Elsie Amoako

Mino Care

Toronto, ON


elsie amoako

Sector Impact

Health & Well-being


The Challenge: In Canada, African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) women and birthing persons face devastating inequalities when it comes to maternal health. Generations of colonialism and systemic racism have shaped a birth system that too often is culturally insensitive or actively unsafe for ACB parents-to-be — leading to maternal health outcomes up to four times worse than those in white populations.

Elsie Amoako ashoka canada

The Solution: With Mino Care (previously Mommy Monitor), Elsie Amoako is building new knowledge and social infrastructure to restore birth justice for Black and racialized women and birthing people in Canada — creating pathways for ACB communities to exercise power and choice over their own reproductive health.

Building the infrastructure for birth justice in the Black community.

Elsie Amoako’s Mino Care supports black birthing persons and families to learn about and protect their rights — and each other. Mino Care links Black birthing persons with Black and allied birth professionals — like midwives, doulas, and pelvic floor therapists— and is building frameworks for Black families to access healthy, equitable, and culturally safe birthing care.


A platform for Black maternal health

Giving Birth While Black: It should be an intense, joyous, safe, and supportive process. For too many African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) parents-to-be, though, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care can be sites of trauma. What’s more, Canada lacks strong data to support research into best practices and policies to support ACB moms and birthing people.

Researcher and advocate Elsie Amoako aims to change all that. Her organization, Mino Care, is transforming pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care for Black and racialized communities in Canada — with the goal of building a better and more just birth system for everyone.

For example, research suggests that Black women and birthing people fare better when they are supported by professionals from the same racial background. Mino Care is developing an ever-expanding network of Black birth professionals — from obstetricians, midwives, and doulas to pelvic health specialists, lactation consultants, therapists, and more — who can serve Black clients in a culturally safe manner. She’s created partnerships and leveraged funding so that these services can be made available to all Black parents, specifically those who would otherwise not be able to afford them. As a result, Mino Care is increasing demand for Black birth professionals while incentivizing more racialized professionals to enter the maternal healthcare workforce.

Mino Care also focuses on education, providing birth justice workshops to help Black parents and parents-to-be understand their rights and navigate the healthcare system.

Elsie has been working with partners in Black birth work to develop a certified, university-accredited, social-competency birth curriculum for new and existing birth professionals, however this has been delayed due to limited funding. The organization convenes an annual, national conference- MinoFest: The Racialized Reproductive and Maternal Health Conference; which since 2018 to 2023 (not including 2020 & 2021) , has brought together more than 2000 government, civil society, community, and healthcare stakeholders to build support for integrating racialized care into provincial and federal health policy — work that is leading to the development of Canada’s first Black Maternal Health policy group.

Through all these activities, Mino Care addresses the dearth of race-based data on pregnancy and birth outcomes in Canada. The organization is building the credibility to ethically collect data from the communities it engages, which will help to provide the information we need to create effective policies and programs to support Black maternal health.

In its first year – 2019 — Mino Care reached over 400 Black parents in Ontario. Elsie plans to launch a Mino Care app to connect ACB maternal health providers with clients and community members. Longer-term, she hopes to introduce predictive technologies that can anticipate and prevent health crises for Black parents-to-be.

“For me,” she says, “this is about ensuring that we have a legacy, that we are normalizing the experience of culturally safe and accessible maternal care and creating a positive impact in the lives of Black women and birthing persons globally.”

Highlights from the Network

Discover Mino Care: Your Gateway to Culturally Safe Perinatal Health
the future collective 2024 cohort
Mino Care Joins Fiverr’s 2024 Future Collective, Empowering Black Entrepreneurs Across Industries
Watch Elsie sharing some lessons learnt from launching her startup Mommy Monitor
Mommy Monitor wins top-prize for the early-stage category at UofT’s Innovation week
mommy monitor
Mommy Monitor aims to improve birth outcomes for racialized women
mommy monitor
Mommy Monitor selected for the second Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders cohort