Dear Friends,

This has been a very long and hard year, filled with fear, pain and loss. Over 600,000 Americans have died from the COVID-19 virus, and millions of lives have been affected by the economic effects of shutdown. 

Now re-opening is being met by climate chaos, with hundreds succumbing to an unprecedented heat wave in the Northwest and floods in Germany. In Massachusetts, we faced record-breaking heat in June followed by torrents from Tropical Storm Elsa.  

And though the Trump Administration was defeated, democracy faces real threat as right-wing politicians mobilize to eliminate voting rights from poor, Black and Brown people. 

All these are national and global problems. So why am I asking you to give to the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice to support grassroots local groups in Western Massachusetts? What gives me the chutzpah?

We at MNF believe that funding local movements is critical to any sustainable social justice strategy. Over the past twelve years, we’ve shown that: 

  • ïWe can respond quickly to crises and protect lives and fragile initiatives for change. Our recent COVID-19 Emergency Grants funneled 20 grants to groups whose communities were suffering from the trauma of the pandemic.
  • ïOur local social justice struggles can become the political basis for national debate and solutions. Early on we funded Arise for Social Justice’s crucial work against filthy biomass energy and its ground-breaking anti-police brutality work.
  • ïOur organizations provide the local training ground for young leaders in movements that ultimately challenge public policy. 

By supporting rights-to-housing, immigrant rights, climate justice, and performance arts that are grounded in social justice work, we fought to maintain hope on the local level during the Trump years. But the struggle for a livable future is hardly over. 

We ask you to support that effort, support Western Massachusetts’ grassroots movement for social justice by donating generously to the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice.

With hope and solidarity,

Marty Nathan MD for the MNF board: Heather Abel, Trevor Baptiste, Héctor Figarella, Elliot Fratkin, Jim Levey, Sabine Merz, Mary Siano, Gary Tartakov, Jon Weissman

The Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice is a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Our fiscal sponsor is the Warren J. Plaut Charitable Trust, which is a 501c3 organization. All online donations will directly benefit the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice. All donations made to MNF are deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 

-Photo via Compost Cooperative, one of our grantees.