Miriam Zoila Pérez
As founder of Radical Doula, Miriam Zoila Pérez created a network for birthing coaches to support people of all genders, races, and economic backgrounds through pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, and abortion. Pérez earned a BA in anthropology from Swarthmore in 2006 and began blogging for Feministing that year; she served as an editor from 2008 to 2012, during which the blog received the Sidney J Hillman Prize for Blog Journalism. In 2007 they founded Radical Doula, a blog and networking platform offering emotional assistance with a wider range of pregnancy outcomes than those covered by traditional doulas. Radical Doula highlights doulas who specialize in sensitivity and awareness for parents who identify across the gender spectrum, as well as those of different sexual orientations and cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Pérez continued their advocacy with a 2012 TEDx Talk called “Transforming Empathy” and the publication of The Radical Doula Guide. They have spoken at over 70 universities on topics such as reproductive justice, feminism, and Latinx activism; their 2016 TED Talk, “How racism harms pregnant women—and what can help,” has been viewed over a million times. Pérez’s writing appears in several anthologies, including Roxanne Gay’s New York Times bestseller Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture. In 2009 they received a Young Woman of Achievement Award from the Women’s Information Network, and the next year they won a Barbara Seaman Award from the National Women’s Health Network. They spent six years on the board of directors for the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, including three years as board chair. They were also the gender columnist for Colorlines, a blog on racial issues, from 2014 to 2018.