Guest blog by Cleo Rohn, RFC Granting Coordinator
The last few weeks have been a flurry of activity at the RFC. As summer turned into fall, we received over 80 applications for support from activist parents and guardians all across the country. This comes as no surprise; fascism, racism, reproductive injustice and climate destruction remain persistent and pervasive threats in this country. We need only to turn on the news to see that targeting is on the rise, and that it takes enormous bravery to push back against these powerful forces. This is the work our beneficiary families do, and it is an honor to be able to support them in their fight.
Now halfway through our fall granting cycle, we are off to an amazing start and there is much more to come. In the last few weeks, three new beneficiary families have joined the RFC community. Our new beneficiaries include a young boy whose mom faced stalking, police intimidation and targeting from white supremacists as a prominent leader in the West Coast Black Lives Matter movement; the three children of a long-time community organizer whose fight for Black liberation has resulted in generations of targeting, and the family of a Syrian pro-democracy activist who is using her recently-granted asylum status in the U.S. to build a better life for her children after facing enormous threats in her home country.
These new families join an additional 37 families who were awarded renewed support from the RFC this fall. We are thrilled to be helping kids in these families access mental health support, make art, further their education and play. So far this fall, we’ve awarded 40 grants to 84 children from 40 families. Halfway in, we have already awarded over $114,000 - and we’re just getting started.
The days are getting shorter now here in New England, and it’s easy to only think about the cold and darkness. Take a closer look around, though, and you'll see the incredible color and vibrancy of the season. There is plenty of light amidst the darkness. The granting season teaches us this same lesson; looking at the state of the nation, it is easy to see the darkness and cold. But here at the RFC, we have the privilege of seeing something else, too: that there are people who fight for justice in spite of circumstance and targeting.
Our beneficiary families remind us of the importance of believing in a better world - not just for their children, but for all of our children. As we look forward to the second half of our granting period, we thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for standing with us in our efforts to support the children of resistance.