Leseliey Welch, MPH, MBA
Leseliey (she/her) is a public health leader with a business mind and a visionary heart, holding love as a guiding value, a way of being, an action and a politic. Leseliey is Co-founder of Birth Detroit and Birth Center Equity, a mom and a tireless advocate for work that makes communities stronger, healthier and more free.
Leseliey leads a team of birth workers, birth advocates and community leaders planning Detroit’s first freestanding community birth center Birth Detroit, and is proud of the launch of Birth Center Equity to grow and sustain birth centers led by Black, Indigenous and people of color across the country. She has nearly two decades of leadership experience in city, state and national health organizations. She served as interim executive director of Birthing Project USA, Deputy Director of Public Health for the City of Detroit, and consulted in the development of Michigan’s first comprehensive LGBTQ health center.
Leseliey has taught at the university level for over fifteen years, contributing to the development of Wayne State University’s Bachelor’s in Public Health Program and creating courses on numerous health equity topics for undergraduate and master’s level public health students, medical students and medical residents. Leseliey lectured in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Michigan, developing practicum courses on women's leadership, and nonprofit, management, community engagement and feminist practice. She earned her undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies, Masters in Public Health with a certificate in Women’s and Reproductive Health, and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
A Michigander by birth and a world citizen in spirit, Leseliey resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her wife and two children and loves global travel.
The mission of Birth Detroit is to midwife safe, quality, loving care through pregnancy, birth and beyond. Birth Detroit opened its first community midwifery clinic in fall 2020 and continues to fundraise for the birth center to open in 2023.
Birth Center Equity
Birth Center Equity is a catalyst, accelerating innovative strategies to grow abundant community birth infrastructure for generations to come.
"We dream of a world where birth is safe, sacred, loving and celebrated for everyone."
“We have all of the evidence and data to say
the midwifery model of care works.”
ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS
Ebony Magazine, November 25, 2022
HOW LESELIEY WELCH IS PUTTING BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH IN THE SPOTLIGHT AND HER PUSH FOR MORE BLACK BIRTHING CENTERS
Because of Them We Can, October 25, 2022
MEET LESELIEY WELCH, THE WOMAN WHO'S SAVING MOMS AND THEIR NEWBORNS WITH HER NEW BIRTH CENTER INITIATIVE
Black Enterprise, October 22, 2022
MEET THE BLACK WOMAN OPENING A BIRTHING CENTER TO SAVE THE LIVES OF BLACK MOMS AND BABIES
Forbes, Oct 19, 2022
Meet The Black Entrepreneur Working To Save The Lives Of Birthing Mothers And Their Babies
BLAC Detroit Magazine: October 7, 2022
Birth Detroit, a Premiere Black-Owned Birthing Center, Finds Home
Michigan Chronicle, Daily Digital, October 3, 2022
New Birthing Center Aims to Help Black Mothers in Detroit
WXYZ Channel 7 Detroit, Sep 12, 2022
New Birthing Center Aims to Help Black Mothers in Detroit
Detroit's first stand-alone birth center bringing more options to expecting mothers
United Way for Southeastern Michigan, July 18, 2022
BIRTH DETROIT IS ON A MISSION TO PROVIDE A BETTER BIRTH EXPERIENCE
The University of Michigan, Detroit Online, APRIL 25, 2022
Birth Detroit co-founder says opening during the pandemic accelerated her “heart’s work”
Bridge Detroit, March 17, 2022
Birth Detroit helps Black moms take control of their birthing experience
Every Child Thrives, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, December 13, 2021
With women: Supporting community-based midwives
IFF, November 16, 2021
Birth Detroit Reimagines Maternal and Infant Care with Plan for Community-Based, Black-led Birth Centers
TODAY.com, December 10, 2020
What would you pay to feel safe during childbirth?
Good Birth For All, May 31, 2020
Interview with Leseliey Welch & Nashira Baril
CISION PR Newswire, Nov 25, 2020
Birth Detroit Slated to Open City's First Freestanding Community Birth Center in 2021
Rewire News, April 15, 2020
Birth Centers are Crucial for Communities of Color, Especially in a Pandemic
Obstetrics Initiative, April 16, 2020
Improving Black Maternal Health in Michigan: Birth Detroit
FOX 2 Detroit, August 30, 2019
4 Detroit women-owned businesses awarded grants
America Dissected w/ Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, October 28, 2019
Episode 8, Cradle and All, Podcast Interview
Detroit Today, August 13, 2019
We Need to Rethink How Women of Color Receive Healthcare
NPR Stateside, 2019, May 2, 2019
How Michigan’s urban, rural communities are trying to reduce infant mortality disparities
The University Record, 2019, April 29, 2019
Lecturer aims to combat healthcare disparities in local communities
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, ANN ARBOR, MI
Nonprofit Management, Community Engagement & Feminist Practice
Social Determinants of Population Health
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY, DETROIT, MI
Introduction to Public Health
Population Health Leadership
Principals and Practice of Population Health
Urban Public Health Leadership
Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health
Ford School Towsley Policymaker in Residence Dr. Abdul El-Sayed discusses reproductive and birth justice with Co-founder of Birth Detroit and Birth Center Equity, and former Deputy Director of the Detroit Health Department, Leseliey Welch. October, 2022.
Black Women's Health Imperative, Birth Detroit, and Birth Center Equity host a roundtable discussion to share the origin stories of our organizations and our visions for Black systems of care and Black leadership in the liberation of Black birthing people. Our esteemed panelists will add to this rich conversation from policy, midwifery, and reproductive justice perspectives.
How can we work to establish a more equitable future? In this May 3, 2021, Prioritizing Equity panel, health leaders discuss why advancing health equity must require sharing power through effective alliances with those who have experienced marginalization and injustice across generations.