Tia Murray, BS, CLC, CD(DONA), was awarded the Deborah A. Hobbins Graduate Student Award in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice. Tia is a Ph.D. Student in Human Ecology: Human Development and Family Studies at the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology and Co-Founder & CEO of Harambee Village Doulas.
Tia is a certified Birth Doula, through Doulas of North America International (DONA). She is also a certified lactation counselor, and considers herself a community-based doula. Tia was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin and always dreamed of giving back to her community. As a non-traditional student and a single mother, she attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison and received her Bachelors of Science in Community and Environmental Sociology. In addition to becoming a Fellow in UW’s Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Graduate Capstone program, she also holds an Associates of Science degree, as well as an Ethnic Studies Certificate.
Tia has passionately worked with women, children and families in multiple capacities throughout her professional career. Her work has focused heavily on social justice, reproductive justice, access to culturally sensitive maternal and child health care, and the promotion of community-based intervention and prevention programing. Tia has worked diligently with young children with disabilities or developmental challenges, has supervised home visitors, and has worked with women struggling with homelessness, health issues, substance abuse, and mental health challenges.
She strongly believes that it is crucial to meet families where they are at, to be curious and inclusive, and to provide culturally and socially sensitive support services. Tia, a mother of five beautiful children, continues working closely with women and their infants, children and families, to provide early intervention in respect to health inequities across the lifespan. In an attempt to meet a need in her community, she co-founded a community- based doula agency in 2014 that provides culturally situated, and evidence-based pregnancy, birth, infant and lactation support to mothers and families in South Central Wisconsin; Harambee Village: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Breastfeeding Care. Ms. Murray supports community empowerment by providing information, leadership, and advocacy on issues affecting community health and well-being.
Tia’s research interests include bringing greater awareness to the root causes of residual impacts of racial inequities in maternal and child health. In particular, black infant mortality is something that she would like to bring more academic attention to. Community-based participatory research is of most interest to her work. She is also interested in furthering research on the benefits of doulas on perinatal health outcomes, particularly in communities of color, and in respect to racial disparity. She posits that research and interventions need to address the institutionalized forms of racism that perpetuate persistent racial disparities in the U.S. She also feels it imperative to reframe our language and research in respect to racial health disparities, and to critically analyze and address the root causes of racial inequities and injustices using a reproductive justice framework.