Marinah Farrell's profile photo

Marinah Farrell

Community Based Health Worker and Midwife,

Marinah Farrell's profile photo
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Start Year: 2022
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building


Marinah V. Farrell is currently the Director of Organizational Wellness for Birth Center Equity, an organization created to make birth center care an option in every community, by growing and sustaining birth centers led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Marinah is also the owner of Phoenix Midwife, a longstanding midwifery practice, and the founder of Parteras de Maiz, an umbrella organization for diverse advocacy and health justice projects.

Marinah has worked with and directed many Indigenous and BIPOC health justice projects, developing clinical, organizational, and regional birth justice initiatives in Arizona, New Mexico and nationally. These initiatives include indigenous reproductive healthcare access, community-based education, organizational wellness, ancestral healing, and student/workforce development. These experiences inspired Marinah to certify in somatic healing work (completing in 2022) to better understand the role of trauma in communities and organizations of color as a fundamental resource for radical change.

Marinah was co-founder and staff midwife for Phoenix Allies for Community Health, a free primary care clinic. Marinah is an educator for traditional midwives, and in countless health justice coalitions, such as street medic work and immigration activism. Marinah was the first BIPOC elected President of a national midwifery association in North America recognized by the International Confederation of Midwives. Currently, she is a board member for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, advisory member Birth Detroit, a contractor for Maricopa County and White Mountain Apache and working on Medicaid expansion with the Institute for Medicaid Innovation.

Future Focus

Marinah’s multiple projects are grounded in the expansion of the maternal health workforce through the reintroduction of, and access to, midwives and healers in BIPOC communities. Midwifery fills healthcare gaps; provides economic opportunities for people to remain in their communities; opens the way to BIPOC-led birth centers, home birth, and improved institutional care; and is culturally and historically relevant. Marinah believes that the use of traditional healers and community-based midwives enhances all areas of reproductive wellness. Marinah leads groundbreaking BIPOC-led programs to develop and implement strategic plans that address the elimination of healthcare barriers. She centers the work on the Indigenous strength and power of BIPOC communities themselves to create healthcare systems based on their individual cultural customs and community ancestral power.


Marinah’s work focuses on Indigenous and BIPOC health justice projects and regional birth justice initiatives that include indigenous reproductive healthcare access, community-based education, organizational wellness, ancestral healing, and student/workforce development.

Post-Institute: Transformative Action Plans

Through the CoHLI experience, Marinah has adopted the use of narrative change, as detailed in the TRHT framework, in many ways. She hopes to continue promoting recognition of indigenous midwives as primary healers in their communities and provide discourse on how to support their work. By emphasizing their narrative, Marinah aspires to bridge the gap between the practice of midwifery in the United States and other countries worldwide.

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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program