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For many longtime Bread & Roses donors, the commitment to social justice grew from causes that mattered to them as youth. In a time of austerity measures and disinvestment, young people are fighting every day to protect the social justice victories they inherited. Bread & Roses grantees have put their trust in the power and leadership of young people to create meaningful social change in their communities.
There were a lot of frustrated people in the University of Pennsylvania’s Falk Dining Commons this spring, and it had nothing to do with homework or exams.
Employees of Bon Appetit, the company that manages cafeterias in Penn’s Hillel building, were tired of low wages and poor treatment. They had no paid time off and no job security. At the end of the semester, they would all be dismissed without guarantee of rehire in the fall.
The workers were ready to begin a public organizing drive, and they knew that student support would be critical to their success. That’s where the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) came into the picture.
Resource Generation organizes young people with wealth to work towards the redistribution of land, wealth, and power. The Philadelphia chapter says: “We’re taking a stand for a healthier society — one we all deserve. We’re proud to call the sector of the philanthropic community that works to shift power and not just money our own. We call on the Bread & Roses community to support organizing efforts to win well-funded public education for everyone.”
Asian Americans United youth organizer Wei Chen wins inaugural Peace First Prize
The Peace First Prize showcases young people who have confronted injustice, crossed lines of difference, and had the courage and compassion to create lasting change. In his prizewinning application, Wei Chen said, “When we first marched to the School District to protest school violence, some students covered their faces because they were afraid. But now we don’t cover our faces. We were once victims; now we are organizers.”
We are saddened to report that Doc Hopkins died on November 8, 2013. Together with his family, Hopkins established the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative in 2000 to provide grants for criminal justice reform activism. In the last 13 years, the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative gave away $730,000 in grants to 61 organizations taking collective action against injustices within the criminal legal system.
Doc Hopkins was a kind, compassionate man and a powerful agent of change who will be dearly missed. Please look for a feature article in the next issue of our newsletter remembering Doc Hopkins and looking back on the impact of the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative.