Miriam Zoila Pérez is a queer Cuban-American writer and activist focused on race, health and gender. She graduated from Swarthmore College with High Honors in Anthropology in 2006 and has lived in various East Coast cities ever since.
Pérez is a freelance writer, 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 New York Times, Colorlines, Splinter (formerly Fusion), The Nation, The American Prospect, MORE Magazine, Rewire (formerly RH Reality Check) and Talking Points Memo. Her TED talk: How Racism is Harming Pregnant Women–and What Can Help, has been viewed over 850,000 times. Pérez’s work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including Click, Yes Means Yes and Persistence and Not That Bad, a New York Times bestselling anthology edited by Roxane Gay. She was a 2010 Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voice in Non-Fiction. Pérez is the author of the self-published Radical Doula Guide: A Political Primer for Full-Spectrum Pregnancy and Childbirth Support, which has sold over 2500 copies.
Pérez is the co-host of Radio Menea, a Latinx music podcast with Verónica Bayetti Flores. Called “the woke Latinx music podcast you should be listening to” by Remezcla and “the soundtrack to a queer mami’s sancocho” by Latina Magazine, Radio Menea is an entertaining bilingual journey through Latinx life and music.
Pérez worked in the reproductive justice movement for a decade, both online and off, including more than six years working with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. She worked for five years as a consultant for social justice non-profits, focusing on digital communications.
Pérez is a frequent speaker nationwide and has spoken at over 70 colleges and universities on topics related to reproductive justice, feminism and Latinx activism. She also gave a talk at TEDx DePaul University in 2012 about what being a doula has taught her about compassion. Pérez is a former member of the Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective Management Circle, and the former Board Chair of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, where she served for 6 years.
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 and is cultivating a new obsession with houseplants.