Doula Training Review
"Taking Sumi’s POC doula training was not only an educational journey but also a healing process. Before Sumi’s training I went through another doula training that capitalizes off of indigenous people’s knowledge and packages it for white consumption. Going through that colonialist training was a mistake, and I ended up being triggered and harmed by the white women who fetishized me, spouted their racism, and disregarded the existence and lives of trans and gender non conforming people. It was such an awful experience that it put me into a really bad mental health space and I stopped doing birth work all together.
But finding Sumi’s POC only doula training through her instagram I was motivated to try it again. Not only for the tools and knowledge to be a doula, but for the empowering feeling to be surrounded by people of color interested in birth work. This training was what I needed to find support in the birth community that was outside of whiteness and rooted in ancestral knowledge.
Sumi’s doula training was the training that I needed to get back on the journey of being a full spectrum doula. Sumi is intelligent, passionate, and inclusive, and always brought to our attention that this knowledge is the knowledge of our ancestors and that it is our duty to rekindle that knowledge within ourselves. Sumi’s training was so different from that colonialist training I went through. Sumi used gender-neutral terms throughout the training like birthing person instead of mother/woman. Sumi made it clear that as a doula we need to let go of our EGO, and that being a doula is a self-less service. Each training day we met with intention to learn, unlearn, and be together as a community effort through education, food sharing, and knowledge building.
This doula training was inclusive and economically accessible which allowed me to take full part in it. Sumi provided me with sliding scale pay as well as work-trade in order for me to attend the training. That was so crucial for me because I am a full time student with a low paying, on-campus job living off of financial aid and I was determined to attend the training.
Sumi’s training is so important especially for people of color who need this information to create and sustain our own communities starting with birth. Our ancestors have passed down the knowledge of the cycle of birth since forever, and it is our duty to continue passing down this service for and by our communities to ensure our healthy and peaceful existence.
I am really thankful and grateful for all the hard work that Sumi put into this training as well as all the knowledge and wisdom she shared with us. I have been telling every person of color I come into contact with who is interested in doula work to take her training as it is a necessary service for our communities, as well as a way to heal ourselves from the white, capitalist, hetero-patriarchal ideologies that have colonized our ancestral birth knowledge."
- Vrindavani Avila