasive surgery. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and an MD from the University of Toledo College of Medicine. He completed residency training and specialized fellowship training in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Stanford Medical Center.