We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca Comer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bianca, how do you think about risk?
I am naturally an overthinker [laughs], so for me, risk-taking is something that I generally approach with caution. You can say that I lean towards taking “calculated” risks more than anything. GENERALLY. But I’ve learned that in order to get the most fulfillment out of life (whatever fulfillment looks like to you) you have to take chances. These chances don’t always have to be grand gestures either – like moving away from your hometown to Iceland or quitting your 9 to 5 to be a bellydancer. Taking risks simply means doing what you want to do even if it takes a little more time, attention, or action than what you’re used to. Taking risks means to have faith. Faith that what you’re doing will in some way return to you as a reward- be it financial, emotional, spiritual, etc. I used to stay in the “safe zone” when it came to taking risks, but in the space I’m in now I simply say “yes” more often. “Yes” to ideas, opportunities, and people. Less overthinking, more faith. Doing so has led me to this interview even. Had I not followed my curiosities in and passion for maternal health and birth, there would be no Our Mothers and Us, Inc. and therefore would be no need for this Shoutout Arizona interview.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am in the beginning stages of my career, really. Even so, when I think about the experiences I have had (academically, professionally, personally) that have led me to this point I feel optimistic. I have devoted my work to servicing underserved populations and women and families. Through research, community projects, and initiatives like Our Mothers and Us, I have done just that. What sets me apart from others is my eagerness and willingness to work for this population, and that I am adamant about it. I have tried on multiple “hats” along the way (researcher, community health worker, program evaluator, data analyst) and in multiple settings (NGO, nonprofit, birth center, community organization, clinic). From this I’ve learned that a.) I am truly a millennial [laughs], and b.) we as people are multidimensional, our interests can be infinite. I accept these things as a part of my journey and believe that all things will work together for the good.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Pre-COVID we would… Eat: At my Grandparent’s house (not a restaurant haha), Dog Haus, Scoopwell’s, Uncle Biff’s California Cookies. Hangout: R&B Nights at Club Luxx, Poetic Soul in Downtown Phoenix, Brunch-ish at Varsity Tavern, Lux Central, Hanny’s, Cobra Arcade Bar.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My very good friend Oghalé for always providing support and encouragement; mentors, previous professors/faculty for their guidance and for creating the space for me to explore my passions; community members, birth workers, and leaders/supporters; the OMUS team; and God.

Website: ourmothersandus.org
Instagram: @ourmothersandus
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/biancanicolecomer/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bianca.comer.7

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.