she // her // hers
Carmen Perez is something of a Renaissance woman in modern-day activism. She has dedicated over 25 years to advocating for many of today's important civil rights issues, including stopping mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial justice and community policing. As the President of The Gathering for Justice, a nonprofit founded by legendary artist and activist Harry Belafonte, Carmen has crossed the globe promoting peace through civil and human rights, building alternatives to incarceration and violence, and providing commentary and guidance for state and federal policy creation. Her work providing cultural, spiritual and educational events as well as individual support to incarcerated youth inside of juvenile detention centers and prisons in California and New York has led Carmen to prisons in El Salvador and Venezuela. Carmen is the co-founder of Justice League NYC and founder of Justice League CA, two state-based task forces for advancing juvenile and criminal justice reform agenda. She has organized numerous national convenings, including Growing Up Locked Down conferences focused on solutions for juvenile justice reform, and led the March2Justice, a 250 mile march through 5 states from New York City to Washington, DC which drew Congressional attention to key legislative reforms to confront the national crisis in police violence. A respected expert in the field of juvenile and criminal justice and system accountability, Carmen was invited to testify before the President Barack Obamaʼs Task Force on 21st Century Policing, has helped lead several major campaigns including #TakeAKnee and helping free Meek Mill and Pedro Hernandez. Carmenʼs most recent work is her role as the National Co-Chair of the Womenʼs March on Washington, drew over 5 million people across the globe who marched in resistance of hatred and bigotry, affirming women of all identitiesʼ rights as human beings. In 2017, Carmen was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People, Fortune's 50 Top World Leaders and Glamour's Women of the Year. She was named "Latina of the Year,” Forbes 100 Mujeres Más Poderosas en México, and received the AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Award and Women That Soar, Global Activist Award. She has also been recognized for her contributions to criminal justice reform, with the "Gutsy Award" from the National Juvenile Justice Network, a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community, the Santa Cruz County Women's Commission “Trailblazerʼs Award in Criminal Justice”, and the “Zaragoza Award” from the Committee for the Mexican Culture at D.V.I. Prison in Tracy, for her contribution and dedication to bringing hope to incarcerated men.