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Shemika Whiteside

Founder/Executive Director, Zora’s Cradle

Shemika Whiteside, MSSW, CSW is the Founder/Executive Director of Zora’s Cradle in Louisville, KY. Mrs. Whiteside received a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a minor in Black Studies from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Zora’s Cradle is a perinatal nonprofit agency that addresses the gaps in maternity health services that discriminate against individuals from lower socio-economic demographics in Kentucky and result in higher maternal and child mortality rates, by providing access to financial and health support pre- and post-pregnancy. The agency provides a plethora of services such as housing assistance, parenting classes, behavioral therapy, case management, and independent living skills to families. The agency operates a Milk Depot that promotes community health by expanding the safe use of human milk for all babies, especially premature and ill infants.

Mrs. Whiteside has worked in various mental health settings maintaining her unwavering focus on mothers and small children. As a perinatal psychotherapist, Mrs. Whiteside works with mothers and/or families who are struggling with perinatal mental illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Mrs. Whiteside is currently a social work doctoral student at The University of Louisville researching the impact of perinatal mood disorders, as evidence indicates that depression and other mood disorders in parents can have a harmful impact on children, including cognitive difficulties, insecure attachment, and behavioral problems.