Carmen Perez is the executive director of The Gathering for Justice and a national co-chair of the Women's March on Washington.
Perez was born in Oxnard, California. She received an associate's degree in general liberal arts from Oxnard College and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California – Santa Cruz.
Perez has dedicated 20 years to advocating for civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing. Since 2010, she has served as the executive director of The Gathering for Justice, a social justice organization established in 2005 by singer, songwriter, actor and activist Harry Belafonte.
After the November 2016 presidential election, Bob Bland and several other women independently launched Facebook events for a march on Washington to be held after the inauguration. After thousands of women signed up, the events were merged and Perez, Linda Sarsour and Tamika Malory were invited to be co-chairs with Bland for the 2017 Women's March. The march advocated for women's rights, immigration reform, LGBTQIA rights, healthcare reform, environmental reform, racial justice and racial equality. An estimated 500,000 people attended the march and millions more participated in sister marches across the country, making it possibly the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.