February 13, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 25 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
TRIBUTE TO FRAN KAPLAN; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 25
(Extensions of Remarks - February 13, 2017)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E181-E182] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] TRIBUTE TO FRAN KAPLAN _____ HON. GWEN MOORE of wisconsin in the house of representatives Monday, February 13, 2017 Ms. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Fran Kaplan who has served as a mentor, educator, community leader, social worker, translator, writer, administrator and self-described ``social justice activist'' for nearly five decades. Fran Kaplan turned 70 on February 9, 2017 and in her retirement has volunteered hundreds of hours a year serving as coordinator of America's Black Holocaust Museum's (ABHM) online presence at www.abhmuseum.org. She helps curate the 2900+ exhibits covering 400 years of African American history, and co- facilitates ABHM's film/dialogue series, helping Americans understand the past in order to heal the present. Fran was born in Lafayette, Indiana and at an early age came to believe that racial/ethnic hatred and power struggles were the principal cause of suffering in the U.S. and around the world. She had experienced the ways that racism distorts the psyches and lives of both victim and victimizer while growing up Jewish in a small Indiana town. Dr. Kaplan was able to participate in a field work placement as a graduate student at the University of Michigan with New Detroit, a black led organization that arose to revive the city after the uprisings in 1971. Fran is a fluent Spanish-speaker and is Jewish and was tasked to conduct anti-racism training and organizing for whites and other non-blacks. Since that internship, she continued to find many opportunities to apply what she learned there. The focus of her life's work has been the rights of women, children, minorities and the poor, and ensuring access to community resources for marginalized groups. Dr. Kaplan has founded and administered a number of community organizations, among them a women's health center, a farm worker self-help organization, and a training center for Spanish-speaking early childhood educators. Fran is also a published writer and the producer of award-winning short and feature films. Her co-authored screenplay, Fruit of the Tree, about the life of lynching survivor James Cameron, founder of the ABHM, has won awards in national and regional competitions. The international trainer-consultant for a global parenting education program, Fran authored and co-produced its Spanish-language videos, books, and games. With Dr. Robert Smith, Dr. Kaplan curated and edited Lynching: An American Folkway, a digital transmedia anthology distributed by Biblioboard, Inc. to libraries across the country. Fran has been recognized by various organizations in Milwaukee and Wisconsin for promoting racial justice and providing leadership [[Page E182]] in children's and human rights, but perhaps her finest achievement is being able to do all that while taking part in the growth and development of several wonderful young people as a mother, foster parent, and ``bubbe'' (grandma). Mr. Speaker, I am proud to recognize Dr. Fran Kaplan on her 70th birthday. She has left a legacy of advocacy and compassion. She is a true trailblazer and my friend for nearly 40 years. And now, Fran has returned to direct anti-racism organizing and education, her first true calling, at ABHM and has finally come home. The citizens of the Fourth Congressional District, the State of Wisconsin and the nation have benefited tremendously from her dedicated service. I am honored for these reasons to pay tribute to Dr. Fran Kaplan. ____________________