Melissa Cedillo has been selected for a one-year fellowship with the National Catholic Reporter’s new Latino Catholics Project, which involves regular coverage of Hispanic and Latinx Catholics as well as research, analysis and engagement outreach.
Cedillo, a recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School, brings a background in Latino voter engagement, immigration advocacy, domestic violence policy and prison divestment work as well as writing and communications.
"We are excited that Melissa will be joining NCR as we embark on a project that is crucial to our publication and to our church," said executive editor Heidi Schlumpf.
Cedillo has worked for Faith in Public Life in Washington, D.C. as a campaigns associate defending the integrity of the 2020 Census and as a voter and digital communications director focusing on faith-based Latinx voting initiatives. She also served as a communications officer for Hope Border Institute in El Paso, Texas.
She was born and raised in California's Coachella Valley and received her undergraduate degree in theological studies from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
The Latino Catholics Project is part of NCR's intentional, concerted effort to increase its coverage of and engagement with Latino voices in the church. The one-year project will culminate with recommendations for a more permanent strategy and staffing to best serve this growing demographic in the church.
The project is funded with assistance from the estate of Jeanne Marie and Rhoady Lee, as well as from a fund established by NCR emeritus board member Tom Bertelsen to support "the next generation of independent Catholic journalism."