To promote democratic values such as pluralism, equality and justice; challenge bigotry and intolerance; and organize communities to speak out in support of democratic principles and institutions.
To challenge hate groups and other extremists who use violence and intimidation as tools for political activism.
The Network organizes to expand the base of support for human rights values across the state and promotes policies that recognize, respect, and fulfill every Montanan's human rights. This includes looking at the commonalities and intersections of our communities and the issues that affect our lives. There is overlap between our program areas because the reality is that these issues and the communities affected intersect and overlap. We know that we are stronger as a progressive movement when we understand that our lives and our identities don't exist in isolation of each other. We know that our members aren't just one thing at a time. Instead, all of us bring multiple identities and interests with us as we participate in our communities and in the democratic process. All of the Network's program areas are connected and aim to recognize the intersections and overlap of all of our experiences and communities.
The Network has over 1400 members across the state and seven local affiliate groups. Our members are Montanans who share our core values, contribute membership dues, volunteer on activities, and take part in the democratic process from contacting elected officials, testifying at public hearings, showing up at rallies, to writing letters to their local papers. The Network also has a larger group of almost 5,000 supporters who take action in their communities, attend events, and support our work. We communicate with our members and supporters in a variety of ways including a quarterly newsletter, frequent email updates, and interaction using social media like Twitter and Facebook.
In response to white supremacist organizing in Montana in the late 1980s, local groups formed to counter hate activity in their communities. In June of 1990, activists from these groups came together to discuss effective strategies for statewide activity countering bigotry. The result was a commitment to form the Montana Human Rights Network. Over the years, as hate groups have appealed to the "hot-button" social issues of the mainstream, the Network has expanded its program to counter the efforts of the militias, freemen and other "patriots," anti-Indian groups, anti-environmental activists, and the religious right in Montana.
Founders Ken Toole and Christine Kaufmann