Emily Varnam (pronouns: She/Her) is a birth worker, reproductive health educator and advocate. In witnessing maternity care from such an intimate stand point she was able to gain a deep understanding and appreciation for questioning of the system, on every level. Her passions lie in story telling and connecting through human experience. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan where she teaches sex education and body literacy out of her home and through various organizations to all ages. She moved to Detroit to return to the skills which we can hold in our hands and constantly seeks to build what is needed in the world, in community. For her, person to person communication and connection is vital to growth and survival. She co founded The Fifth Vital Sign because she believes every person has the right to feel safe in their body, and it starts with accurate information and everyday advocacy.
Kelsey Knight (pronouns: she/her) is a registered nurse specializing in childbirth and a lactation consultant in New York City. In college, she worked as an intrapartum doula, which opened her eyes to the imperatives of informed consent and health as a human right. She co-founded The Fifth Vital Sign, in large part in response to what she witnessed as a labor and delivery nurse. People were not informed about their own bodies, out of no fault of their own, but due to systems' wide gaps in reproductive health education. Advocacy for oneself or on behalf of someone else was commonly missing as well, because we are not often taught advocacy tools, especially in a medical setting. For her, the Fifth Vital Sign closed these gaps and offered such tools. She’s also interested in documenting women’s stories.