Miriam Ching Yoon Louie was born Dec. 1,1950 in Vallejo, California, the daughter of first generation Korean and Chinese parents, Minnie Marguerite Yoon and Herbert Haw Ching. Louie graduated from high school with honors and went on to college at the University of California at Berkeley where she was quickly drawn into the radical political movements on campus where she met her future husband, Lanyuen Belvin Louie, one of the strike captains for the Third World Liberation Front strike of 1969-1970. Miriam Ching joined that strike as well and as a result lost her scholarships and left school. She would complete her B.A. in Ethnic Studies in 1990, but in the interim, "learned intensively off campus" (see biographical statement provided by Louie, attached).
For the next two decades, Miriam Louie put her affinity for organizing and her talents for writing to use on behalf of a number of radical causes, especially those aimed at empowering women of color. Involved with the Third World Women's Alliance, based in Berkeley, from its earliest days in the 1970s, Louie continued to work with its successor organization, the Alliance Against Women's Oppression, and when the AAWO dissolved, was one of the co-founders of the Women of Color Resource Center in 1990. She has served as the national campaign media coordinator for the Asian Immigrant Women Advocates and for Fuerza Unida, an organization formed in 1990 to advocate for the primarily Latina workforce at the Levi Strauss factory in San Antonio, Texas. More recently, she has (once again) been active in the anti-war movement since 2001.
Miriam Louie has also published widely, with articles appearing in The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and Amerasia Journal . She is the author of Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Factory (2001); co-author of BRIDGE: A Popular Education for Immigrant and Refugee Community Organizers (2004) and Women's Education in the Global Economy (2000). Louie is also a published poet, her poetry appearing in XicKorea: Poems, Rants, Words Together (with Beth Ching and Arnoldo Garcia, 2002) and in a volume of her own, illustrated by her daughter Nguyen Louie, titled Ranting Tiger, Thundering Bunny (2012). Miriam Ching Yoon Louie is currently (2014) at work on a novel and continues her activism in the Bay area and beyond.
From the guide to the Miriam Ching Yoon Louie Papers MS 719., 1970-2012, (Sophia Smith Collection)