In the early 1970s, Rick Baron was among the group of activists who founded the People’s Fund, predecessor to today’s Bread & Roses. He has been involved as a donor, volunteer, and board
member ever since.
“I believe that Bread & Roses is one of the most focused and innovative funds supporting progressive action in Philadelphia,” Rick says. Rick’s early activism was part of a generation’s fight for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. “It is hard to communicate today how much these issues dominated the lives of people who were in their 20s then,” he says.
Rick lives with his wife in Chestnut Hill and works at Temple University promoting community inclusion for individuals with mental health conditions. “The struggles of people with mental
health conditions emerge from economic and social justice inequities,” he says. “Those are the same issues we face at Bread & Roses.”
Rick is one of three members of the board of directors who also serve on the Community Grantmaking Committee (CGC). In April, the CGC began meeting and interviewing local groups
who have applied for funding.
“I find the engagement of a new generation of activists, some of whom are working on important and emerging issues that
have never been explored before, to be very encouraging,” Rick says. “They are continuing the work that so many of my contemporaries still think of as among the most important parts of our lives.”
As they contemplate the future of Bread & Roses, members of the board of directors rely on Rick as a link to the organization’s past. The commitment to Bread & Roses shown by Rick and others like him has resulted in over $10 million in grants awarded to support community organizing in the Delaware Valley.