Feminist Friday to focus on the identity of a doula


Nell Gabiam, associate professor of anthropology and political science in the department of World Languages and Cultures, addressed “Home, Hospitality and Affective Politics in the Syrian Refugee Crisis.”

Loretta Mcgraw

This week’s Feminist Friday will feature speaker Jazzmine Brooks, the equity and inclusion coordinator for the Office of Equal Opportunity. Brooks will be leading a discussion at 1 p.m. in the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center on “Rural Black Doula Chronicles: Addressing Disassociation of the Body and Mind” despite the fridges temperatures this Friday.

A doula is defined as a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible, according to www.dona.org

Brooks is one out of five black fertility doulas in the state of Iowa and works for a nonprofit out of Des Moines. With her employment at Iowa State she helps to manage and support campus needs in accessibility, campus climate responses and other various inclusion initiatives both on and off campus.

Brooks is an advocate for social change and said she believes in creating space to discuss and resolve social justice issues.

“Dissociation is a trauma response,” Brooks said. “So we think about small dissociation [as] forget your keys or some people are like ‘I drove somewhere and I don’t know how I got there’ those are common things that happen to us. So when you think of trauma, particularly within women of color, people of color it’s important for people to even understand what it is, affirm it, have them think about how their signs and symptoms show up and how we process grounding techniques.”

Some types of grounding techniques include: breathing exercises, visually acknowledging your surroundings, touching a variety of textures or fabrics, cease physical rhythmic behaviors that may be trancing, listen to music, chew mint or cinnamon gum, repeat a calming mantra, journal and more, according to beautyafterbruises.org.

Serving on the American College Personnel Association College Student Educators International Coalition for Multicultural Affairs Networks Pan African Network as a community outreach and civic engagement co-chair and Multicultural Network social media coordinator, Brooks has been given the unique opportunity and responsibility to raise awareness of multicultural issues in higher education and issues affecting the Pan African community, according to her LinkedIn

Feminists Fridays are free and open to all students, faculty and community members. They offer free snacks upon check-in and a variety of discussion topics through a feminist lens following conclusion of the speakers presentation.