Gathering our Strength

(Guest blog by Jenn Meeropol, RFC Associate Director)

It’s been a very busy few weeks at the RFC. My father has been on the road (to Portland, OR for a successful RFC party and then to Paris for international anti-death penalty work). Meanwhile, the postmark deadline for fall applications is today (October 13th) so I’ve been busy fielding inquiries from potential new and current beneficiary families.

Out of the Lane, part 2: What are the Rules of the Road?

In my first blog as executive director of the RFC I reflected on Michelle Alexander’s commitment to “getting out of [her] lane” and broadening her focus from mass incarceration to the systems (racism, classism, militarization, etc.) that support and sustain the growth of the prison industrial complex.

Making it All Worthwhile

We’re in the midst of making our fall grants. During my six-plus years as granting coordinator this was both a favorite and difficult time of the year. I enjoyed hearing from the families we support, especially since many of them include updates about both their situations and their children with their requests for funding. But it’s also difficult to read the stories of hardship and on going trauma to children and families.

Supporting the Children of Targeted Activists, Fall 2013

My most recent blogs have focused on possible new directions for the RFC. I also shared a lovely letter from a beneficiary family expressing their appreciation for aid for their young daughter. And they explained why, now that the crisis had passed for them, they chose to not request support this fall in the hopes that it would leave funds available for other families in more immediate need of assistance.

RFC Spring Grants Support Grand Jury Resister, Torture Survivors and Occupy Activists

We’re in the midst of our spring granting cycle this month at the RFC. We’ve made our first of two sets of awards. Already, three families and one targeted activist youth have joined our community as new grant recipients. These new grantees include:

Ferguson & Militarized Police

In July 2012, my father wrote a blog about the post-9/11 militarization of the police and the seemingly endless instances of them turning their arsenal on peaceful protestors. He concluded that this police assault, “amounts to the United States government’s declaration of war on a portion of its population” and went on to note the ways that racism and classism influence the individuals and communities most likely to suffer these attacks.

New Grants for Children of Environmental, Prisoners' Rights, and Human Rights Activists

We just completed awarding our last grants of 2014 at the RFC. In all, seven new grantees joined the RFC community this fall (five families and two targeted activist youth). I described some of these families in an earlier post here). The additional new grantees include:

New Grants for Children of Environmental, Labor and Human Rights Activists

We just completed awarding our first grants of 2015 at the RFC. In all, seven new grantees joined the RFC community this spring (five families, one targeted activist youth and one group). The new grantees include:

New Grants for Children of Human & Civil Rights Activists

In the fall of 2015 four new families received their first RFC grants. Including the seven new recipients in the spring, almost a dozen families and targeted activist youth joined the RFC community last year. With the $370,000 we awarded in 2015, our total granted since our founding has reached almost $6 million!

The new beneficiaries include:

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On the 63rd Anniversary of My Grandparents' Executions

Today is the anniversary of my grandparents’ executions. As it approached, I prepared the statement below reflecting on the date’s significance. Many members of the Rosenberg Fund for Children network have firsthand memories of the grief and fear the executions elicited among left-wing progressives at the time – a community that felt very much under attack in that moment in history. Sixty three years later I still hear from people who were shaken to their core, but whose response was to resist the repression they were experiencing.

Prison abolition, racial justice and anti-female genital mutilation activists join the RFC community

We’re in the midst of awarding our first grants of 2017 at the RFC. To date, four new grantees have joined the RFC community this spring and additional new applications are pending. So far, the new grantees include:

Prisoners' Rights, Racial and Environmental Justice Activists Join the RFC Community

We just finished awarding over $190,000 in grants for the first half of 2017. In addition to the four new beneficiaries discussed in my previous blog , three more new families have joined the RFC community this spring. These new grantees include:

June 19, 2017: Honoring Ethel and Julius and Anne and Abel

On this 64th anniversary of the execution of my grandparents, I’m struck by a related milestone that passed without fanfare a few months ago: the 60th anniversary of my dad and uncle’s adoption by Anne and Abel Meeropol. Taken together, these events capture the spirit of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. My father founded the RFC to honor his birth parents’ resistance and to repay the community which allowed him and his older brother to flourish despite the devastation visited on their family.