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:
- The seven-year-old son whose mother is a member of OUR Walmart; she organizes and advocates for workers at the giant retailer and has participated in sit-ins and protests, including the Black Friday Unfair Labor Practices strikes and the fight for $15/hr. She was arrested last fall at a sit-in; soon after she began to feel that she was being watched on breaks and that management was looking for "a way to punish" her. Eventually Walmart fired her, using the excuse of her missing work on a few occasions to stay home with her sick child. An RFC grant for $500 will allow her son to participate in the sports activities he loves despite the family’s financial difficulties. CA
- A group focused on educating youth of Wounded Knee on their Lakota culture and traditions, and providing them with a safe, fun, and positive environment. Programs are designed to help the children in the community to "reclaim the identity and pride that has been unjustly stripped away from the past generations of their people; and to ensure the culture and traditions will continue to live on for future generations.” As they noted in the application, “Wounded Knee has become synonymous with injustice, oppression, protest, and tragedy. [Our program] believes that every child has the potential to overcome adversity and oppression to become whatever greatness they wish to be."
A $3500 group grant from the RFC will support educational and cultural programming, including archery, wilderness hikes, and lessons on the healing properties of plants and herbs for dozens of youth ages six to 18-years-old. SD
- The five-year-old son whose parents are environmental activists; they operate a small non-profit that works to protect and restore a local river basin. The father and his older son (who helps provide guided swamp trips) have been harassed and faced death threats by local oil and gas company employees because of their work monitoring and confronting the companies' illegal pollution and development activities. Someone poisoned the family’s dog, and the dad has faced numerous physical threats and warnings of sabotage against his business. Fear of harm has forced the family to maintain residences in two states to try to protect their young son. An RFC grant of $2000 will help him attend school in a safe environment, away from the children of those who threatened his father and the entire family. LA
- The 17-year-old grandson whose grandmother, a former political prisoner and member of the Black Panther Party, was targeted by COINTELPRO. She currently lives in exile, unable to see her family. An RFC grant of $2000 for a computer will help her grandson, a talented actor, prepare for college in the fall. IL
We welcome all the new members of the RFC Family and thank our supporters for making it possible for us to stand with them.
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