The Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC) was proud to help sponsor the 2013 SDS national convention, to support young organizers who are carrying forward the fight for progressive values that our organization’s namesakes embodied.
The RFC is a public foundation that helps both children in the U.S. whose parents are targeted, progressive activists, and youth under age 25 who are targeted because of their own organizing. It was founded in 1990 by Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
In 1950 at the height of the McCarthy-era Red Scare, the Rosenbergs were arrested and charged with giving the secret of the Atomic Bomb to the Soviet Union. The young couple were activists who had grown up in poverty on New York City’s Lower East Side. While in their teens and 20’s, they had gotten involved with the labor movement, the fight against fascism in the Spanish civil war, and other left-wing causes; and they had joined the Communist Party. At the time they were arrested, they were also the parents of two small boys.
Three years later, after a highly politicized and corrupt trial, the Rosenbergs were executed amidst worldwide protest. Their sons, Robert and Michael, were six and ten years old. The Rosenbergs’ fate was intended by the authorities to send a chilling message to progressives that dissent is dangerous.
Decades later, their son Robert realized that new generations of activists were facing repression similar to what his parents endured. In response, he formed the RFC to give the same type of support he received after his parents were taken from him, to kids today whose families are paying a steep price for organizing for social justice.
More recently, the RFC started making grants to help young people under age 25 who have been targeted themselves because of their own activism. In 2013, Robert passed leadership of the Fund to his daughter, Jennifer, so that she can continue the commitment to resistance with a new generation.
The RFC has helped the families of Lynne Stewart, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and other U.S. political prisoners, as well as many young activists, or children of activists, who are not well known and whose identities are kept private. Some of the issues these organizers are fighting for include protecting the environment, immigrants’ rights, ending police brutality, and many other struggles.
Young activists have been able to use grants for books and other educational materials and school supplies; to enhance their organizing skills; or for programs that promote emotional health and well-being. The RFC welcomes inquiries about its granting programs.
The Fund is also happy to consider invitations to participate in or sponsor radical organizing events like the SDS conference, or to provide speakers for presentations at schools, community events, or other gatherings.
To learn more about the RFC:
- Visit their website at www.rfc.org and join their email list
- Follow them on Twitter @wwwRFCorg
- Find them on Facebook at Rosenberg Fund for Children
- Or check out their channel at youtube.com/wwwRFCorg, including this short video starring Angela Davis, Eve Ensler, Rebel Diaz, Mike + Ruthy and others , paying tribute to today’s activist movements