Skip to Content
All MassArt news

The MassArt Art Museum welcomes Christy Turlington Burns and Jennie Joseph for “All My Babies” panel discussion Wednesday, September 28, 2022 6:30pm

  • Press Releases

(Top left) Jennie Joseph; (center) Christy Turlington Burns, photo by Judy Rogac; (top right) Gabriella Nelson, photo by Naomieh Jovin; (bottom right) Nashira Baril; (bottom left) Michelle Millar Fisher, photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

Boston, MA – Monday, September 12, 2022 – Today the MassArt Art Museum announced it will host the panel discussion All My Babies: Reproductive Justice for the Twenty-First Century on Wednesday, September 28, at 6:30pm in person on MassArt’s campus and virtually via zoom. The conversation will explore how the design of reproductive objects, systems, and policies affects all of our lives. Panelists include Nashira Baril, director, Neighborhood Birth Center Boston; Christy Turlington Burns, internationally recognized icon and founder of Every Mother Counts; Jennie Joseph, one of the world’s most respected midwives and authorities on women’s health; Gabriella Nelson, associate director of policy, Maternity Care Coalition Philadelphia; and the conversation will be moderated by Michelle Millar Fisher, co-curator of Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births on view at the MassArt Art Museum through December 18.

About the Panelists

Christy Turlington Burns
Every Mother Counts (EMC) founder and President Christy Turlington Burns’ work in maternal health began after experiencing a childbirth related complication in 2003—an experience that would later inspire her to direct and produce the documentary feature film, No Woman, No Cry, about the challenges women face throughout pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Under Christy’s leadership, Every Mother Counts has invested more than $25 million in programs in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States focused on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. Before founding EMC, Christy received international acclaim as a model representing the world’s biggest fashion and beauty brands. Turlington Burns has been one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People and one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year. Christy graduated Cum Laude from NYU’s Gallatin School of Independent Studies and studied Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has completed 10 Marathons on behalf of Team EMC and lives in New York City with her husband, filmmaker Edward Burns, and their two children.

Jennie Joseph
Jennie Joseph is a British-trained midwife who fights to ensure every person has their healthiest possible pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience with dignity and support.

Jennie created The JJ Way® which is an evidence-based, maternity care model delivering readily-accessible, patient-centered, culturally-congruent care to women in areas that she terms ‘materno-toxic zones’. Her focus and drive is to ensure that Black women and other marginalized people remain safe and empowered inside broken and inequitable maternity health systems that have become dangerous and all too often, lethal.

She is the Executive Director of her own non-profit corporation Commonsense Childbirth Inc. which operates a training institute, health clinics and a birthing center in Orlando, Florida, and is also the founder of the National Perinatal Task Force, a grassroots organization whose mission is the elimination of racial disparities in maternal child health in the USA. In July 2020 her school, Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery became the first and only privately-owned, nationally accredited midwifery school owned by a Black woman in the United States.

Jennie is the founder and a proud member of The Council of Midwifery Elders, she serves on the Advisory Council for the Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus, is a Fellow of The Aspen Institute, and has been recognized as a TIME Woman of The Year 2022 for her work in promoting perinatal equity.

Nashira Baril
Nashira (she/her) is the daughter and great-granddaughter of midwives, who birthed both of her children at home and has experienced firsthand the transformative experience and liberation of midwifery support. Nashira is the founder and executive director of Neighborhood Birth Center, the city’s first community birth center. With a master’s degree in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University School of Public Health and nearly 20 years of experience designing and implementing public health strategies to advance racial equity, Nashira brings a structural analysis and somatic practice to the design and implementation of public health strategies that advance justice and equity. She has worked at the Boston Public Health Commission, Harvard School of Public Health, and Human Impact Partners. Nashira currently lives on unceded Massa-adchu-es-et land, known as Mattapan, Boston with her husband and two kids.

Gabriella Nelson
Gabriella Nelson is a mother, curator, and city planner, possessing a strong interest at the confluence of urban design, public art, and reproductive justice. She currently works as the Associate Director of Policy for Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia, advocating for the best policies and practices regarding maternal-child health and early learning. Gabriella is also one of the curators for Designing Motherhood, a multifaceted project that looks at the arc of human reproduction through the lens of design. She believes the city is for everyone, especially for those who want to stay after bearing decades of disinvestment and devastation. Gabriella has lectured widely on topics of maternal-child health, city planning and advocacy, including at TEDxPhiladelphia. Gabriella is interested in redesigning cities, systems and policies that oppress and work against the liberation of those historically left behind. She identifies as a problem-solver, an inquisitive thinker, and a creative person whose experiences and opinions are deeply rooted in her womanhood, motherhood, and Blackness.

Michelle Millar Fisher
Michelle Millar Fisher is the co-founder of the Designing Motherhood project. She has long been interested in the confluence of gender and design. She has written widely on care work, mothering, and reproductive labor, including parenting in museums (and hiding care work at work), being childfree, grief and mothers, and the architecture of maternity. She is also currently the Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts within the Contemporary Art Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work focuses on the intersections of people, power, and the material world. At the MFA, she is working on her next book and exhibition, tentatively titled Craft Schools: Where We Make What We Inherit, which is taking her across 48 contiguous US states via train over the course of a year. The recipient of an MA and an M.Phil in Art History from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, she received an M.Phil from and is currently completing her doctorate in art history at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY). She is part of the 2022 fellow cohort at the Center for Curatorial Leadership.

About Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births

Organized by a curatorial team that includes design historians, birth advocates, and medical and midwifery history experts, Designing Motherhood, on view at the MassArt Art Museum through December 18, 2022, explores the arc of human reproduction through the lens of design and art from the 19th century to the present day. The display of nearly 200 works includes historic and contemporary breast pumps, baby monitors, forceps, and maternity clothes, alongside vintage advertisements, and contemporary art across media. The exhibition demonstrates the evolution of rights and societal norms pertaining to con(tra)ception, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences over the last 150 years, highlighting that birth – and the material culture that surrounds it – impacts every living person. Designing Motherhood at the MassArt Art Museum brings together, for the first time, the art and design works exhibited at two previous venues in Philadelphia last year and will incorporate work by six additional contemporary artists – Joan E. Biren, Jess Dugan ‘07, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ani Liu, Tabitha Soren, and Deb Willis – who join a rich group of contemporary and historic artists and designers tackling subjects and ideas related to the topic at hand.  


About the MassArt Art Museum

The MassArt Art Museum (MAAM) is Boston’s only free contemporary art museum. After extensive renovations, MAAM opened in February 2020 in the space formerly known as the Bakalar & Paine Galleries at the heart of MassArt’s campus on the Avenue of the Arts. MAAM is a kunsthalle, or non-collecting museum, showing temporary exhibitions that feature the work of emerging to established artists to bring fresh and varied perspectives to Boston. As MassArt’s teaching museum, MAAM is a resource for MassArt students and faculty, educating students about contemporary art, partnering with faculty to support the curriculum, and preparing students for careers in the museum field. As an extension of the College’s public mission, the Museum offers pathways to education in the arts and free educational programming for the public.

image description
621 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115

(617) 879-7000