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Memorial Fund Grants

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On the evening of May 25 a group of around 10 people, including Mar 

Valdecantos and Lisa Sexton, met by Zoom to hear about anti-racism

work done with support from two $2000 grants made in June 2021 from

the CVFM  memorial fund.


Lisa Sexton described work of the Say Their Names Northfield 

organization, which has a Facebook and a web presence, both readily

found by searching online.    Say Their Names was founded in the

aftermath of George Floyd's murder, and has been led partly by

Cecilia Cornejo, a frequent CVFM attender.   Over the past year the

organization has organized over 30 public art ``interventions,''

publicly honoring and remembering Black people killed by police, 

as well as other important Black cultural figures.   These interventions

continue, often with 10--20 participants.  Interventions originally

centered on chalking names and faces on Bridge Square sidewalks,

but a local ordinance appears to forbid this use of public space,

so other media, such as physical posters and online postings, are

now used. 



Mar Valdecantos described work of the Northfield Antiracist Action 

Coalition.  The NAAC, also founded in the wake of George Floyd's 

murder, brings together various organizations to coordinate action

and advocacy for social improvement.   Soon after its formation the 

NAAC decided to focus mainly on housing issues, with special emphasis

on helping low-income and immigrant residents improve and eventually

own their own living quarters.  We learned that housing problems 

are difficult and severe in our community, and that obtaining

financing is especially difficult for people holding taxpayer identification numbers

rather than Social Security numbers.    In the long run NAAC hopes

to see the creation of a resident-owned community (ROC), in which residents, often

formerly renters,  own their own physical homes or trailers and

share ownership of the land.  The NAAC has used our contribution

largely to support modest stipends for people, many of them poor,

who attend meetings and participate in NAAC work.