Monday, April 13, 2015

Sheila Kitzinger

On April 12th, 2015 Sheila Kitzinger passed away. She, in many ways, inspires the work that we do as birth workers. In addition to writing one of the only books we recommend for mothers to read during pregnancy, The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth, she also had a special interest in prison birth advocacy. She was happy to hear about our work here in Minnesota with incarcerated mothers and we were thrilled to tell her about it.

We will continue to benefit from what she has taught us and will be forever thankful for the wisdom she has shared. Thank you Sheila, our thoughts are with the family at this time.

Below is an email response that Erica received when we first told her of our work.

Dear Erica,

I can arrange for 4 copies of The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth and - very important for  your other helpers I think - one of The Politics of Birth to be sent to your address if you let me have details. I''ll do it through

I am so glad to be in touch with you and I'd love to hear how your work is going. 

Best wishes,


Maternity guru Sheila Kitzinger  Photo: GETTY

Friday, March 13, 2015

Raising Heaven

Our staff had the opportunity to review the manuscript of a new book called Raising Heaven from the Locked Out series by Patrick Jones. The book is about a teenage girl who's mother is pregnant in prison and is working with a doula. It was fun to be able to give feedback about what we do as prison doulas so the story could be realistic. Thank you Mr. Jones for dedicating your book to our project, that means a lot to us!  

Get your copy here.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


This week we put on our very first webinar -- How to Start a Prison Doula Program. Professionals from all over the country (and one from Canada!) attended and we think it went very well! A HUGE thank you to the University of Minnesota for making it happen, we appreciate all your support and could not have done it without you. We were so excited to share with others about the work we are doing with incarcerated mothers here in Minnesota and can not wait to hear about the successes of other programs!

Erica- Program Director

Rae- Program Coordinator and Erica- Program Director getting ready to start!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

With great appreciation, we thank you...

As 2014 comes to a close we want to share our heartfelt thanks to those who have supported us throughout the year.

This is a list of some of those people...

Jody Alexander
Jessica Anderson
Jeff Baker
Colleen Bell
Brooke Benson
Kris Beuch
Chloe Britzius
Rachel Chrastil
Jessica Flannigan
Christina Gehring
Josh Gerrity
Sharon Gerrity
Becky Gulstad
Meghan Heffner
Robert Hofmann
Lisa Jost
Whitney Kontaxakis
Cara Kreuziger
Marla Kuchler
Susan Lane
Amy Langenfeld
Rand Levy
Hope Lien
Mardag Foundation
Lauren Marsh
Sandy McCaul
Kristin McCarthy
Megan Olson
Kathryn & Patrick Orr
Debby Prudhomme
Gloria Quiroga
Christine Rintoul
Dr. Rebecca Shlafer
Nora Smyth
Pamela Smyth
Kristen Tea
Michelle Thomas
Lori Timlin
Melissa Toavs
University of Minnesota 
Trish Welte
Clare Welter
Mary Williams
Women's Foundation
Evelyn Yaeggy
Crystal Yakacki

Cheers to 2015, 

Erica Gerrity, Project Director & Rae Baker, Project Coordinator 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Our director, Erica Gerrity, is named a Changemaker by Minnesota Women's Press!

We are so proud of our director, Erica Gerrity! She has been named a Changemaker by Minnesota Women's Press! 

Read the article here

"I believe in a better world for all women and our children, and see this prison work as one tiny stitch in the fabric of a more humane and connected society."
- Erica Gerrity, program director of Isis Rising

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our new interns!

2014-2015 Isis Rising Interns

I have my bachelor's degree in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies from Hamline University.  I have been working for Hennepin County Juvenile Probation for the past 15 years.  I currently conduct Rule 25 chemical dependency evaluations and carry a small case load of juveniles who are struggling with substance abuse.  I have just started my second year in the University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine's University dual Masters in Social Work program.  My work with juveniles (primarily from single mother families) has made me passionate about equal treatment for women, whether they are incarcerated or not.  I also feel my experience as a single mother for the last 14 years allows for me to be more emphatic to other women in similar circumstances.  I am very excited to be able to work with Isis Rising and pass on the curriculum they have developed!

Trish began her career organizing for women-focused issues in 2000, and has since worked on electoral and issue campaigns in more than 25 states across the country. Currently she is working on her Master in Social Work at St. Catherine's University, is a certified hatha yoga and prenatal yoga teacher, and is also a trained birth doula. Trish believes that everyone deserves a world that values them and allows the opportunity to fully thrive and grow. For women, this must include the right to all information, services, and support available on the reproductive health spectrum. It is especially powerful when these are passed along by women supporting other women at critical times such as birth.

I am currently pursuing a graduate degree in social work at the University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University.  I have professional experience working within the correctional system and public health, and for the past 5 ½ years I have been working within the realm of family law.  From my experience, both personally and professionally, I feel compelled to provide support and education to women and children in vulnerable circumstances, and I feel very grateful to be doing so with the women of Isis Rising. 


I am currently attending Metropolitan State University for my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and will be graduating in Spring 2015; I transferred there from North Hennepin Community College where I received Associate's degrees in Criminal Justice and Liberal Arts. I plan to go back to school for a Master's degree in Social Work in the near future. In my free time I like to spend time with my family, boyfriend, friends, and two corgis (Hoover and Monty); I also do a lot of volunteer work in my spare time. Most recently, I have volunteered with the Minneapolis Bait Car Program, Minneapolis Police Activities League (PAL) which does work with at-risk youth, and CornerHouse inter-agency child abuse evaluation center. I hope to use my knowledge of the criminal justice system to work towards making it a more effective system while also helping those under the supervision of it.