Gerardo Montemayor was a longtime activist in Chicago, working and volunteering for many different groups in his 36 short years. He passed away last month of pneumonia, and En La Vida asked friends and colleagues to remember him with words.
Since early 1999, he served as the Director of Education and Training for Rape Victim Advocates ( RVA ) . In this role he provided prevention education and professional training to more than 4,500 people each year, 3,600 of whom were between the ages of 13-19, through work in Chicago schools, hospitals, police stations, and community groups. He presented sexual assault prevention curriculum at several national conferences, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Sexual Violence Prevention Conference and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change Conference. Gerardo was instrumental in the development and maintenance of RVA's Web site; which, in the three years since its launch, has received over 1 million 'hits.' He was also a huge part of RVA's volunteer program, and participated in the training of almost 400 medical advocacy volunteers. As a tireless champion of men who have been impacted by sexual violence, he fought for the inclusion of men as allies in the anti-rape movement. Additionally, Gerardo brought awareness to the movement about the struggles of deaf and hard-of-hearing survivors of sexual assault, and about the special challenges faced by people of color.
In 2002, Gerardo was invited by Cultural Bridges to be trained as a trainer in their diversity training program. He was passionate about teaching social-service providers and direct-service volunteers about cultural competence and male privilege.
A memorial will be held for Gerardo Montemayor Sunday, July 27, 2003, from 4-7 p.m., upstairs at Ann Sather's, 929 W. Belmont.