HomePage Slider, Homepage, Lifestyle, Mamahood, Mindfulness, Uncategorized, Wellness

Mama Glow Icons Award Brunch: Kate Spade New York and the Mama Glow Foundation’s Tribute to Visionary Maternal Health Leaders

bintou Diarra | Editorial Lead | MS1: Alpert Medical School of Brown University | May 13, 2024

May is the month that we celebrate and center our Mothers. We recognize mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds, and the positive contributions of mothers to their families and to society at large. We are brought together by the sanctified bond that transcends borders, cultures, and generations as we express gratitude for the birthing people and mothers who continue to shape our lives with their nurturing presences and unwavering support. 

Underlying our celebration of mothers is the understanding that motherhood is not always as flowery as it presents. As we honor mothers worldwide, it is equally necessary to acknowledge the challenges of motherhood, and the trailblazers working to assist birthing people in addressing them. This was the purpose behind the first annual Mama Glow Icons Award Brunch held on May 1st, 2024, hosted by The Mama Glow Foundation, commemorating change-makers who continue to take strides to improve conditions of mental health care for women and mothers. The ceremony was held in partnership with Kate Spade New York, and honored three incredible women whose relentless efforts are shaping the future of maternal health advocacy. This gathering took place at The Soft Space by Mama Glow. 

The Sanctuary in the Soft Space by Mama Glow, where the brunch took place

The first honoree was Carol’s Daughter and Love Delivered Initiative Co-Founder Lisa Price, whose efforts led to the creation of a beauty empire that empowers women all over the world. Selling her homespun concoctions at flea markets, and later out of her living room, favorable word-of-mouth began to spread for early iterations of Almond Cookie, Hair Milk, and Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie—all of which retain their cult status today.

Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter – Maternal Health Advocate Awardee 

This is only one of her many accomplishments within the world of women’s health. In April of 2021, Lisa Price partnered with The Mama Glow Foundation to launch the Love Delivered Initiative, which focuses on raising awareness around the United States’ Black maternal health crisis in the United States and heightening widespread understanding of the role of doulas and other advocates during a time where Black birthing people and infants are most vulnerable. Since its inception, Love Delivered, in partnership with the Mama Glow Foundation, has engaged with nearly half a million people through events, doula support grants, educational programs, and webinars. To date, the initiative has funded more than 120 births through the Mama Glow Foundation and reached over 5.1 billion people through digital advocacy. 

The second honoree was Racha Tahani Lawler Queen, a certified professional and licensed midwife. Much like Lisa Price, this title is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her extensive work. Not only is Lawler Queen a certified fourth generation midwife, but she is also a certified Sangoma (South African traditional healer), farmer, and textile artist. At the Mama Glow Icons Award Brunch and on this Mother’s Day, we commemorate her for her support of over 1,600 families in their out-of-hospital birthing experiences, and her prioritization of Black and Brown midwifery students as a clinical and academic preceptor for over a decade. 

Racha Tahani Lawler Queen, Recipient of the Mama Glow Icon – Maternal Health Advocate Award

Among her recent endeavors is the opening of Gather Grounded Midwifery’s Birth Cottage in Central Virginia, which is modeled after generational midwifery care, and her support of three local Black midwives in training. Her work is a reminder of the culture-shifting power of intentional mentorship. Currently, she oversees the The Traditional Midwifery Freedom Pathway, which is a culturally and fiscally supported apprenticeship in partnership with nonprofit Black Farm Studio House and two local Black midwives.

The last honoree was Sharlene Kemler, the CEO of Loveland Foundation. Kemler is also the founder and CEO of SK Philanthropy, an award-winning consulting firm that redefines how culture and acts of giving intersect in the humanitarian space. Since starting SKP in 2014, Kemler has managed campaigns for Ben & Jerry’s, UN Women, Procter & Gamble, Viacom, and Grey Global Group. She has also advised Marsha P. Johnson Institute, The Loveland Foundation, Keep A Child Alive, and numerous other organizations on sustainable strategic development.

Sharlene Kemler, the CEO of Loveland Foundation- Recipient of the Maternal Mental Health Advocate Award 

In 2023, the Loveland Therapy Fund served 5,968 Black women, girls, and nonbinary individuals, and Kemler’s impact is only mounting. The Loveland Foundation has offered over 152,604 hours of therapy support overall, with the most significant social impact of 2023 being their coverage of over $3.2 million in therapy sessions for thousands of Black women, girls, and nonbinary individuals. As she enters her fourth year of covering mental health care, she looks to expand this reach to over 3,500 BIPOC therapists and over 20,000 participants.

Mama Glow Foundation and Kate Spade NY Team and honorees

While these were the initial honorees, the Mama Glow Icons Award Brunch was also a celebration of the powerful audience that gathered to celebrate these named visionaries. The Soft Space by Mama Glow was full of community partners, mental health providers, birth workers, cultural leaders, influencers, key stakeholders, and community members who are actively engaged in maternal health solutions and mental health advocacy in their own ways. As we continue to honor the mothers of the world and their unique plights, it is our hope that we continue to see the fruits of their indispensable work.

Share the Love