“This is my first letter to many of you as the Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. I am excited by the opportunity to nurture the organization my father created out of the nightmare he experienced as a child and am honored by the trust he has placed in me to carry forward his legacy.” Ten years ago, those words began the first letter I sent to our community as Executive Director of the RFC and they remain true today.
But so much else has changed in the last 10 years. In the fall of 2013 I reported that we had awarded $370,000 in grants; this year that number skyrocketed to over $450,000 as more than 21 new families and youth activists joined our community in 2023. While everyone at the RFC is proud of the amazing activist families we’re supporting, we are worried by the drastic—and frankly unsustainable—increase in demand for our support and what it says about the significant targeting experienced by so many people working for a more just world. Things weren't great a decade ago, but none of us could have imagined where we'd be today: facing an imminent threat of total authoritarian domination.
At times, the last decade has felt like a series of seemingly endless crises, including the election of Trump; a global pandemic; environmental calamity of fires, storms and floods to name just a few; escalating assaults on reproductive health care; and the frightening rise in Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism and anti-trans speech and violence at home and around the globe. All of these developments are symptomatic of escalating threats to democracy and the frightening rise of fascism.
There are many examples all around us of what is wrong with our world. But in the midst of this reality, I am that much more grateful for our amazing community and the meaningful transformations in our beneficiaries’ lives you make possible. This fall, grants for therapy and trauma recovery programs will support several prominent young activists from the Stop Cop City movement, who face RICO and domestic terrorism charges for protesting the construction of an enormous militarized police training facility. Two children whose activist father was once himself an RFC beneficiary will receive grants for creative programs and educational supplies after their dad, now a racial justice leader, faced harassment, stalking and death threats from white supremacist groups.
This is the time to show your solidarity to these and other members of our community by making a special, year-end donation to the Rosenberg Fund for Children. I wish I could share all the stories of the kids your donations helped in 2023, but I only have the space to tell you about a few of the newest members of the RFC family:
- Pip and Alex’s mom is a devoted public elementary school teacher trying to create a safer and better world for everyone. But when she suggested her students sing a song about rainbows and choosing love over hate, the school district forbade the song. After speaking out about her disappointment with the decision, she was fired and subjected to hateful accusations from homophobic commentators in the media and online. Now Pip and Alex worry about the harassment their mother is facing, especially as queer youth themselves. Grants from the RFC will help them transition into adult life despite the stress of the attacks their family has faced.
- Jon, Emma, Keishona and Michael, siblings ages three to 14, live with their dad in an extremely poor, mostly-Black region of a rural southern state. Their father has spent years fighting to expose the injustices wrought on their community by an enormous corporate landfill that is destroying their air, water and quality of life. As a result of his vocal fight against the landfill he was fired from his job and has been denied city employment. Although the children can barely play outside or live healthy lives amidst the environmental destruction, RFC grants will help them with school and sports supplies as well as transportation to a safer area so they can enjoy their childhood.
Activists in states like Georgia and Texas are already facing fascist attacks. For them, fascism is here and they are in constant crisis. But we are not helpless in the face of these attacks. In this awful time, this is your chance to do something good. When we come together as a community to support these families, we’re carrying on a long tradition of resistance and activism that for me is very personal.
I grew up hearing stories from my father about the people who knew they risked FBI surveillance, loss of jobs, possible arrest or worse, but still attended protests, wrote letters and organized to try to save my grandparents. I’m convinced these people helped save my dad and uncle and allowed them to grow up sane and loving. More than seventy years later, I know we are all committed to doing the same thing today for the next generation of activists and their children.
Your gift will connect children to vital, nurturing programs. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. I pledge that 90% of the funds you donate in response to this report will be awarded in current or future grants.
The RFC has been aiding kids like those described above, and many others, efficiently and effectively for more than three decades. The need is urgent but we can resist the onslaught targeting our community’s brave families. Let’s stand together to support those pushing back against the worst of these times and doing their best to build a brighter future for us all.
Please show your support now with a meaningful year-end donation to the RFC. Your help has never been more critical.
I found your site after learning about Strange Fruit from the recent Billie Holiday movie. I find the little information I learned from your family story inspiring and at least can only commend you from afar while I support however I can progressive ideas.