The Message of the Empty Womb: The History of Forced Sterilization of Black Women in the United States

“The history of forced sterilization and the American cultural agreement with this practice robbed women of color of control of their own bodies, destinies, and communities. Negative eugenics as genetic proof of low intelligence, low possibility, and low productivity fed the system of compulsory sterilization even though the science proved faulty and incorrect.”

— Rev. B. De Neice Welch, PhD

Rev. B. De Neice Welch, PhD

Rev. Dr. B. De Neice Welch was born in West Virginia and grew up in New Jersey. She received a BA in business administration from Robert Morris College and a BS in Community Ministry from Geneva College. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2004. She was first ordained as a Presbyterian minister and installed as an Associate Pastor for Outreach for the Shadyside Presbyterian Church in 2005. She accepted a call and was installed as Pastor of Bidwell Presbyterian Church in May, 2007.

She has preached, taught, and sung in churches all around the Western Pennsylvania areas and in various cities around the country. She has served as the President of PIIN (The Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network), a faith-based community organizing system out fo the Gamaliel Network. She also served as the Chair of Ntosake; the women’s leadership training development arm, also of the Gamaliel Network, serving over 500 women in 17 states.

Rev. Welch brings a number of gifts to Bidwell Church included a passion for prayer, praise, mission and evangelism. During her time at Shadyside Church, she coordinated a number of mission trips including outreach to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrinia and to the Presbyterian mission partners in Malawi, Africa. During her time as the Evangelism Ministry Chair of Bidwell Church, she launched a summer lunch and camp program for children in the Manchester neighborhood which is now in its 6th year. Her passions for teaching and studying God’s word led her to create a women’s Bible study group as a partnership between Bidwell and Shadyside churches that focused on the “Women at the Cross”. 

Rev. Welch also serves as the Chaplain for the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Pittsburgh Branch of ASALH

Watch Rev. Welch in Action

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