In the fall of 2015 four new families received their first RFC grants. Including the seven new recipients in the spring, almost a dozen families and targeted activist youth joined the RFC community last year. With the $370,000 we awarded in 2015, our total granted since our founding has reached almost $6 million!
The new beneficiaries include:
- Two daughters, ages eight and 12, whose mother is a Native American activist for indigenous rights and against cultural appropriation. Her involvement with ongoing litigation for fair treatment of her tribe and all native peoples has led to the loss of her job and home. She also experienced significant online harassment and was followed, intimidated and threatened with physical harm. RFC grants will allow her daughters, who have been traumatized by the experience, to take piano and cello lessons for the first time.
- A 19-year-old who comes from a family with two generations of targeted activists. Her grandparents were leaders in the Black Panther Party who were forced into exile. Her father teaches and lectures in American universities and abroad on misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, and was targeted by the FBI after he refused to participate in their intelligence gathering in the Middle East. The father was placed on the "no fly" list and subjected to travel bans, harassment, and intimidation. His income declined, the family had to relocate, and his ability to support and communicate with his children significantly diminished. This young woman is living with her grandparents while she attends high school and prepares for college; an RFC grant will help support her education.
- The young son, age seven, whose mother is currently seeking political asylum in the U.S. The family was forced to leave their home country in Central Africa after the mother was targeted by the military for witnessing the assassination of a local doctor. The doctor, whom she supported, was an advocate for patients' rights to health care services. Following the doctor's murder, members of the military killed the other witness to the murder, then raped and beat the mother, leaving her for dead. She fled to the U.S. with her son as soon as she was able. The son and his mom, both suffering from their recent trauma, now live in a cramped studio apartment which was recently robbed. An RFC grant will provide educational support for the son, allowing him to learn English, participate in sports and other activities, and receive therapeutic services.
- Four children, ages nine to 18, whose father is the son of a civil rights activist. The children’s dad grew up experiencing repression due to his father's political activity. While in college, these siblings’ father was targeted by both university officials and government agencies, and arrested 15 times, after he formed a progressive civil rights group. The dad continued to organize after college, but struggled to gain steady employment due to ongoing harassment and surveillance. He now does communications work for one of the largest living wage campaigns in the country. RFC grants will provide sports and recreational programs, including soccer, swimming, gymnastics and guitar lessons for the children.
We welcome all these new members of the RFC family and thank our supporters for making it possible for us to stand with them.
To receive a a notification whenever there is a new post to this blog, subscribe now.