RFC News

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.

Our Fall 2018 edition of our Carry it Forward newsletter, is available here. We report on how we're helping immigrant families, a Rosenberg remembrance in Cuba, continuing partnerships with activist artists, and more.

Our government's policies have torn sobbing children from their parents at our borders, and also in other places, like prison walls. The headlines about the former reminded one former RFC beneficiary of her personal experience with the latter. She shared her painful memories, and her outrage, in the guest blog here.

Last week the award-winning Angels in America on Broadway revival closed, more than a quarter century after it first took the theater world by storm. Amazingly, Jenn Meeropol had never seen Tony Kushner's eight hour opus in which her grandmother Ethel Rosenberg, and Ethel's nemesis Roy Cohn, are important characters. Never, that is, until she attended a performance in New York City last month. Jenn was deeply moved, including in a way she hadn't anticipated. Read about her experience on the RFC blog here.

"Holding children hostage in terrifying and harmful situations in order to punish parents or to try to win political battles is not new. It’s a shameful part of our country’s history. But resisting these injustices is also part of our heritage." Jenn Meeropol - the granddaughter of Ethel & Julius Rosenberg and the executive director of this organization that helps the children of activists today, including immigrants' rights organizers, who've been targeted because of their progressive activities - blogs here about her very personal relationship to the separation of children and parents in politically charged circumstances.

On today’s anniversary of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg's executions, their granddaughter is thinking about two-year-old Angel and his big brother Bryan, children of undocumented immigrants who don’t understand why they can’t live with both parents anymore...and what the Rosenberg Fund for Children is doing to help them. Learn their story here.

There is a small but distinct set of people in the U.S., whose stories are not widely known: the family members of our country's longest held political prisoners.

One of them (who's received RFC grants for many years) has written a guest blog for us. She's a remarkable teenager whose grandfather's decades-long incarceration has spanned her whole life (and beyond). We think you'll be moved by her powerful story here.

Our Spring 2018 newsletter reports on a beautiful, woke, weekend full of love with several dozen of our beneficiaries; Executive Director Jenn Meeropol's thoughts on the new tax reform bill's implications; a preview of upcoming events around the country with activist artists; the announcement of a Tony-nominated actress who's joined the Advisory Board; and the stories of the young activists and children of activists who received grants in our most recent cycle. Read the newsletter here.