2019 Outstanding Advocate Award: Cathy Cantor
Cathy is the kind of leader that encourages others to participate as well as step up to become leaders as well. She listens to everyone’s opinions and considers each and every person as having something to add to the discussion. She respects the input of participants and makes everyone in the room feel valued, heard, and recognized.
Cathy’s advocacy work is not limited to any one theme. She has worked on voter registration, organizing our section to take turns registering voters at the local community college over several weeks. Cathy serves on the State Anti- Human Trafficking Task Force as well as the Board of Sanctum House, a new shelter for women who have come out of human trafficking. Cathy has served for the past six years as Co-SPA for Michigan. In this capacity, Cathy is an integral part of many coalitions that work to improve the lives of women, children, and families – the mission of NCJW – by advocating for equal pay, gun violence prevention, elimination of human trafficking, protecting women’s health, supporting a fair and independent judiciary, and defending voters’ rights.
For the November election in 2018, Cathy was integrally involved in getting signatures for Proposal 2 in Michigan, as well as in its passage. Prop 2 is an anti-gerrymandering initiative which was part of a grassroots effort. Michigan is one of the states most known for its gerrymandered districts. Cathy’s reputation in the community strengthened due to her role in this endeavor. Cathy was instrumental in creating an evening program educating the community about Proposal 2. This program proved to be exceptional with several new members joining at the end of the evening. Cathy was a strong proponent whose passion was contagious.
Advocacy, Community Service, Education, and Community Organizing are the prerequisites to receive the Outstanding Advocate Award. Cathy meets all of these. Her intellect, her passion, and her sense of justice motivate her to do the work that she does as well as serves as an inspiration to our Section as well as the community organizations with whom we have coalitions.
Proud graduates of the University of Michigan, Cathy and her husband David have three married children and five grandchildren.