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Birth Detroit's $4M Campaign Nearing Goal to Open Michigan's First Black-led Birth Center in 2024

Birth Detroit Co-founders with one foot each on a shovel at building site of the birth center, with construction equipment to the left.

Birth Detroit Co-Founders: Leseliey Welch, Elon Geffrard, Nicole White and Char'ly Snow

Black birthing people deserve the best care. Mere survival is not the goal — it is the least we should expect.”
— Leseliey Welch, Birth Detroit CEO
DETROIT, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES, September 13, 2023/ -- After three years of offering prenatal health services and support to the Detroit community via the Easy Access Clinic, Birth Detroit has secured the land and majority of the funding to build the city’s first Black-led freestanding birth center, providing safe, quality, loving care through pregnancy, birth and beyond to the Detroit community. Led by Black women and shaped by community voices, Birth Detroit’s new center will be one of the first of its kind in the United States, operating with a shared leadership model and community organizing approach that is rooted in deep equity and meaningful partnerships.

Located on the west side of the city, Birth Detroit broke ground on the facility on August 7, 2023, thanks to the generosity of many supporters who have contributed $3.6 million of their $4 million capital campaign goal. The most recent funding, a $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will support the first year of birth center operations.

“We are so proud of this groundbreaking because we know community birth center care improves outcomes, enhances the birth experience, increases autonomy and respect, is protective for Black birthing people, and is cost-effective,” said Leseliey Welch, co-founder and CEO of Birth Detroit. “Black birthing people deserve the best care. Mere survival is not the goal — it is the least we should expect. We want birth care in this country to reflect what is truly in the best interest of birthing people, babies, and families – so they can thrive.”

Birth Detroit was founded in 2018 by a group of Black birth workers, midwives, and public health leaders, including Elon Geffard, Char’ly Snow, Nicole White, and Leseliey Welch. The organization currently operates out of a shared space with Brilliant Detroit and through their services, has already impacted the lives of over 400 families in Detroit. Once the birth center opens in 2024, these services will move to the new space, allowing those numbers to grow.

Seeking a team that would reflect the organization’s values and accommodate the need, Birth Detroit hired Partners Design Build and architect Patrick Linder to design the birth center. Lovingly crafted with the community in mind, families have been consistently engaged in selecting elements of the birth center layout over the past few years.

To date, $3.6 million of the birth center’s $4 million capital campaign has been secured, of which $1.5 million will be used for construction and $2.5 million will support operations for the birth center’s first two years. To meet the specific financial goals, Birth Detroit engaged the Wright Collective, a national fundraising agency.

Donors are encouraged to donate or shop at to contribute to the last $400,000 in funding needed and also to join us on our journey by signing up to learn more about the Grand Opening Gala in the spring of 2024.

You can learn more about the Build Birth Detroit campaign by visiting

Stephanie Holloway
Birth Detroit
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