Black Mamas ATX Leadership & Staff

We are a group of everyday women dedicated to an extraordinary movement to save the lives of Black mothers.

Black Mamas ATX is governed by the Black Mamas Community Collective

Black Mamas Community Collective was founded by Dr. Michele Rountree, Ph.D. Read her full bio here.









Kelenne Blake

Executive Director

Kelenne Blake is a health advocate, creative and Blackacademic from Trinidad and Tobago, based in Austin TX. She has been involved with Black Mamas Community Collective, a.k.a Black Mamas ATX in various roles since 2018 and now serves as the Executive Director.

As a creative, Kelenne does visual and performance art as well as writing, including poetry and screenwriting. She also considers herself a Blackademic. Kelenne is a former professor at Huston-Tillotson University and a current doctoral student of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, concentrating in Health Equity and Social Justice.

Living in the intersections as a Black immigrant woman, everything she does involves working creatively with vulnerable communities, disrupting false hierarchies and creating spaces for those communities to assert their unique voices, perspectives and power — and, in so doing, creating a better world.

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Aphrica Farrow

Aphrica Farrow


Born and raised in Austin, Aphrica is a full time mother of 4 beautiful girls. Prior to becoming a DONA certified doula with Black Mamas ATX,  she worked as Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at Mom’s Place.  Aphrica is also a certified community health worker and through a grant from ConnectHer,  she is currently completing requirements to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

When she is not working with mamas , she is busy attending any number of extra-curricular activities in support of her daughters. Aphrica shares that “If and when have any spare time I like to spend it sleeping, reading or catching up on any missed TV shows.”  When speaking of the work she does with BMATX she says, “I am so blessed and proud to be a part of an organization that impacts the lives of mothers and babies in such a meaningful way!”

Aphrica Farrow

Klarque Denman


Klarque is a Doula (DONA), a childbirth educator, and Certified Lactation Counselor. She is also currently a midwifery student and extremely passionate about her work and advocacy for Black women in the healthcare system. Klarque has previously worked with young mothers and coordinated a doula program for a non-profit in Iowa. She has also provided care in Austin to a myriad of mothers from different backgrounds and cultures. Klarque is hoping to positively impact mothers and their birthing experiences, as well as to be a catalyst for change against racial disparities in the healthcare system.

In her free time, Klarque loves to do yoga, experiment in the kitchen with vegan foods, read, spend time with her daughter, experience the joys of traveling, and make divine candles. She is always excited to attend a birth and grow in her knowledge surrounding maternal care, as well as postpartum.


Aphrica Farrow

Ebony Williams


Ebony is a mother, an author, trained childbirth Doula (DONA), and community herbalist, who specializes in placenta encapsulation and holistic wellness. She is currently undergoing certification to become a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist (CBS).

Born and raised in Long Beach California, Ebony recently relocated to the Austin area to continue her support and advocacy for black maternal health in Texas. Ebony is passionate about the health and equity of Black & African descendants across all intersects. She approaches birth work with ancestral reverence, at forefront. Her work is deeply rooted in the divine wisdom, legacy, and practices, laid by our foremothers. She believes that ancestral/culturally congruent care is critical to countering systemic racism in birth settings. Ebony hopes to be a part of the change in revitalizing birth support and breaking down barriers that negatively impact the birth and care of black birthing persons and their families.

Outside of birth work, Ebony finds fulfillment spending time with her partner, son and two dogs. She also practices herbalism and loves educating and creating herbal wellness preparations for her community. She enjoys foraging plants, gardening, yoga, trying new foods and other forms of healing modalities.



Aphrica Farrow

Denise Washington


Denise L. Washington is a doula, mother, student midwife and Founder of Delivering Unto You. She is originally from Kansas City, KS and has been in the Austin area for 12 years. Denise began her journey in 2001 as a doula and childbirth educator for a local pregnancy shelter for young women in Kansas City, KS. In 2010 she decided to become a midwife but took time off to adjust to her new city of Austin, TX. In 2015 she started providing doula services in Austin as a volunteer doula with GALS (Giving Austin Labor Support) until she became a program coordinator for Mama Sana Vibrant Woman in 2017.

In 2019 she decided to focus on providing support to families of color on her own terms and founded Delivering Unto You. Her mission is to change the way the black community views and receives maternal care and support. Denise currently works as a Sister Doula with Black Mamas ATX while completing her midwifery certification. In the Fall of 2023 Denise will become the third black midwife in Austin, TX. She is also on path to opening the first black led and operated birth center that will provide low to no cost care to families of color.

Aphrica Farrow

Erin Backus, MPH

Grant Manager

Erin is a native Texan who’s social service roots have impacted youth and the underserved across the state’s following major cities: DFW, Austin, El Paso, and Houston. She received her BA in African and African Diaspora Studies and BS in Athletic Training from the University of Texas at Austin. She recently graduated with her Master of Public of Health from the UT Health Science Center at Houston. Her background in healthcare and lived experience as a Black woman led her to intern twice for Black Mamas ATX. Now she has returned for a third appearance as a grant manager for BMATX and the MHEC’s Safer Childbirth Cities grant!  Her dream is to empower BIPOC to live their best lives through health and wellness, self-expression, and art.  She believes in the power of people and advocates for the empowerment of BIPOC women everywhere.  When she’s not in a class or out hustling, you can find her traveling the globe, out in nature, or curled up on the couch with a good book or movie.

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