Press Release - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Mourns the Passing of Catherine Han Montoya
For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 16, 2015
WASHINGTON -- The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights family lost a vibrant champion for social justice this week with the tragic death of Catherine Han Montoya. Cathy, who was killed in her home in Atlanta under circumstances that are still being investigated, was an extraordinarily talented leader and skilled organizer who devoted her life to empowering people, including immigrants, communities of color, and LGBTQ individuals and their families. She leaves a legacy of building bridges of unity and opportunity across multi-ethnic communities.
Our coalition benefited greatly from Cathy’s talents, which were widely recognized across the country. In addition to her work with The Leadership Conference on the national level, Cathy also worked for two Leadership Conference board member organizations: the National Council of La Raza and the American Civil Liberties Union. She was an organizer, trainer, and leader with local, state and regionally based groups. For most of her organizing career, Cathy lived out of a suitcase, conducting the grinding but critical work of organizing for social justice in cities and towns across America, especially in the deep South.
Cathy’s love for her work inspired everything that she did, from the Comité (“know your rights”) trainings and The Leadership Conference Freedom Institutes she founded, to the local and national partnerships she developed. She lived her values by working to empower others, and her basic kindness, humanity, and can-do spirit opened doors and earned her the endearing trust and respect of all who knew her. She also had a zest for life, for her loving wife and family, for fun, and for her beloved Denver Broncos. Simply put, Cathy was a dynamic force for good, and our community – and our nation – are far better because of her.
Our hearts and thoughts are with Cathy’s wife, Meredith Cabell, their families, and with all of those who had the good fortune to know Cathy and to be enriched by her all-too-brief time on this Earth.
Catherine Han Montoya worked for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund as a Senior Field Manager from 2008 to 2012. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. For more information visit www.civilrights.org.