Liana Davis & Yajaira Rivera Fall 2020 Birth Justice Award Winners



We are Yoni Luminosa! 

Our names are Liana Davis (she/her) and Yajaira Rivera (she/her), hearing person and Deaf person respectively. 


Yajaira: My fiance and I here in San Antonio TX and our parents and siblings live in Puerto Rico. I am deaf and when we moved 5 years ago to San Antonio, I needed assistance with finding a job and this is how I met Liana. I started off as a client and she instead hired me to work alongside her and work in the deaf community. Since then we have become great friends and business partners.


Liana: I was born and raised in San Antonio. My family is spread across Puerto Rico and Mexico. My immediate family is here in San Antonio. I graduated with two degrees in American Sign Language and Deaf Support Specialist and have been working in Job Placement for 8 years. I met Yajaira as a client and realized she had so much more to offer than the types of jobs she was seeking and what employers were actually offering her. Eventually, the time came that we as a company needed to expand and I offered Yajaira an opportunity to work with me. Since, she has been a dedicated co-worker, close friend, a sister from another mister, and now my business partner. 


We both work in Job Placement, training deaf people in their job search, assisting them with finding employment, and then supporting and providing communication strategies for employers and deaf employees to maintain deaf-friendly and accessible workplaces. Unfortunately, the job placement agency did not survive the pandemic and with this transition, we began looking at how we could keep working together and service the deaf community in other ways. We both had a passion for motherhood, fertility, and business. So we thought… YES, we can have it all. From this Yoni Luminosa was created.

Our community is Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing. Yajaira became deaf at the age of 3 and this has been her world since and depends on American Sign Language to gain access to information and communication with the world around her. Liana also works as an American Sign Language interpreter and provides communication access for deaf people in employment, educational, performance, medical, and religious settings. So naturally, we support each other and our family extends beyond this Deaf/Hearing Duo.


Yajaira: We wanted this scholarship to help us lessen the financial burden and stress we are facing during this pandemic. My fiance is currently shouldering the extra weight and I see this as a way to get back into the workforce and still have purpose. 


Liana: This scholarship means so much to me. I have been cyberstalking Bebo Mia for what seems like 10 years but my math could be wrong haha! I had this long-term dream to be a doula when I was 24 and when I looked at other programs they didn’t really move me or push me to say “YASSSS”. A few years ago on a regular routine cyberstalk day, I saw scholarships were available. I held off not feeling like it was the right time. In 2019, I finally said “if not now, then when?” so I looked again on the website, reached out on FB, and realized I had missed the deadline. 2020 came, I kept checking on the website doing my casual cyberstalks, and again I had missed the deadline for spring. The pandemic hit and when everything came to a halt, the clouds finally parted and Bebo Mia scholarships were open!! This scholarship is a lifeline for us to be able to continue what we are doing for our community and transition in a time when everything is so uncertain. 

We want to train with Bebo Mia because our passions are in alignment. Your mission is our mission and vise versa. Inclusivity and Equity are the heartbeat of what inspires us to live another day and fight, work, and press on for change. We believe that the only way through this is together! 


Yajaira: I want to be a birth worker because I know that there are other deaf women like me out there that don’t have access to this information and are struggling to achieve health, fertility, and motherhood. I have always wanted to be a mother and while my first intent is to apply this information to my own aspirations for motherhood, information this powerful cannot just stop with me.

As a deaf person, when I think about what that journey has been like and will be like for me it’s not an easy one to navigate alone. As a deaf person I rely on the use of Interpreters, sometimes I get not so great ones and 99% of the time I don’t have a choice on who will be sent to my appointments nor does anyone ask my preference in either male or female interpreters, or what would make me comfortable. All too common, doctors may forget to schedule an interpreter, or even worse when our law states it is their responsibility to provide me language access/accommodations, they may refuse or tell me to bring my own.

There is a lack of awareness from hearing staff in any field, but especially the hospital systems, about deaf people and communication, and there is a lack of information and empowerment among the deaf community as well. The change starts with me. I want to find ways in which we can make this experience better for deaf people. 


Liana: Since I was little I wanted to be a mom, a teacher, a “baby deliverer”. I wanted to be around kids and the pregnant body always fascinated me. As I got older I realized that it would not be easy to get there financially unless I had impeccable grades and a scholarship. I was raised by a single mom who worked herself to the bone to provide for my brother and me. My struggle was always math and my interests began to change toward law and policy change in education. As I got into college I started with my studies in political science and immediately felt this was not my calling. The long-forgotten thought about having children and being a mom came back to call me and I was confronted with a life choice and a question of how I could run a city or a country and still be available to make it to soccer practice, dance recitals, and parent-teacher meetings. My desire to be a very active participant in my future child’s life was a stronger motivation for me to seek another career path. If I couldn’t change the world through law then I would seek a career that would allow me to create the world I wanted for myself and my family.

I began to take ASL classes more seriously and immersed myself in the deaf world. It was here that education and teaching came back into the cards. My goals ever since have been to train and educate the deaf community to empower them. So then came the dream to open a deaf Montessori school. There are other hurdles I must jump through before getting here but along the way thus far my work has put me in places of education and training with deaf adults.

When I was 24 I was able to see and partake in my friend’s delivery experience with her 5th baby at home. I was amazed and mind-blown at all the beauty that came that day as well as the decision to make doulaing what I do with a deaf-centric focus. And now 10 years later, the stars have aligned, and I am taking the first steps toward my doula education and becoming a birth worker. My calling for education and “baby delivering” have been in the background and as a birth worker. I can educate and be a support for birthers during the scariest and most beautiful life-changing moments. 


After we complete the Bebo Mia MSP training, our business plans include the full spectrum of care from Fertility Awareness and education, Arvigo Massage, Vaginal Steaming, Maternal Support during labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and postpartum care. 

90% of deaf babies are born to hearing parents. In addition to these services, we have an inherent social mission to serve the hearing and deaf community through

  • language accessibility in American Sign Language and Spanish,
  • employment opportunities for other aspiring deaf and ASL doulas and, 
  • early language intervention for parents of deaf children. 


-Yoni Luminosa




Your future is created by what you do today — that's why we created a completely FREE mindset mini-course to help doulas and birth workers find bliss in their business!

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