Dr. Clover A. Perez is a Motivational Speaker, Activist, Entrepreneur, Founder and Executive Director of A Beautiful HEART Ministries who shares her story of how she recovered from humiliation and turned her pain into purpose after serving time in federal prison. Upon her release in 2019 she hit the ground running by starting her nonprofit organization, A Beautiful HEART Ministries to incubate every disadvantage women and girls returning home from a period of incarceration to their fullness.
Since her release she has amassed a litany of accomplishments. She was accepted into The Justice- In- Initiative Program at Columbia University, testified in Congress on the Fist Step Act, started Clover Me’She Designs, a clothing line that promotes self love, and host her own talk show on Gynesis Radio.
What inspired the start of “Beautiful Heart Ministries”?
A Beautiful HEART Ministries was birth from the pain of my incarceration. It was a painful yet pivotal time for me. Having witnessed the influx of women and girls incarcerated, especially for non-violent crime. Prior to my incarceration, I wasn’t aware that the United States maintained the highest female incarceration rate in the world. I heard about men going to prison, but not women or even young girls, especially for a non-violent crime. It was during that time that I decided to start A Beautiful HEART Ministries to bring awareness to the mass incarceration of women and girls. To remove the veil of indivisibility that surrounds them as well as the lack of resources that are provided to them during incarcerated and after incarceration.
What has been the biggest challenge of running a ministry like “Beautiful Heart Ministries”?
Budgetary challenges are by far the biggest issues we face at A Beautiful HEART Ministries. It is very difficult for nonprofits to get funding. Across the board, we see the increase in the need for our services, but the lack of funding makes it impossible to meet the demand. To address this challenge, we must sometimes reach out to other organizations that have like-minded goals to pool resources. We believe there is strength in numbers.
How does “Beautiful Heart Ministries” impact its local community?
A Beautiful HEART Ministries plays a fundamental role in the community by creating more equitable programs and services for women and girls impacted by the criminal legal system. We address societal issues around mass incarceration, and the lack of services, and resources for women and girls who have been impacted by the criminal legal system.
You recently started Clover Me’She Designs, can you share the motivation behind this career step?
Clover Me’She Designs is a T-Shirt line brand that promotes self-love with positive affirmation. We are in a time when low-self-esteem, poor mental health and suicide are at an all-time high. While many of these factors are beyond our control, we use our T-Shirt brand as a voice to boost self-esteem and promote self-love. Me’ She is two-fold because it speaks about “Me” which is our individual self and the “She” that represent every woman and young girls who struggles with self -love.
Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years?
Often we see that celebrities are emulated by what they wear, the type of makeup they use…etc. In the next three to five years, I would love for my brand to be worn in media as a statement piece to promotes the importance of self-love and daily positive affirmation.
What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs?
If they believe that their idea will help make the world a better place, then they should work hard, seek out a mentor that can guide them, and don’t give up when things get difficult. Be prepared to pivot, think outside the box when things get tough, and be ready to try something new. Flexibility is the key to thriving.
What does being “Pretty and Black Owned” mean to you?
Pretty and Black Owned highlights black entrepreneurs and black owned business that are doing extraordinary work within the community. To have a media outlet such as Pretty and Black Owned embrace and empower black entrepreneurs and black business is a win, win for black entrepreneurs and black business that are often overlooked, and lags behind that of white entrepreneurs. Black businesses have historically faced mountain of obstacles due to barriers based on race, that have kept Black people from opportunity to achieve economic stability. Black businesses should be supported. Even the smallest companies can make a difference. Pretty and Black Owned have showed us through their media outlet that our contribution does make a difference. Thank you Pretty and Black Owned for leveling the playing field.