Person

Carmen Perez

Carmen Perez is a co-founder of the Women’s March and the current executive director of The Gathering For Justice (parent organization of Justice League NYC), a far-left “social justice” advocacy organization established by far-left activist and singer Harry Belafonte. Perez is a prominent left-wing commentator on criminal justice reform and civil rights.

Perez has been criticized due to her support of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, her refusal to condemn Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism, and her support of convicted Brinks robbery associate Baba Sekou Odinga.[1]

Biography

Carmen Beatrice Perez was born in 1977 in Oxnard, California in a predominately first-generation Mexican immigrant community.[2]

While in college, she began working on alternatives to incarceration.[3] Eventually, she became a probation officer until she entered the non-profit world, focusing on alternatives to incarceration.

Perez stayed in Santa Cruz for a decade after college. After her work as a probation officer she became commissioner of Latino affairs for Santa Cruz County, California. She was also involved in the local chapter of Barrios Unidos. [4]

Activism

In 2005, singer, far-left political activist, and one-time advocate for Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro[5] Harry Belafonte founded The Gathering For Justice and Perez became a youth representative. In 2008, she moved to New York City and became the organization’s national organizer. In 2010, she became the organization’s executive director. In 2011, she helped the 1199SEIU develop the Purple Gold leadership program.[6] She worked on the program for two years.

In 2013, she founded Justice League NYC which is affiliated with The Gathering For Justice. It was a task force that developed a blueprint for criminal justice reform in New York City and state.[7]

In 2016, she helped co-found the Women’s March after the U.S. presidential election. She admitted in an interview that the march was used an umbrella for numerous left-wing organizations to organize under. “The engagement of organizations were by design. We brought on around 540 organizations, from immigration reform, indigenous rights, reproductive rights. We wanted to create an entry point and organize around issues they care about,” said Perez in an interview with Forbes.[8]

Controversy

Perez’s activism has generated controversy. Gathering For Justice founder Harry Belafonte is a well-known sympathizer with the communist regime in Cuba and the socialist regime ruling Venezuela.[9]

Perez has also drawn fire for her support of former Black Panther member and attempted cop killer Baba Sekou Odinga. According to New York Times columnist Bari Weiss, Perez wrote “Love learning from and sharing space with Baba Sekou Odinga.”[10]

Like her fellow Women’s March leaders Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, Perez has expressed support for Nation of Islam leader and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. “In the fall, she posted a photo in which she holds hands with Mr. Farrakhan, writing, “There are many times when I sit with elders or inspirational individuals where I think, ‘I just wish I could package this and share this moment with others.’” Perez also promoted video of Mr. Farrakhan “dropping knowledge” and another in which he says he is “speaking truth to power.””[11]

References

  1. Weiss, Bari. 2017. “When Progressives Embrace Hate”. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html. ^
  2. Petersen, Lilli, and Chandler West. 2016. “”I Knew In My Heart I Wanted To Help People”: Justice League NYC’s Carmen Perez”. Refinery29.Com. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/02/103340/activists-to-know-black-lives-matter-carmen-perez. ^
  3. Petersen, Lilli, and Chandler West. 2016. “”I Knew In My Heart I Wanted To Help People”: Justice League NYC’s Carmen Perez”. Refinery29.Com. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/02/103340/activists-to-know-black-lives-matter-carmen-perez. ^
  4. Reynolds, Chloe. 2017. “Carmen Perez’S Call To Action”. Cityonahillpress.Com. http://www.cityonahillpress.com/2017/05/04/carmen-perezs-call-to-action/. ^
  5. “Discover The Networks | Harry Belafonte”. 2018. Discover the Networks. Accessed November 12. https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individuals/harry-belafonte/. ^
  6.  “Meet Carmen Perez #Amplifyvoices”. 2016. Repair the World. https://werepair.org/meet-carmen-perez-amplifyvoices/. ^
  7. Petersen, Lilli, and Chandler West. 2016. “”I Knew In My Heart I Wanted To Help People”: Justice League NYC’s Carmen Perez”. Refinery29.Com. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/02/103340/activists-to-know-black-lives-matter-carmen-perez. ^
  8. Wilson, Lauren. 2018. “Women’s March Celebrates 1St Anniversary, Co-Founder Carmen Perez Shares What’s Next”. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenwesleywilson/2018/01/26/womens-march-co-founder-carmen-perez-celebrates-1st-anniversary-of-the-womens-march/#5eb8fc362f20. ^
  9. “Belafonte: Bush ‘Greatest Terrorist In The World’”. 2006. Msnbc.Com. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10767465/ns/world_news-americas/t/belafonte-bush-greatest-terrorist-world/. ^
  10. Weiss, Bari. 2017. “When Progressives Embrace Hate”. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html. ^
  11. Weiss, Bari. 2017. “When Progressives Embrace Hate”. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Gathering For Justice (Non-profit)
    Founder (2013), Executive Director
  2. Justice League NYC (Non-profit)
    Co-Founder
  3. Women’s March, Inc. (National) (Non-profit)
    Board Member
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