Supporting community through birth-work and
Normalization of the role and presence of doulas globally as it pertains to pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.
Athena Guice, a dedicated Black and Puerto Rican native Floridian, is a seasoned community leader, full-spectrum doula, and committed advocate for birth and reproductive justice. As a devoted mother of two daughters, Athena's commitment to civic engagement is deeply rooted in her upbringing, values, and belief in creating a more equitable, safe, and inclusive community for future generations. Born in Tampa, Florida but raised in South Florida’s Floribbean (what Athena refers to the distinct Floridian & Caribbean region) culture, Athena's early involvement in community service began at the age of 14 when she served as a youth pastor at a non-denominational church, Human Relations Council secretary at her high school, and a runner in local campaigns… Early engagement in civics would evolve into a decade-long career encompassing various roles such as full-spectrum doula, doula mentor, writer, speaker, educator, Florida House aide, and community leader. Athena's journey accelerated when she started college at 16, then at 17, co-founded the first and only Broward College chapter of Dream Defenders, a nationally recognized social justice organization, before earning her Associate's degree at only 18 years old. She became one of the youngest instructional staff members for Broward County Public Schools and is commonly recognized as a community educator.
Athena has been serving her South Florida community (Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach county) as a Full Spectrum Doula since 2016 and is the founder of Hija Del Sol Birth Services, LLC. Athena's business was awarded a winning prize of start-up funds by The YMCA of Of South Florida and Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority at The Fort Lauderdale 'Sistrunk Soup', a micro-funding event in 2017; Winning the startup funds coupled with continuous engagement in South Florida brought a lot of attention to her community startup. Athena’s community-based doula services organization aimed to demystify the perinatal journey, offer non-medical doula support and education services, develop future doulas, and focus on offering innovative health strategies as solutions to the maternal health crisis... The mission? "To support community through birth-work and education." As of 2021, Athena has stepped into a larger role as a mentor with the launch of her full spectrum doula training program to train, mentor and develop future doulas committed to perinatal service. Athena understands that being of service to the community requires undeterred commitment as much as it requires a prioritization of her own physical and mental wellness... Through her expansive work, this South Florida native has developed partnerships with individuals and organizations dedicated to making a positive impact as it pertains to reproductive justice, birth equity, maternal health, and perinatal improvement efforts.
Her pivotal role in the Florida Legislature's House of Representatives showcases her dedication to community service and advocacy. As a District and Legislative Aide in Broward's House District 99 Legislative office, Athena demonstrated her prowess as a dedicated worker, strong team leader, and passionate advocate for Black maternal, reproductive and infant health and justice. Her commitment to social justice and equity, coupled with a decade of community organizing, has made Athena a valuable asset to any institution aiming to foster positive change and equity while centering the importance of women's issues and legislative policy. In 2022, Athena was honored by the National Black Legislative Staff Leadership Council for her “sincere professionalism and dedication to service.” Currently, Athena works with a national reproductive health and justice organization as a Senior Program Coordinator and reproductive justice advocate building toward the national movement of supporting primary care clinicians focused on protecting and expanding access to abortion, contraception, and early pregnancy loss care in their communities and across the country. Her drive, passion for learning, and unwavering commitment to community well-being have inspired countless individuals just as her dedication to Black maternal and infant health has positioned her as a passionate advocate.