Gihan Perera is a nationally recognized progressive strategist, community organizer and leader in the US social justice movement. He is currently the Executive Director of the Florida New Majority, a statewide civil rights and civic engagement organization that is working to connect and empower Florida’s diverse communities.
Perera is co-founder and former Executive Director of the Miami Workers Center, a community organizing institution for low-income Black and Latino communities in South Florida. His decade-plus leadership of the center helped turn it into a national peer anchor to a number of strategic initiatives including the US Social Forum, the Right to the City Alliance, and a number of other efforts to build the theory, practice and capacity of work happening at the intersection of race, gender, the economy and the environment.
Perera sits on the Board of Directors for the Advisory Committee of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity and Social Justice Leadership. He also is the co-founder and Chair of the Right to the City Alliance, a national alliance across eight urban centers of the U.S. dedicated to expanding human rights and democracy. The alliance, which includes over 50 grassroots organizations, legal service providers, academics and policy organizations, looks to forge an urban human rights agenda to win racial justice, participatory democracy and systemic policy and institutional change.
Perera began his activism as a high school student in Los Angeles and then at UC Berkeley. While organizing against the first Gulf War, Perera hosted a radio program on a local station melding his passion for social and racial justice and music. Prior to founding the Workers Center he was a union organizer, leading campaigns in Miami and South and North Carolina for seven years, with Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU). He was also a trainer and west coast recruitment director for the AFL-CIO's Organizing Institute.
Perera is a regular contributor to The Miami Herald and The Huffington Post and is often featured in national publications and events exploring urban poverty, racial disparities, civic engagement and social justice in the U.S.