Interior Hero

DONA International is committed to developing an organization that fosters anti-racism and cultural sensitivity for our members & the families and communities that we serve.  To contribute to the many efforts to eradicate the maternal mortality crisis in the U.S. we recognize an immediate need to helping to diversify the doula profession.

We aim to make an I.M.P.A.C.T. in the field of maternal and child health by improving access to quality doula training and certification through scholarships and support. 

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The program is full as of January 1, 2021.  Please re-visit this page in the fall for new opportunities.



If you have questions, please send an email to the Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion Kelli Brien at

The I.M.P.A.C.T. Program is for people who have evaluated their needs and require financial assistance to cover the costs of a doula workshop, certification costs & fees, and membership fees for one year. Preference will be given to: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), people who are supporting BIPOC and applicants who have a strong desire to “pay it forward” by providing doula services at a low or no cost fee to at least one family in need during the certification process.  The family the doula supports must reside in geographic areas where the maternal health disparities and inequities are resulting in a high rate of death of birthing BIPOC at disastrous rates such as: Brooklyn, NY (King’s County), Ft. Worth, TX (Tarrant County) and the entire state of Georgia (U.S.)


About the Program


The I.M.P.A.C.T. Program is complete financial assistance, educational and mentoring support for a person seeking to become a doula with DONA International. The I.M.P.A.C.T. Program covers the costs of one DONA Approved doula workshop, certification process (fees & books), and membership fee for one year.


Each selected person will receive fee waivers along with monthly mentoring support through a piloted candidate certification program from DONA International. The commitment by the selected person is the completion of the certification process within one year. 


Applicant Considerations


  • You self-identify as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Color (BIPOC)*
  • You are committed to working with BIPOC and under-resourced communities*
  • You are committed to becoming a DONA Certified Doula within one year*
  • You are experiencing financial hardship*
  • You agree to adhere to the DONA International Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice*

*These items are strongly considered for applicants. If all the statements above apply to you, we encourage you to submit your application for this program. Applicants who have time to commit to one full year of steady and intense progress towards doula certification are encouraged to apply.

 The U.S.A. Maternal Mortality Issue

      • In 2018, the U.S. maternal mortality rate (MMR) was 17.4 (deaths per 100,000 live births)[i] – the highest maternal mortality rate of any wealthy industrialized country in the world.[ii]
      • Broken down by race and ethnicity, the disparities are stark and demonstrate the deadly impact of racism.
        • The MMR for non-Hispanic Black women was 37.1, for non-Hispanic White women was 14.7, and for Hispanic women was 11.8.[i]
      • The 2018 data does not include a further breakdown of other racial groups.
        • From 2007-2016, the CDC reported an MMR of 40.8 for non-Hispanic Black women, 29.7 for non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native women, 13.5 for non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander women, 12.7 for non-Hispanic White women, and 11.5 for Hispanic women of any race.[i]

This means that Black women are more than 3x more likely to die as a result of pregnancy than white women, leaving their child without a parent and their family grieving. To learn more about maternal mortality rates specific to your state, visit

[i] National Center for Health Statistics. (2019, November 20). Maternal Mortality. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[ii] Worcester, S. (2020, May 5). The American maternal mortality crisis: The role of racism and bias. Ob.Gyn.News.

[iii] National Center for Health Statistics. (2019, November 20). Maternal Mortality. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[iv] Petersen, E.E., Davis, N.L., Goodman, D., Cox, S., Syverson, C., Seed, K., Shapiro-Mendoza, C., Callaghan, W.M., & Barfield, W. (2019). Racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related deaths – United States, 2007-2016. MMWR, 68(35), 762-765.


The DONA International Board of Directors is excited to offer this scholarship opportunity to eligible applicants.  We encourage all who meet the criteria to apply.  By creating the I.M.P.A.C.T. Program’s path of support for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who are pursuing a doula career, DONA International is working to further our vision of “a doula for every person who wants one”.