We are devastated by the loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Elizabeth Mauldin, who passed away last week after a brave, six-month battle with cancer.

Elizabeth first joined CDM as an advocate in 2012. She then grew to become our fearless policy director, leading advocacy efforts that would impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers. Elizabeth energized and inspired her CDM family everyday for seven years with her brilliance, poise, unflappable commitment and her laugh. She did not leave a vacuum; instead, Elizabeth filled each of us with an unwavering light. That was Elizabeth’s way.

There are no words to convey the powerful legacy that Elizabeth has left in our lives and in the fight for social justice.Over the coming months, we will strive to honor her. We will also hold a celebration around her birthday in September. If you’d like to join us to, please send a message to info@cdmigrante.org and we’ll add you to the list. We will be setting up an in memoriam page on our website with anecdotes and photos to remember her.

As Elizabeth’s friends, we have set up a page where you can donate to an education fund for her daughters Sylvie and Lois. Click here if you would like to contribute.

We are including the beautiful obituary that her family wrote in her memory. Please join Elizabeth’s family and friends in remembering her.



Elizabeth Dale Mauldin was born on September 6, 1980, in Pontotoc, Mississippi.  She spent her childhood in Mississippi until her last two years of high school in Boulder, Colorado. Throughout her childhood she was a dancer.  In high school at Boulder High, she served in the Environmental Club, organized lunch meetings between special-needs students and general students, and joined a group of high school students-Safe Colorado-to meet officials in Washington, D.C., and make their feelings known about gun control after the tragedy at Columbine.

For college, she attended the University of Colorado where she followed a service-oriented curriculum in the Honors College.  Elizabeth graduated as valedictorian of the College of Humanities in three years-Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

During college she also served as the Athenaeum Fellow for the Council on World Affairs.  Following college, she worked for Mother Jones magazine.  Then she worked in Florida doing voter outreach during the 2004 election.  Next she set out for Argentina to learn Spanish, dance tango, and serve as a volunteer in an AIDS orphanage.

Elizabeth decided to become a humanitarian lawyer and was accepted to Boalt Hall at the University of California at Berkeley. During her summers she worked as a law clerk in Mississippi for Southern Poverty Law Center and in New Orleans for Advocates for Environmental Human Rights-helping New Orleanians return home after Hurricane Katrina. She was North Mississippi Coordinator for Get-Out-The-Vote strategies in targeted counties. She graduated in 2009 with the degree of Juris Doctor and was admitted to the California State Bar.

Elizabeth then began her career as an attorney advocating for the rights of low-income immigrants, working at the National Immigration Law Center in Washington and at Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, where she served as Policy Director.

She died bravely on March 27, 2019, after six months’ illness with cancer.  We loved her for many reasons, a couple of them being because she could do anything and it was always great to be anywhere near her.  She leaves her beloved partner Nick Maliska and two children, Sylvia and Lois; her mother and father, Lois Sandusky and Bill Mauldin; her brother, Willie Mauldin, and sister, Grace Marie Percival; her sister-in-law, Abby, and brother-in-law, Travis; many aunts, uncles, nieces, a nephew, cousins and her grandmother.