In December 2020, Katherine Katcher was elected to serve on The California Wellness Foundation’s Board of Directors. Katcher is the Justice Policy Lead for the Yurok Tribe, where she works on strategies to end the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. In this role, she supports the Tribe by providing advocacy, legislative analysis, coalition-building and policy research around issues related to ending violence against Indigenous persons in Tribal communities, the ongoing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis, assertion of Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction, and sovereignty issues related to Public Law 280.
Prior to her work for the Yurok Tribal Government, Katcher was the founding executive director of Root & Rebound, which works to restore power and resources to the families and communities most harmed by mass incarceration through legal advocacy, public education, policy reform and litigation–a model rooted in the needs and expertise of people who are directly impacted. Since founding the organization in 2013, she facilitated Root & Rebound’s growth in California and nationally, and worked with Judge Abby Abinanti of the Yurok Tribe to grow programs in tribal communities.
Katcher has 18 years of work in the nonprofit sector, with a broad range of roles and experiences, including teaching adult education, working with survivors of trauma and violence, and advocating in the criminal justice sector. She believes that the most impactful models of change include immediate support to end suffering and oppression today combined with longer term work for systemic and broader change.
Katcher’s dedication to racial justice, social justice, and criminal justice reform is rooted in her Jewish cultural upbringing and the moral teachings of her ancestors—in an understanding that when the Jewish community says, “Never Again,” it applies to all of the suffering in the world caused by state-based discrimination, racism, and oppression.
Katcher received her bachelor of arts degree in anthropology from Columbia University, where she focused her research and studies on communities living in asylum and exile. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She is an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California.