Changing it Up

As the RFC’s first year of new leadership under Jenn Meeropol proceeds, we’re focusing a lot of attention on strengthening our links to a younger generation of progressive activists and their allies. Part of that process involves experimenting with new styles of outreach. Our efforts are aimed at both online and in-person networks, and we’re pursuing many different avenues for making those connections.

One approach is to sponsor events that are either explicitly in tune with our project, or where we think many of the attendees are likely to be aligned with our mission even if the event is not focused on progressive organizing.  We’ve supported an anarchist-oriented punk music festival in Washington, DC that also offered workshops on radical activism.  We supported the Dissident Arts Festival in New York City;  The Hoot, a family-friendly, weekend-long celebration of folk music and local community near Woodstock, NY; and a proposed hip hop festival in South Bronx. We also got behind the annual conference of the new Students for a Democratic Society, providing underwriting and showing a short film about the RFC.

We continue to build our social media presence, with lively and growing communities on Twitter (@wwwrfcorg), Facebook (/rosenbergfundforchildren) and YouTube (/wwwrfcorg). For instance, close to 800 people viewed our YouTube channel’s version of the video tribute to Pete Seeger we added the day after he passed; another 13,000 people saw it via our Facebook posts. More recently, many people started following us on Twitter while we were promoting the real-time, on-the-ground reports from the massive youth civil disobedience action at the White House against the Keystone XL pipeline.

We’re also planning screenings of our CARRY IT FORWARD film and “micro parties,” the latter being intimate gatherings hosted by young activists who are connected to the RFC, where we can have two-way conversations with the hosts’ cohorts who are involved in organizing for various social and environmental justice movements around the country.  To all these efforts, we’re adding the production of new, hard-copy, informational materials designed to appeal to young people and be easily distributed at demonstrations, conferences, concerts, and other gatherings that RFC staff, Board, and supporters might attend.

Of course, we don’t want the fact that we’re devoting so many resources towards potential new supporters to imply that we don’t value the long-time members of our community more than we ever have.  The younger generation of allies we’re engaging now will be a welcome new addition. But our steadfast friends - many of whom have been concerned and committed supporters of first Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and then their sons, and still later, the Rosenberg Fund for Children – are the essential bedrock upon which our entire project rests.

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