The Fund embraces the work needed to build a progressive community and our grantees illustrate how that is being done — from New York to California, and in Chicago, Gainesville, St. Louis, Austin and Minneapolis.
Joshua Buck organized for a sweat-free campus as an undergraduate and lived in Venezuela and Mexico before joining the United Electrical Workers staff in Los Angeles. He entered law school at Southwestern University to expand his ability to defend immigrant rights.
Julie Grigsby, studying racial and cultural differences as a masters degree student at the University of Texas, is a coalition builder and feminist organizer with women of color on issues related to immigration, globalization and reproductive rights.
Allison Guttu continues to be active with the Radical Students of Color and Redstockings while finishing law school at NYU. She is a childcare and universal health care organizer and plans a career in criminal and juvenile justice.
Nancy Haque marched for women’s rights as a teenager and has been an international solidarity and economic justice organizer. A regional representative for Jobs with Justice, she is finishing her masters at the University of Massachusetts.
O’Connor Scholar Tiffany-Lethabo King. Jessie Lloyd O’Connor was a part of our community when the Fund was founded in 1961. A journalist and organizer, Jessie gave generously of her time, energy and resources to support new generations of student activists. When she died in 1988, she made a bequest to the Fund, which we have used to honor one outstanding grantee each year. This year we selected Tiffany-Lethabo King as our Jessie Lloyd O’Connor Scholar. For a number of years, Tiffany worked in Philadelphia with the Black Radical Congress, the Paul Robeson House and the Center for Responsible Funding. These groups, in coalition with others, built support for the Davis-Putter Fund’s former grantee, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Three years ago, Tiffany returned to her hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, where she founded Resistahs, a community education collective which supports the personal and political development of Black women. Resistahs organized adult education classes for women survivors of domestic violence living in federally subsidized housing. Their community education programs include, “Breakin’ Down bell: The Works of bell hooks” and “Violent Intersections”, which helped build a base of conscious Black radical women who recently joined in a coalition with a Latina/o organization to defeat an anti-immigration ordinance. This fall Tiffany entered a masters program in the sociology of education at the University of Toronto where she will study the political economy of education from a Black feminist perspective. An essayist and writer, Tiffany is a contributor to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, which will be released by South End Press this spring. Many of us remember how well Jessie took care of us. She and her husband, the author Harvey O’Connor, opened up their home to progressives from many movements and we laughed, sang, joked and argued long into the night. Tiffany-Lethabo King would have been a welcome addition to the table and her breadth of experience and challenging ideas would have been exactly what Jessie loved about the Fund.
Adele Kubein became a spokesperson for Military Families Speak Out when her daughter’s Guard unit was sent to Iraq. She advocates for peace and medical care for returning vets while enrolled in a masters program at Oregon State University. .
Stacey Marbrey, a documentary filmmaker, staff at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and juror for the Black Film Festival, was accepted by the American Film Institute. She hopes to advance the decision-making role of African American women in that industry.
Naira Musallam, a doctoral student at Columbia, studies the structure of successful social change while involved in Middle East peace and human rights and a media project for politically-active youth from under-resourced schools and communities.
Jessica Ordaz became involved in Latina/o leadership development in high school and is an undergraduate in global studies, focusing on Latin America, at the University of California Santa Barbara who organizes around Chicana and immigrant rights.
Christine Petit is the campus chair of the academic student employee union, edits the feminist magazine LOUDmouth, contributed to Gender & Society and researches the world social forum movement as a PhD student at the University of California Riverside.
Mark Piotrowski, a leader of the Labor Party in Florida, is a trade union and universal healthcare organizer who studies graphic design at a community college in order to create stronger, more engaging materials for the progressive movement
Albert Ponce, an undergraduate and a 2006 McNair Scholar, has researched undocumented workers while finishing his degree at Berkeley and continuing to build support for the rights of immigrant and the anti-war movement.
Rebecca Renfrow, a Nashville peace and environmental justice activist who performed anti-war street theater in high school, works with others to understand and combat white privilege as an undergraduate at Fairhaven College, Western Washington University.
Eneri Rodriguez, part of admission policy and economic justice struggles before speaking about her own sexual assault, uses her San Diego State masters research into the murders of women in Juarez to organize against racism, sexism and imperialism.
Stephanie Smith, a medical student at the University of Minnesota connects health and human rights, worked with the People’s Health Movement in South Africa, is a leader in Physicians for Human Rights and secured funding for the global AIDS crisis.
Sunaura Taylor, an accomplished artist and author, has advocated for disability rights and environmental justice, particularly for attendant care with ADAPT, and now studies the relationship between war and disability as an MFA student at Berkeley.