Our Spring 2019 Newsletter is out, and in it you'll find moving, touching letters from our supporters, info on how to follow news about Strange Fruit and the Rosenbergs, details on upcoming RFC events in MA, DC, and NYC, and a synopsis of the attacks experienced by every activist family receiving our aid currently, as well as summary of how those grants are helping.
Attention! We deeply regret to announce that the event with Robert Meeropol planned for New Bedford, MA on March 3, has been postponed due to illness. We hope to announce a rescheduled date, soon.
Due to an incoming winter storm, the RFC staff will be working remotely on Feb 12, available by email only, not phone.
January 31, 2019: News has just broken that Morton Sobell, co-defendant of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, passed away December 26, 2018, at the age of 101. Following his conviction, Mort was sentenced to 30 years in prison and served 17 before being released in 1969. For decades, Mort maintained his innocence. Then in 2008, in connection with the release of key, previously-secret documents from the case, he abruptly reversed course and admitted he had conspired with Julius to supply the Soviets with non-atomic military and industrial information. Read our statement on Morton Sobell's passing, here.
We went way over our granting budget when we made this fall's awards. Why? Because of the huge spike in new applications from activist families like this one, asking us to help their kids who are living in fear and experiencing profound trauma: “My daughter studied the KKK at school... she is not only worried about the government repression [for my organizing] but about the possibility of racist physical attacks against us as well." Learn more about what we're doing to help and how you can stand with the children of resistance on the RFC blog here.
The RFC office will be closed from midday Nov 21st until Monday morning, Nov 26th. Whether or however you observe this week's U.S. holiday, we wish all our RFC family a warm, peaceful, safe, and community-filled few days. May the voices at our gatherings rise in harmony, and in service of a better world.
The RFC office will be closed for some or all of Friday, Nov 16, due to inclement weather. Please email us if you need to reach us. Find our email addresses here.
It’s been an ugly, painful week marked by multiple, high profile hate crimes around the country. Unfortunately, this is not an aberration but a continuation of assaults that have intensified since Trump’s election – the attacks on immigrants, activists, communities of color, women, journalists, faith groups, and folks who identify as LGBTQ. Last Sunday several hundred people led by our friends The Nields and kids' vocal groups Local Chorus and Focus Chorus, filled Congregation B'nai Israel of Northampton, MA with Songs of Hope and Resistance, a benefit concert for the RFC. It comforted and inspired those who attended. May this brief video of excerpts from the concert do the same, and give energy for the important week ahead.
Earlier this week RFC executive director Jenn Meeropol joined nonprofit foundation leaders, editorial boards, and others, in voicing her adamant opposition to proposed changes to regulations that would severely restrict free speech, demonstrations, and special events on the National Mall and near the White House in Washington, DC. Read Jenn's statement here.
Two topics consistently engage our supporters more than any others: the legal case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and the song “Strange Fruit.” It’s been 65 years since the Rosenbergs were executed, and 80 years since the anti-lynching anthem was written by Abel Meeropol (who along with his wife Anne, adopted RFC founder Robert Meeropol and his brother after their parents were killed). But all these decades later, both the case and the song pop up virtually every day in a fascinating array of contexts including hard news and popular culture. We’ve begun to spotlight these references in a “Strange Fruit” and Rosenberg “Mention of the Day.” Check out our blog to learn where to find and follow them.