Tia MurrayPhD Student, Human Development & Family Studies


Tia’s research interests include bringing greater awareness to the root causes of residual impacts of racial inequities in maternal and child health. In particular, black infant mortality is something that she would like to bring more academic attention to. Community-based participatory research is of most interest to her work. She is also interested in furthering research on the benefits of doulas on perinatal health outcomes, especially in communities of color. She posits that research and interventions need to address the institutionalized forms of racism that perpetuate persistent disparities in the U.S. She also feels it imperative to reframe our language and research in respect to racial health disparities, and to critically analyze and address the root causes of racial inequities and injustices.

Education and Relevant Experience

Tia Murray is a certified Birth Doula, through DONA (Doulas of North America International). She is also a certified lactation counselor, and considers herself a community-based doula. Tia was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin and always dreamed of giving back to her community. As a non-traditional student and a single mother, she attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison and received her Bachelors of Science in Community and Environmental Sociology. In addition to becoming a Fellow in UW’s Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Graduate Capstone program, she also holds an Associates of Science degree, as well as an Ethnic Studies Certificate. Tis is certified in the Newborn Behavioral Observation System (NBO), through the Brazelton Institute.

She has passionately worked with women, infants, children and families in multiple capacities throughout her professional career. Her work focuses heavily on social justice, reproductive justice, access to culturally sensitive maternal and child health care, and the promotion of community-based intervention and prevention programing. Tia has worked diligently with young children with disabilities or developmental challenges, has supervised home visitors, and has worked with women struggling with homelessness, health issues, substance abuse, and mental health challenges.

She strongly believes that it is crucial to meet families where they are at, to be curious and inclusive, and to provide culturally and socially sensitive support services. Tia, a mother of five beautiful children, continues working closely with women and their infants, children and families, to provide early intervention for children in respect to health inequities across the lifespan. In an attempt to meet a need in her community, she founded a community-based doula organization in 2014 that provides culturally sensitive, diversity-informed and evidence-based pregnancy, birth, infant and lactation support to mothers and families in South Central Wisconsin; Harambee Village: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Breastfeeding Care. In 2017, she co-founded the Today Not Tomorrow Family Resource Center in Madison, WI, with collaborative partners Today Not Tomorrow Inc, and the African American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County, Inc. Ms. Murray supports community empowerment by providing information, leadership, and advocacy on issues affecting community health and well-being. She also endorses healthy pregnancies, breastfeeding, and parent-infant attachment and well-being with her clients, through policy work, and to the community, at large.

Awards and Recognition

2007-2009 Member, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

2008-2009 Appointed to Student Activities Board, Madison College, Madison, WI

2008-2009 VP Leadership & Finance Student Senate, Madison College, Madison, WI

2010 Student Achievement Award, Madison College, Madison, WI

2017 Upstart Graduate, WI Alumni & Research Foundation

2017 Ones to Watch List, Madison Magazine, Madison, WI

2018 Force for Positive Change Award, WI Alumni and Research Foundation, UW- Madison

2018 UW- Madison Advanced Opportunity Graduate Fellowship, School of Human Ecology

2019 MList Award, Madison Magazine, Madison, WI

2020 Deborah A Hobbins Graduate Student Award in Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice

2021 Force for Positive Change Award, WI Alumni and Research Foundation, UW- Madison

Degree Program

  • Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program


Phone: 6083341826