Hakima Payne founded Uzazi Village, a nonprofit that trains doulas and focuses on reducing birth inequities for Black mothers and infants in Kansas City. BY ANNA SPOERRE| JILL TOYOSHIBA

Editor’s note: During the month of February, in honor of Black History Month and the vibrant Black community in Kansas City, The Star will feature profiles of Black Kansas Citians by telling their stories and highlighting their businesses, causes, and passions. Portraits of Black, breastfeeding Kansas City mothers, seated on chairs, stoops, next to a pond, hang on the walls surrounding Hakima Tafunzi Payne as she works. They are a constant reminder of those she’s been called to serve.