Desert Star Institute for Family Planning is a Black Woman founded and led organization that is intentional with its partnerships and programming with an aim to lift up and partner with organizations led by people of color, organizations whose work centers the lived experiences of people of color, and organizations that show a commitment to having people of color as planners and decision-makers in their organization.


Founder and President/CEOinfo@desertstarfp.org480-448-6753

Dr. DeShawn Taylor (she/her) is a Board-Certified Gynecologist, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Family Planning Specialist deeply committed to preserving and advancing access to family planning for people who experience pregnancy regardless of circumstance or zip code. She provides clinical women’s health care, abortion services, and sexual health services for women and men and is the main trainer for the Next Generation of Abortion Providers Program.

Dr. Taylor was conferred the Doctor of Medicine degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. After completing post graduate training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Martin Luther King Jr./Charles Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, she completed the Fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Southern California where she was also conferred a Master of Science Degree in Clinical and Biomedical Investigations. Dr. Taylor lends her expertise to various national, state, and local boards, committees, and programs.

Kierra Otis

Program Managerdoula@desertstarfp.org480-448-6753

Kierra Otis (they/she) is a full-spectrum doula, doctoral student, older sibling, and other-mother from the Mojave Desert, the ancestral homelands of the Paiute (Las Vegas, NV). They are the Co-Founder of the Rooted Doula Collective and spearheaded the collaboration with Desert Star Institute to form the Doula Access Program. Kierra has been calling herself a doula for the past three years, even though her whole life has been preparing her for care work and advocacy. Kierra completed their undergraduate degree in political science and women and gender studies at the University of Missouri and continues to participate in knowledge creation and community advocacy as a doctoral student in gender studies at Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation researching reproductive health disparities and liberation for Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and Migrant communities. 


The board of directors provides the vision, mission and goals of the organization and supervises the activities of the organization.

Evan Masingill

Evan Masingill is a 15 year veteran of the pharmaceutical and medical industry who has driven business development of several companies.  During his tenure, he has both built organizations from the ground up and executed on the objectives required to realize long-term vision.  Evan was one of the first board members to proudly join Desert Star Family Planning Institute in 2017.

Johana Vallejo-Elias

Dr. Johana Vallejo-Elias, PhD is a professor of human physiology at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and an advocate for education reform in reproductive health care and family planning.

Michelle Reed

Michelle Reed is a consultant with expertise in financial analysis and healthcare technology, and a proud defender of feminist and reproductive health causes.

Rafael Victorio

Rafael Victorio Jr, MS is a medical student at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and the current president of Medical Students for Choice – AZCOM. He is an advocate for reproductive justice, an artist, and a graduate of the University of California, Riverside.

Shannon S. Hayes

Shannon S. Hayes, an Arizona native, is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and CEO/Founder of Hayes Resource Group, LLC and MoneyUP Financial Coaching Clinic, which provides individuals and organizations with money mindset management skills and resources.

Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith brings experience in outreach, fundraising and organizing to the Board. After 12 years as an award winning sales professional in the IT field, she left the corporate world to work in the community, organizing fundraisers for homeless veterans, animal shelters and children in foster care. When she learned of the constant attack on abortion access in Arizona, she began to focus on reproductive justice.