You Should Know Her: Carmen Perez

Carmen Perez at the Women's MarchCarmen Perez is something of a renaissance woman in modern-day activism. She has dedicated 20 years to advocating for many of today’s important civil rights issues, including mass incarceration, gender equity, violence prevention, racial healing and community policing. As the Executive Director 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. Carmen’s most recent work is her role as the National Co-Chair of the Women’s March on Washington, which drew over 5 million people across the globe who marched in resistance of hatred and bigotry, affirming women of all identities’ rights as human beings. In 2017, Carmen was named one of Fortune’s Top 50 World Leaders and one of TIME’s most influential people.

Name: Carmen Perez
Occupation: Executive Director, The Gathering for Justice
Instagram: @msladyjustice1
Twitter: @msladyjustice1

1. What are three words that best describe you?

That’s a great question… I don’t think I’ve ever thought about that, but I have previously been described as audacious based on my boldness, and a bridge keeper based on my ability to build bridges in communities and by holding space. Another word that describes me as well is meditative, due to my spirit and my presence being calming to others.

2. Tell us why you’re awesome in two sentences or less.

I’m awesome because I have a little bit of ‘sophisticated ratchet’ in me. I can be funny, outgoing and what many describe as “crazy” because I love to sing and dance but I am also welcoming, loving and compassionate. I care deeply about the world and disenfranchised communities. And because of that and my commitment to helping people, I feel that qualifies me for being awesome.

3. What are your three biggest indulgences?

My biggest indulgences are food, my nieces and nephews (they tend to get whatever they want from me when I visit them in CA and I have 16 of them), and skin care/make-up. I love beauty products.

4. What’s currently your favorite…

Restaurant: My mom’s kitchen
Food: My favorite dish is a Mexican soup named Pozole and I also love to eat broiled Louisiana flavored Crawfish/Crablegs!!
Cocktail: Moscow mule
Shopping destination/store: Sephora
Fashion item: Shoes, hands down
Place to hangout: The beach

City: This will be controversial, haha. I’m gonna stick with outside of the U.S. and say either Mexico City (I loved the natural beauty and the community I stayed in) or Vieja Havana, Cuba based on the architect, history, and people.
Travel item: MacBook Air and dental floss
Beauty product: Anastasia eyebrow pencil/gel
Skincare product: Glow Glam Gravity Mud Firming Treatment
Hostess gift: A candle or Champagne
Home décor item: Mirrors. I love like a big wall mirror
Book: You Can Create An Exceptional Life by Louise Hay
Website: Pinterest

Carmen Perez5. What’s the ONE thing you absolutely can’t live without?

FaceTime, haha! It’s the way I stay connected to my family and loved ones.

6. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Arrogant people and a wet sponge in the sink.

7. If you could have dinner with anyone (living or not) who would it be, and WHY? 

Fortunately, I’ve had dinner with many people that I have admired, however, one I often think about is Frida Khalo. She has always fascinated me with her strong sense of self, love for music, politics, and her gender non-conforming ways during a time when feminism and women’s rights were still very new. I would love to talk about her passion for painting and her relationship with Diego Rivera. For me, Frida was a true example of a feminist during my early years of life and I am grateful to contribution to this world.

8. What does it mean to you to have a strong, engaging brand and how has having one helped you? 

My brand and who I am has been something that I’ve been building for close to 20 years through my social justice work. It’s important to me that my brand evolves and that I 
continue to be a positive role model for young people especially to girls and women. My brand allows others to see themselves in leadership positions committed to advancing social justice, civil and human rights – that everyone regardless of where they came from, regardless of their resources can make a difference in the world and I feel that is something that I represent.

Carmen Perez quote9. What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

If I could give my younger self a piece of advice, I would say, “You don’t have to carry the world on your shoulders. Ask for help! Some of the things that you have been taught won’t apply to you and that’s okay. Now, get out there and remember that you are loved, you are powerful and you are necessary.”

10. What is one piece of advice you would give to women today about staying true to themselves and succeeding on their own terms?

One piece of advice I would give women today about staying true to themselves and succeeding on their own terms is to never compromise in any environment. Remember that you are creative beings and you can create your own terms, own business’, own positions. Believe in yourself and find your tribe, a group of women that will inspire, empower and make you the best version of yourself. There are many of us out here standing with you!


1. Mac Matte Lipstick
A creamy rich lipstick formula with a high color payoff in a no-shine matte finish.

2. Moscow Mule
With it’s signature copper mug, this cocktail is a classic.

3. You Can Create an Exceptional Life
With the spiritual principles discussed in this book, you’ll discover that you have the ability to create an exceptional life.

4. Glam Glow Mud Firming Treatment
This peel-off treatment will leave skin feeling firmer and more lifted, delivering toned, sexy contours.

5. Sergio Rossi Godiva Patent Pointed Toe Pumps
The perfect wear-anywhere pointed toe pump with glossy patent leather and a strut-enhancing stiletto heel.

6. MacBook Air
Thin, light and powerful, this laptop is ready for anything.

7. Dior Iconic Overcurl Mascara
Push the limits of curl to the extreme with a volume plumping formula.

8. Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil
A powder-like brow pencil that expertly fills, defines, combs and blends.

9. Dior J’Adore Perfume
This perfume is a unique bouquet of flowers – alluring, unique and mysterious.

10. Archipelago Pineapple Ginger Soy Candle
A hand-poured soy wax blend candle featuring a distinctive blend of pineapple, yuzu, ginger and just a touch of coconut.

11. Sephora Gift Card
Give the gift of beauty – perfect for any occasion!

12. Anastasia Clear Brow Gel
A long wearing, invisible brush-on gel for all hair colors that sets, defines and holds brows in place.


  1. Diane Lunsford says

    Why did you blow it with Bernie!!! Such an incredible setback, at such a critical time.

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