News & Events
From the Executive Director
As someone for whom fundraising is an important part of my job, one of the best and most mysterious occurrences is the seemingly out-of-the-blue donation. I always wish I could ask the donor what motivated them to contribute at this particular time or amount. Especially when there is no obvious trigger.
The RFC received one of these donations recently from a new donor, Jonathan. He wasn’t in our database or on our email list and we haven’t mailed any recent appeals, so I had no way of knowing what inspired his gift. I emailed him a thank you and figured that would be the end of the story. Instead, I received the following lovely email from him:
We all know that 2020 was a very difficult year. It featured a raging pandemic fueled by inept leadership, endless police brutality directed at Black and Indigenous people and other people of color, and violent attacks on those protesting these assaults. It also included increasing economic inequality, environmental destruction, and much more, which combined to make many of us look to 2021 for relief.
Guest blog by RFC Founder Robert Meeropol
Six years ago I posted a blog on the RFC website entitled “Strange Convergence” (available here). In it I compared details of the life of my mother, Ethel Rosenberg, to that of Billie Holiday, the singer who made Abel Meeropol’s song, “Strange Fruit,” famous. Ethel and Billie appeared to be an unlikely couple. However, they were both born in poverty in 1915, had excellent singing voices, although Billie’s surpassed Ethel’s, and were precocious. Ethel graduated high school at 15 and helped lead a victorious strike at 19, while Billie sang in Harlem clubs at 17, and was a successful recording artist by 20. And they both got in trouble with the law, which led to their untimely deaths. Finally, there’s the Abel Meeropol connection; Abel adopted Ethel’s children and wrote Billie’s most famous song.
RFC staff are continuing to work remotely and our office remains closed indefinitely. To make it easier for our community to contact us, we've set up temporary phone numbers: please call 508-275-2258 for all granting inquiries and 413-239-2711 for all other questions.
You can also reach us via email (all granting and application questions can be directed to Tori at firstname.lastname@example.org; press inquiries and donation or general questions to Rachel at email@example.com and our Executive Director Jenn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).
This has felt like the longest, most monumental election of my lifetime. While I am enormously grateful that Trump was defeated, the level of support for him and his hateful, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, anti-science policies shows how much remains to be done to create a more just and equitable society. The impact of these policies will linger into 2021 and beyond despite the election results.