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Rosenberg Fund for Children

by Carol Carvalho, RFC Director of Grantmaking

The progressive community needs to support activists, prisoners rights advocates and political prisoners who risk their lives and economic security for causes of peace, justice, protection of the environment and equal rights. The Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC) was created to provide for some of this support. It provides for the educational and emotional needs of children whose parents have been harassed, injured, arrested, imprisoned, fired or killed because of their progressive activities and who, therefore, are no longer able to adequately care for their children. If you're being persecuted in prison because you are working for prisoner's rights or prison reform and you have children, you may fall within the RFC's guidelines. The RFC pays progressive-minded professionals and institutions, chosen by the parents or guardians, to provide children with therapy and educational, physical and other similar activities.

Since 1990, the RFC has provided advice and funding to meet these needs within the progressive community. Robert Meeropol, the RFC's founder and Executive Director, is the child of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were imprisoned and then executed in 1953 for conspiring to give the "secret of the atomic bomb" to the Soviet Union. As a child he experienced the kinds of problems the RFC's beneficiaries face and benefited from the support of progressive communities and institutions.

The RFC has helped many political prisoners and prison advocates by helping them care for their children. These political prisoners, such as members of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement and targets of COINTELPRO along with others have struggled for economic and social justice and have paid a staggering price for their actions. The RFC lessens the burden on these individuals by helping their children realize that there are others in this country who face these same challenges. This realization helps the children lead happier lives and be better able to cope with having a parent imprisoned.

By providing emotional and educational programs for children, the RFC is filling a gap in the network of support resources available to individual activists. Support services such as legal counsel, technical assistance, training, and umbrella organizations have offered issue related help. But, until the RFC, no organization sought to link progressive providers with activists and their children. The RFC has grown rapidly since 1990 because it channels funds directly to activist families on the front lines of dozens of progressive struggles.

For more information contact the RFC at 4l3-739-9020, 1145 Main Street, Suite 408; Springfield, MA 01103.

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