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Crystal Hayes


Dr. Crystal Hayes is a postdoctoral scholar at the UNC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education, Science and Practice. She holds a PhD from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from Smith College. Born and raised in New York City by parents who were members of the Black Panther Party, Dr. Hayes is a doula and reproductive justice scholar focused on using anti-oppressive, decolonial methodological frameworks and research paradigms to address perinatal health equity issues at the intersections of motherhood, mass incarceration, race, and public health. Her current research focuses on creating comprehensive prison-based pregnancy, parenting, and postpartum support programs in partnership with local grassroots community groups to provide trained doulas, childbirth education, child development training, and chest feeding supports to birthing people who are incarcerated. She is committed to prison reform policies that address the disproportionate impact that mass incarceration has on Black women and girls, and gender nonbinary and trans people, and other communities of color.