2011 ushered in a new era of activism; although from the mainstream media’s perspective the wave of global protest didn’t crash upon our nation’s shores until the fall. Perhaps at the RFC we should have been aware of its impending arrival, because we noted an uptick in new applications starting at the beginning of the year. We weren’t swamped with requests from the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in 2011 because it was still in its infancy when our fall application deadline passed in early October.
(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.
(by guest blogger, Ellen Meeropol*)
I did an MFA program to learn craft. Retired from my nurse practitioner career, I promised myself to my writing full time and had no plans to teach. But things happen and I started leading writing workshops. And - it turns out - I love it, especially with beginning writers who are more interested in exploration and illumination than publication.
Left wing families face a serious challenge integrating their politics into their lives. The pervasiveness of international corporate exploitation, consumerism and pacification through entertainment make it almost impossible to live progressive lives that are consistent with their values. Yet without such integration, it is difficult to create the essential culture of resistance and alternative vision that is needed to transform our society.
For me the end of the year is a time of assessment. What were the RFC's major achievements and challenges in 2010? 2009 was very difficult and 2010 wasn’t much easier, although by early this year we’d gotten used to rough times. We knew what we faced. Since we must raise the funds we give away, we knew we’d have to make an extraordinary effort even to match our 2009 level of awards, which was $50,000 lower than in 2008.