News

Deadline for Spring 2019 MNF applications is March 15, 2020
Apply now
NEW FUNDING CYCLE! Two deadlines are:
March 15 for Spring awards and September 15 for Fall awards
UP TO $3000.00
Emergency grants of $500 are also available.

Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice Awards for 2019
We are pleased to announce the following awards to social justice organizations in Western Massachusetts for 2019. Please go to the Our Grantees page for photos of these organizations.

Arise for Social Justice, Springfield, MA “Undoing Racism Workshops” https://www.arisespringfield.org/

Artesana, Inc., Holyoke, MA “Creative workshop with Maria Salgado” https://artesana.co/

Beloved Community Center, Greensboro NC (www.belovedcommuitycenter.org) for visit by Rev. Nelson Johnson and Joyce Johnson to attend events commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre in Northampton Oct. 4-6, 2019.

Compost Cooperative (Just Roots Community Farm), Greenfield, MA “Purchase of washing and cleaning machines” https://www.thecompostcooperative.com/

Don’t Take That Receipt, Holyoke MA (www.bpa-free.me) – Political education about toxins in Holyoke.

Eggtooth Productions, Greenfield, MA “Social Justice Theatre and Radical Festival” https://www.eggtooth.org/about/

Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution Conference, Greenfield, MA “Organizing conference for social justice organizers” https://fccpr.us/

Manos Unidas Multicultural Education Cooperative, Pittsfield, MA “Hopeseed building Youth Leadership https://www.manosunidas.org/

Musica Franklin, Greenfield, MA “Transforming lives through performance” https://www.musicafranklin.org/

Nueva Esperanza, Holyoke, MA “Capacity Building and Retreat” http://www.nuevaofholyoke.org/

Out now!, Springfield, MA “Advocacy of Gay Youth” http://outnowyouth.org/

Peoples Music Network Greenfield MA – for Matt Jones scholarships to performers of progressive music www.peoplesmusic.org

The Performance Project, Springfield, MA “Youth Leadership and Training” http://www.performanceproject.org/

Real Costs of Prisons, Northampton, MA “Advocacy for Prisoner’s Rights” http://realcostofprisons.org/

Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, Northampton – Immigration rights advocacy www.theresistancecenter.org

Sojourner Truth School for Social Justice, Northampton MA – for training in social justice leadership www.truthschool.org

Springfield No One Leaves, Springfield, MA “STOP Campaign and Youth Leadership Training” http://www.springfieldnooneleaves.org/

Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, Greenfield MA – to expand library resources and youth voices www.traprock.org

Visions of Labor Working Group, Amherst MA for Spanish translations for participants in Visions of Labor Film and Workers Voices Program at UMass November 8-10 www.umass.irisregistration.com/Home/site?code=visions

Voices from Inside, Greenfield MA – for training and transportation of previously incarcerated women to performances www.voicesfrominside.org

Western Mass Medicare for All, Northampton, MA “ Continuing education and outreach” https://www.wmmedicareforall.org/

We invite you to visit the websites and engage in and support the activities of our grantees. They are vital to the moral fiber and success of our region.

About

The Markham Nathan Fund for Social Justice – Who We Are

The Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice serves grassroots social justice and peace groups in Western Massachusetts. The fund was created in 2009 by Northampton activist organizers Marty Nathan and Arky Markham, with their friends, in honor of their deceased husbands’ tireless devotion to building a better world. The MNF makes awards of up to $3000 to small activist organizations in Western Massachusetts that are dedicated to organizing and supporting the poor and powerless for a more just and peaceful world. An organization can have income from other sources to up to 175,000.

In the past five years, the MNF has distributed over $100,000 in grants; the MNF depends on the support of individual contributors with all donations going to our grantees. The MNF works with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts who are a 501(c)3 tax deductible non-profit organization.

The Markham Nathan Fund for Social Justice is deeply saddened by the passing of Arky Markham on June 11, 2018,
ten days before her 103rd birthday.

Please click here to read her obituary, published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Members of the Board

Heather Abel
Héctor Figarella
Elliot Fratkin
Jim Levey
Sabine Merz
Marty Nathan
Mary Siano
Gary Tartakov
Jon Weissman

Bios

George Markham (1909-2009) was a tireless advocate for workers rights, economic justice, social change, and single payer health care.  As a legislative agent for the Massachusetts CIO in 1946, George was instrumental in the passage of the Fair Employment Practices Act and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.  Shortly after moving to Northampton in 1971, he organized the Northampton Elder Americans, and founded and was the first chair of the local CPPAX chapter.  He has served on the Democratic City Committee and was Democrat of the Year.  Never afraid to take on the “powers that be” George challenged, argued, demonstrated and demanded for what was right.   He was a journalist, intellectual, professor, gardener, chef, writer, and an unyielding, uncompromising activist for justice.  He was married to Arky Markham for 40 years.

George and Arky Markham.

Rose “Arky” Markham (1915-2018) has devoted her life to the cause of social justice, anti-war and anti-racism work, and single payer health care.  She was a founding member of the Franklin/Hampshire Health Care Coalition and an active member of MassCare, an organization whose sole mission is the enactment of single payer health care.  Arky and George were leaders in efforts to get legislative appropriation of $50,000 to study the feasibility of a state single payer system.  In 1982 Arky was a founding member of Social Workers for Peace and Justice which advocates for single payer health care and political freedom in Latin American countries.  She was an early and strong opponent of the war in Vietnam (her first date with George was at a demonstration against the war).  Arky was also a founding member of Pioneer Valley Coalition Against Secrecy and Torture and a founder and early board member of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.  Arky was active in anti-war vigils, lobbying, leafleting, organizing, presentations and educational programs.  She was married to George for 40 years.

Mike Nathan, MD (1947-1979) was born in Chicago of working class immigrant parents and grew up in Washington, DC. He first became active against the Vietnam War in high school and was a leader of the student support of Black housekeepers at Duke University and participated in a takeover of the University President’s house in 1969 to demand their union’s recognition.  As a pediatrician he treated children in the community health center in the heart of Durham, NC’s African-American Community and raised medical supplies for the Zimbabwean liberation movement fighting against apartheid in what was then Rhodesia. He also led a support movement for African-American laundry workers who contracted tuberculosis while working at Durham County General Hospital. He was murdered while attending an anti-KuKluxKlan march in Greensboro, NC, on November 3, 1979. Forty Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis drove into the gathering and shot and killed Mike and his friends Sandi Smith, Cesar Cauce, Bill Sampson and Jim Waller. All had been active in unionization efforts in the area and a civil rights suit 1985 found Klansmen, Nazis and Greensboro Police liable for Mike’s death.

Marty Nathan, MD is a physician residing in Northampton and working at Brightwood Health Center in Springfield. After the death of her first husband, Michael, Marty and other survivors successfully sued Klansmen, Nazis and Greensboro Police and, with the judgment won in this case, Marty helped initiate and for 15 years directed the Greensboro Justice Fund as a funding organization. Over the next twenty years the GJF raised and gave away $500,000 as grants to small groups fighting for civil rights and social justice in the US South. Marty has lived in the Northampton area since 1995, and was a founder, with her friend Arky Markham, of the Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Pioneer Valley Coalition Against Secrecy and Torture and the Pioneer Valley Coalition to Prevent War on Iran. She is currently on the steering committee of Climate Action Now and founding member of The Cliniquita Fund of the Pioneer Valley Project. She is married to Elliot Fratkin and has three children: Leah Nathan and Mulugetta and Masaye Fratkin.

Marty and Arky, with their friends, created the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice in honor of their husbands. It serves grassroots social justice and peace groups in Western Massachusetts. They urge you to join them to support those groups that are working to build a better world.