Can we Revive the Gathering Program?

I suppose the RFC is doing as well as, if not better, than one would expect in the midst of the Great Recession (funny the way there is such a resistance to using the “d” word!). Our tremendously loyal and committed supporters have come through repeatedly with thousands upon thousands of modest donations, mostly ranging between $25 and $100. But I’m primarily attuned to our beneficiaries’ needs, and so end up seeing the glass as a quarter empty instead of three-quarters full.

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Gathering our Strength

(Guest blog by Jenn Meeropol, RFC Associate Director)

It’s been a very busy few weeks at the RFC. My father has been on the road (to Portland, OR for a successful RFC party and then to Paris for international anti-death penalty work). Meanwhile, the postmark deadline for fall applications is today (October 13th) so I’ve been busy fielding inquiries from potential new and current beneficiary families.

Finding Community in Difference

My book group almost exclusively reads fiction; usually political fiction, often written by women. In general, I prefer reading novels rather than non-fiction, so I was surprised by how moved I was by the first non-fiction book my group read this year: Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (

Gathering to Combat Activist Families' Isolation

Just about a year ago, we were starting our Family Gathering. Board members and staff shuttled attendees from the airport to the venue, others stocked up on snacks for late night conversations, and peer leaders (former beneficiaries in their mid to late 20s who had attended previous Gatherings) welcomed kids and teens to their groups and helped parents settle in. The 2014 Family Gathering was a fun, fabulous event that served an important purpose: building community among targeted activist parents and their school-age kids.

"Full of Joy": the 2017 Carry it Forward Gathering

The RFC held our ninth Gathering the first weekend in August. Twenty current beneficiaries ages 18 to 24 and three peer leaders (former beneficiaries in their late 20s and 30s who have attended prior Gatherings) joined RFC staff and Board for four days of cultural workshops along with recreational and social activities (learn more about previous Gatherings here).

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