In Atlanta, police have arrested a suspect in connection with bloody cross-county crime spree that killed a beloved activist and organizer who fought for immigrant and LGBTQ rights in the South.
Prominent Queer Korean, Chicana Leader Killed in Her Atlanta Home
Donte Lamar Wyatt has been charged with murdering Catherine Han Montoya inside her East Atlanta home on Monday. Authorities have not yet identified a motive in the killing, but Wyatt is also charged with stabbing his estranged wife in Waffle House, twenty miles away, earlier that same day. Wyatt also stole Montoya's car, crashed it, and broke into another woman's house, where he was eventually apprehended by police.
Montoya, a self-described "Queer Chicana Korean Feminist (and Broncos fan)," worked as the director of field immigration and capacity-building initiatives at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She also organized against Alabama's anti-immigrant law HB56, co-founded the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network and the South's first chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights says Montoya "leaves a legacy of building bridges of unity and opportunity across multi-ethnic communities." On the YouCaring page dedicated to Montoya, loved ones say she "lovingly challenged us all to be our better selves."
Let's think about how Cathy, the self-described "Queer Chicana Korean Feminist (and Broncos fan)," dedicated herself to working for justice, while remaining so full of life and joy. Let's think about how selflessly she threw herself into the task at hand -- whether in co-founding the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network, helping the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice organize against HB56, empowering the grassroots while working at the ACLU, Leadership Conference for Civil & Human Rights, National Council of La Raza, or co-founding the first National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum chapter in the South— never losing sight of her vision of elevating the voices of the oppressed, and building power of immigrant families and communities across the South.
Funds raised through the YouCaring account will benefit Montoya's family and offset funeral expenses.
Rest in peace.
More here: The Wise Words of Slain Activist Catherine Han Montoya