Michelle Pereira-Henriquez has worked in the field of social services for more than 10 years as a therapist, case manager, advocate, mentor, consultant, and licensed clinical social worker. She holds a position as a Therapist/Intern Preceptor/Campus Advocate at the East Los Angeles Women's Center and worked closely with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and stalking for 10 years providing group and individual therapy. She has also served as on Campus Advocate for California State University, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Riverside, and Rio Hondo College.
Pereira started her work with ESD Global Self Defense in 2018 in New York and hasn't looked back since. She recognized the need to provide healing and prevention efforts to the local community which mostly consisted of Latinx and Asian folx who were healing from intergenerational and systemic trauma. Over the next two years, she engaged in a dialogue with others about the realities of BIPOC within advocacy and embarked on a process to further extend decolonial practices from individual and group counseling to community empowerment in self-defense. She has taught ESD to both bilingual and monolingual Spanish-speaking folks.