The women of the Black Women's History Conference mourn the passing of our co-founder, Dr. Shirley B. Cathie
Dr, Shirley B. Cathie
Dr. Shirley B. Cathie co-founded the Black Women’s History Conference in 1983. Under her leadership, the organization sponsored statewide conferences at Douglass College, Montclair State University, Plainfield High School, and Union County College.
Dr.Cathie brought inspiring leadership, courage, and gifts of spirit to the organization. She looked at families as vital in the effort to make our community stronger, and as we searched for conference themes, she always directed us to the Black family.
This gifted leader also served as the founding director of Union County College at Plainfield. At the college, she organized the staff and opened the doors to the community—wider than they have ever been since. The Black Women’s History Conference often held meetings and special programs on the college premises.
As co-minister of the Community Church of God, she and Rev. Burton Cathie inspired and mentored a stunning array of community leaders, including Richard Taylor, former mayor of Plainfield; Gloria Taylor, former Plainfield councilwoman; Adrian Council, publisher of The Positive Community; and Joylette Ransome-Mills, Plainfield councilwoman. At that church, they said, “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.“
Dr.Shirley B. Cathie Drive in Plainfield honors this extraordinary woman. It appropriately includes her middle initial “B.” Shirley strove always to BE.
Thank you, dear Shirley, for sharing your gifts of light and leadership with us and showing us how to BE. Your Sisters in the Black Women’s History Conference.