Often known as “Sister Star,” Star August Ali a mother, Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), doula, and childbirth educator is the co-founder of the Black-led non-profit organization Holistic Birth Collective, based on the South Side of Chicago. Her mission is simple: to increase the availability and accessibility of person-centered maternity care that is evidence-based and is responsive to the needs of Black families.
Star, a descendant of a Grand Midwife who practiced in the early 1940’s, believes midwives, when empowered to work in community-based settings, are a viable solution to addressing the harrowing reality of disproportionate maternal and infant outcomes. When it became clear that current power structures in Illinois were not able to ensure equitable care for black families, she became a legislative advocate through Holistic Birth Collective with legislative bills in the IL House (HB3084, HB 5012, HB5013) and Senate (SB1826, SB1041).
Making history, Star became the first Black President of the Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives (ICCPM) and, having passed the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) exam to achieve credentialing as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), Star became the first Black CPM in the State of Illinois in 2022.