Miriam Zoila Pérez’s interest in birth started sometime in middle school, during various hour-long sessions pouring over health books at friend’s houses. They became a doula in 2004, after watching the documentary Born in the USA and deciding that birth activism was their passion. They have worked as a reproductive justice organizer with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, a case manager for pregnant Latinas and most recently a freelance writer and speaker.
In 2007, Pérez worked with Lauren Mitchell and Mary Mahoney to found the Doula Project, a NYC based organization that provides doula care to folks across the spectrum of pregnancy. Mary and Lauren took that project to amazing places after Pérez left in 2008 to move to Washington DC. They came back to NYC for two years and had the pleasure of volunteering with the program as an abortion and miscarriage doula.
Pérez founded Radical Doula in 2007 as a way to connect the dots between issues that are often seen as contradictory: reproductive rights, birth activism, doula work, LGBT issues, immigrant rights, racial justice. They wanted to connect with other like-minded doulas with radical and intersectional politics, working across movements and oppressions.
Pérez is a former member of the Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective Management Circle, and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, where they served as Board Chair from 2012-2015.
Pérez has received various awards and recognitions for their 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. They were included in a MORE Magazine feature about new feminists to pay attention to, and Curve Magazine named them Best Activist/Newcomer in 2010.
More info about Pérez’s work is here.
If you’re interesting in having Pérez speak at your school or organization, please email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.