Miriam speaking at TEDx DePaul University in April 2012. Her talk was called “Transforming Empathy.”
Miriam Zoila Pérez is a North Carolina native whose upbringing in a Cuban immigrant household was pretty far from Southern, although she does enjoy BBQ and the occasional Carolina basketball game. She graduated from Swarthmore College with High Honors and a BA in Anthropology in 2006 and has lived in various East Coast cities ever since. She is a writer and activist focused on race, health and gender.
Pérez is the gender columnist for Colorlines, and is the founder of Radical Doula, a blog that covers the intersections of birth activism and social justice from a doula’s perspective. You might also know her from her work at Feministing.com, where she was an Editor for four years, during which the site was awarded the Sidney J Hillman Prize for Blog Journalism. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Alternet, The American Prospect, MORE Magazine and RH Reality Check. Pérez’s work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including Click, Yes Means Yes and Persistence. She was chosen as a 2010 Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voice in Non-Fiction. She is the author of the self-published Radical Doula Guide: A Political Primer for Full-Spectrum Pregnancy and Childbirth Support, which has sold over 1300 copies.
Pérez has been working in the reproductive justice movement for over seven years, both online and off, including more than six years working with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. She is the former Communications Director at Forward Together, and worked for over four years as a consultant for social justice non-profits, focusing on digital communications.
She is a frequent speaker nationwide and has spoken at over 60 colleges and universities on topics related to reproductive justice and feminism. Pérez is a former member of the Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective Management Circle, and is currently serving as the Board Chair of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
She has received various awards and recognitions for her work, including a 2009 Young Woman of Achievement Award from the Women’s Information Network and a 2010 Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women’s Health from the National Women’s Health Network. She was included in a MORE Magazine feature about new feminists to pay attention to, Curve Magazine named her Best Activist/Newcomer in 2010 and Latina Magazine profiled her as part of their 15th anniversary “Future 15.”
Pérez lives in Washington, DC.