Last month, we made our first grants of 2016. We added six new families and individuals to the RFC community and awarded more than $190,000 overall to both new and existing beneficiaries. This brings our total granted since our founding to over $6 million!
Our new recipients include:
- A targeted activist youth who co-founded a local chapter of Black Lives Matter as well as a decolonial art and media collective. She has experienced significant targeting from the police due to her visibility as an organizer; in the span of one year, she was arrested seven times. Her mugshot was spread over social media and she received threats and hate mail. A $1000 Targeted Activist Youth Development award will allow her to participate in restorative healing practices including yoga, attend organizer trainings, and offset the cost of a computer so she can continue her studies.
- The three children, ages 11 to 16, whose mother lived under a military dictatorship in her home country in central Africa. After witnessing rampant government corruption, she began organizing for transparency and accountability. She experienced harassment from the government, which culminated in the military attacking her while she was home alone. She fled to a neighboring country and then to the U.S., where she is currently seeking asylum. RFC grants of $4,159 will help her children attend summer camp and take martial arts, piano and gymnastics lessons.
- The two college-age children of two OUR Walmart activists. These organizers participated in multiple actions to protest unfair labor practices, including sit-ins and strikes. One mother was pulled aside by a manager and instructed not to talk to any of the other associates; shortly thereafter, both activists were laid off when the store closed due to “plumbing problems.” Despite both having long work histories with the company and being told by management that they would be able to find jobs at another store, neither of them was rehired and they’ve been unable to find other employment. Two $600 Carry It Forward awards will support these children as they pursue post-secondary education.
- A targeted activist youth who was involved in a flag-burning demonstration to protest the “immoral and unnecessary wars in the Middle East.” He was singled out and convicted of arson, which derailed his out-of-state college plans and has made it difficult for him to find employment. He has been involved with a number of progressive movements, including Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. RFC grants totaling $1600 will help him purchase a computer to develop his photo-journalism skills to document his activism.
- The 14-year-old daughter whose father was involved with a pro-democracy political party in West Africa. As a student activist on his college campus, he was arrested by the army and beaten, then warned to stop organizing. He continued organizing after his release, and was detained again and tortured before fleeing to the U.S. The father suffers from physical and mental health problems due to the torture. An RFC grant of $1,230 will allow his daughter to attend summer camp.
We welcome all the new members to the RFC community, and thank our supporters for making it possible to stand in solidarity with them!
To receive a notification whenever there is a new post to this blog, subscribe now.