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Hirut Melaku

Hirut Melaku

Hirut Melaku is an emerging scholar and healthcare worker (lactation consultant, birth companion), concerned with racial inequity, sexual violence and LGBTQ2S+ issues. The investigative and reporting work that she has done in the last 20 years has been used by many, including the United Nations, to determine humanitarian aid, and by local players to develop initiatives, programs, and interventions in the area of mental health and gender-based violence.  Transformative justice, as a framework, guides all aspects of her work including her current role as a facilitator and advisor to organizations who are invested in working through difficult conversations.


She contributes to repairing the world as a healer, nurturer, and as a speaker of truth. Hirut credits her ancestors, distinctive background, and identities (Beta Israel, queer, mother of a gifted child who is differently-abled) for keeping her grounded and connected. She is a co-founder of the Third Eye Collective, a survivor-led organization for Black women who have experienced violence.  ( (external link) , (external link) ). 


She is currently a PhD student in Critical Disability Studies at York University. The final outcome of her Master's in Environmental Studies, rooted in investigating  reproductive injustice in Canada, is the documentary ‘Birthing while Black during COVID-19’. These short films consist of interviews with Black birth workers, and Black mothers who were pregnant or gave birth during the pandemic in Canada.


She currently sits on the board of Ocama Collective (external link) , a community-directed group of racialized birth workers living and working in Tkaronto (Toronto), who are dedicated to the reclamation of traditional and holistic childbearing and birthing practices, amongst queer,

trans, Indigenous, Black and racialized people.