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Guest Blog: A Message of Gratitude

Submitted by Rachel Harb on Tue, 11/22/2022 - 16:00

I'm happy to share the following guest blog from RFC granting coordinator Cleo Rohn, who provides an update on the RFC fall grants and the remarkable community which makes our work possible. Now and always, I am so thankful for all of you. -Jenn Meeropol, Executive Director

We are heading into the winter holidays on a high note: now that the second half of our granting season has concluded, we can proudly say that altogether we have been able to support a total of 86 families this season. With six new families joining 80 families receiving renewal grants, the RFC has officially awarded close to $200,000 this fall for the children of targeted, progressive activists.

Our new beneficiaries include the first elected Black mayor of a town in the rural South who is fighting for his right to lead against an old-boys club of white city officials who are preventing him from taking office, an educational activist who has persisted in her struggle for equitable access to schooling for all children even after being forced out of her teaching job, and a victim of environmental racism and corporate targeting who refuses to sacrifice the health and well-being of her community to allow an enormous landfill to pollute their town. These people are not only inspirational activists but dedicated parents, and we are helping their children play sports, attend therapy, receive child care and improve their education.

In addition, the RFC’s fall grants will provide vital support to a group of 15 refugee children whose activist family members have survived torture in their home countries. Our funds will help young organizers further their commitments to advocacy and social change. They will help the children of incarcerated parents express themselves through music and art. It is a privilege to help facilitate such transformative experiences for all of our beneficiaries.

This has been my first granting season with the RFC. During my years teaching in public schools, I saw countless children whose livelihoods were irrevocably changed by their parents’ circumstances. Many of those children did not have the opportunity to access the physical and emotional outlets that would have provided them stability during turbulent times. The RFC provides a unique and incredible opportunity to make a difference; it allows the children of targeted activists the chance to live full and meaningful childhoods regardless of circumstance. It’s hard to think of anything more impactful to the development of happy, healthy and engaged young people.

As we look forward towards the new year, I personally am looking forward to many more opportunities to support new and returning activist families. Thank you so much for standing with the RFC this year; we are deeply grateful for your presence and support.

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