Buy wonderful stuff for a great cause. The Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice will be holding an enormous, multifamily yard sale on Saturday and Sunday September 27 & 28 from 8 am to 1 pm, rain or shine at 24 Massasoit Street, Northampton. A canoe, bicycles, furniture and lamps, art, workable computer printer, dog crates, fans, children’s toys, clothes, books, housewares and bric-a-brac. Get what you have always wanted and support social justice!
2014 Awards to 15 activist organizations, awards ranging from $700 to $2000.00
Arise for Social Justice
Community organizing Six Corners, Springfield
Climate Action Now
Climate action plan, Springfield
Jobs with Justice of Western Massachusetts
2014 Annual Organizing and Education Conference
Just Communities of Western Mass.
Safe Driving Act for undocumented workers
Manos Unidas Multicultural Education Cooperative
Neighbor to Neighbor – Holyoke
Shut down Mt Tom Coal Plant
Nuclear Free Future Coalition WMass.
Conservation and renewable energy education
Queer Empowerment interactive theater,
Prison Birth Project
Access to reproductive health in prisons
Springfield No One Leaves
SNOL People’s School project
Traprock Center for Peace and Justice
Peace Net for Girls and Women Building Peace
Veterans Education Project
Education and public events for social justice
Voices from the Inside
Creative writing programs for incarcerated women
South Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Gang demobilization in Holyoke
2013 Markham-Nathan Grantees
From our beginning four years ago, we set out to support grassroots social justice organizations with small grants that they could access easily. To date, we have raised and distributed close to $40,000 among dozens of organizations throughout Western Massachusetts.
This is thanks to you. Your money directly supports social justice groups such as Arise for Social Justice in Springfield, a small and fundamental voice of and for the poor in the region’s largest city, and the Interfaith Council in Greenfield, which helps immigrants who have been profiled by police, arrested and set to be deported. And it allowed partnership between Arise and the northern Pioneer Valley environmental group Climate Action NOW in organizing a wildly successful Environmental Justice Conference that put those most affected by pollution and climate change in the lead of the struggle to combat them.
This is your story. We encourage you to spread the word about how a few dollars spent to support local social justice groups makes all the difference in the world for our most vulnerable neighbors who are subjected to racism, classism, hate speech, displacement from their homes and other forms of violence.
Only the fourth cycle in the Fund’s history, this year’s granting was bigger and broader in reach than ever before. The process was moved from fall to spring to allow us to raise more and give more.
We increased the maximum amount per grant to $2,000 from $1,000 and expanded our granting guidelines to admit groups giving direct service to poor people. The total funds given, $15,500, far exceeded our previous maximum of $10,000, and we were able to give to a larger number of organizations than we had in the past.
The decision was made at a time when the movement for social justice – particularly for the rights of the poor, immigrants and the environment – is on the rise. While we maintained continuity in our funding, we were happy to be able also to meet new needs and help young groups launch and expand.
Of the twelve 2013 grantees, half were new and half had received grants previously. All of the “old” grantees had won grants every year since the founding of MNF.
Climate Action NOW. $1,000 to organize a conference in Springfield working with poor people and people of color to explore the effects of climate change on their communities and how to fight it and create jobs.
Interfaith Council. $2,000 to inform detained immigrants in Franklin County about their rights and provide them with lawyers to fight deportation.
Just Communities/Comunidades Justas of Western Mass. $2,000 to organize immigrants and educate and organize communities in support of the Massachusetts Trust Act and the right to a driver’s license. The Trust Act prevents federal deportation of immigrants in police custody. In the spring, led by Springfield State Rep. Cheryl Coakley Rivera, this new group marched for these demands in downtown Springfield.
Nuclear Free Future. $600 for its educational work against the dangers of nuclear power, specifically the Vermont Yankee Plant in Vernon.
Springfield NoOne Leaves/Nadie Se Mude. $2,000 for grassroots organizing and direct action to prevent evictions in the Springfield area. SNOL is a leading voice in a national coalition demanding principle reduction for underwater homeowners and indicting banks for the profit-taking that has led to home loss for millions.
Veterans Education Project. $500 to help veterans teach the public through veterans’ stories about the reality of war. A long-term Pioneer Valley presence, VEP received its first grant this year.
Arise for Social Justice. $2,000 for their contribution to community empowerment, growing out of longtime successful work against police brutality and homelessness in Springfield.
Jobs With Justice. $1,000 to support their yearly conference of labor/community coalitions defending the rights of workers.
Manos Unidas/Hands Together. $1,000 for its bilingual zine advocating immigrant rights in the Berkshires.
Out Now. $2,000 in support of trans/gay/lesbian/bisexual and questioning youth in the Springfield area.
Prison Birth Project. $2,000 for its direct aid to pregnant women in the Chicopee Women’s Prison and advocacy for them within the prison system.
Voices from Inside. $1,000 to continue its work developing the writing talents of prisoners while educating those “outside” about conditions within the walls.
Though the grants are still small, they provide significant support for these groups whose work benefits us all. We thank them and we thank you for giving us the funds to distribute for such meaningful work.
New Program: Emergency Grants for Urgent Organizing
At our recent fall meeting, the Board of the Markham-Nathan Fund unanimously voted to adopt an emergency grant program to meet the needs of the vibrant Western Massachusetts social justice movement. Small amounts will be available between granting cycles for true unplanned emergencies: immigration roundups, racist or police brutality, unlawful arrests, even to “keep the doors open” for those groups working for social justice.
These are both dynamic and dangerous times and we want to expand our availability to those working hard to create a just society.
Celebrating Arky: A Life of Joy and Social Justice
On Saturday, September 21, 150 people from Western Mass. and beyond feted our founder, Arky Markham, who turned 98 in June. Arky and her husband George were standard-bearers for the anti-war movement, the struggle for racial justice, and single payer health care.
The evening opened with a warm, poignant short film by board member Natalia Muñoz, highlighted by a lively argument between Arky and her dear friend and longtime peace and justice comrade Frances Crowe over who was responsible for particular peace actions, each giving the other credit.
Northampton City Council President Bill Dwight read The Northampton City’s Proclamation of September 28, deemed “Arky Markham Day.”
With an introduction describing Arky’s “ethical force,” State Representative Peter Kocot and others delivered from honors from US House and Senate.read a citation from the Massachusetts House and others delivered from honors from the US House and Senate.
Family members, social worker colleagues and fellow activists described Arky’s influence on their lives, work and on for the campaign for Single Payer Health Care. These were punctuated by music from the a capella group The Wise Guys, and by musicians Tom Neilson, Lynn Waldron and Elliot Fratkin. Former Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins MC’ed this marvelous party, which aptly illustrated our theme: A Life of Joy and Social Justice.
We thank Arky for her life, and we thank you, our supporters and friends, for using this opportunity to support Arky’s legacy, the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice. If you would like to donate to the fund on Arky’s behalf visit www.markhamnathanfund.org.