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.



Birth Detroit


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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


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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.” 



What would you pay to feel safe during childbirth?

by Rheana Murray, December 10, 2020

Good Birth For All

Interview with Leseliey Welch & Nashira Baril

by Marinah Farrell, May 31, 2020

Rewire News, 2020

Birth Centers are Crucial for Communities of Color, Especially in a Pandemic

by Leseliey Welch and Nashira Baril, April 15, 2020

America Dissected

Cradle And All

by Abdul El-Sayed, October 28, 2019

Detroit Today, 2019

We Need to Rethink How Women of Color Receive Healthcare

by Detroit Today, August 13, 2019

NPR Stateside, 2019 

How Michigan’s urban, rural communities are trying to reduce infant mortality disparities

by NPR Staff, May 2, 2019

The University Record, 2019

Lecturer aims to combat health care disparities in local communities

by The University Record, April 29, 2019




Leading Feminism

Nonprofit Management, Community Engagement & Feminist Practice 

Social Determinants of Population Health


Introduction to Public Health

LGBTQ Health 

Population Health Leadership 

Principals and Practice of Population Health

Urban Public Health Leadership

Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health