San Jose social justice nonprofit hires new executive director
Photo courtesy of PACT.

After more than six years of steady leadership, the community and faith-based nonprofit, People Acting in Community Together (PACT) has secured a new executive director.

PACT leaders recently announced that Rev. Ray Montgomery, a longtime social justice advocate and Baptist pastor, has assumed a new role as the organization’s executive director, replacing interim director Ian Greensides. Previously, Montgomery served as senior pastor at the Second Baptist Church of Martinez in the East Bay.

“I’m excited about the role. We come from a rich heritage since our inception back in 1985,” Montgomery told San José Spotlight in an interview. “My goals are to continue to activate the action and model of grassroots organizing and bridge barriers to relationships. Good relationships and working together is the only way we can overcome injustice and inequality. My goal is to galvanize, and call upon all who will engage in relationship building and conversations in the midst of crisis.”

Greensides temporarily took over for former longtime director Akemi Flynn, who had been with the organization for more than 12 years, while the organization looked for a permanent director. Flynn left the nonprofit in May to join the networking nonprofit American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley as its “network weaver,” a role that connects regional leaders across the business, philanthropic, nonprofit and political communities.

Now, PACT is eager to welcome Montgomery, as he fulfills the organization’s mission of “empowering everyday people by creating a more healthy and just society.”

“Rev. Ray has executed his leadership through his ministry, service in the Navy and business background,” according to a statement from the PACT Board of Directors. “Ray organized and empowered faith leaders and marginalized community members to rise up for social justice. We are excited to have Rev. Ray join us as we move forward with our mission.”

The San Jose native also holds a degree in economics from Florida A&M University, has been involved in the Baptist church as a youth leader for more than 20 years and has notable experience as a special education teacher. As the nonprofit’s new leader, Montgomery wants to ensure that PACT is “consistent” in the work that the organization is doing on important issues affecting Silicon Valley, such as immigration, displacement, housing and protecting small businesses.

“I envision us actively working with people of justice from all backgrounds and walks of life coming together who are passionate about equality and building the voices of people who are voiceless — that’s where we really find our truth,” Montgomery said. “We need to speak truth to power as the valley is growing and make sure we are consistent in the work we are doing and that we’re doing it very well.”

Contact Nadia Lopez at [email protected] or follow @n_llopez on Twitter.

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