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 []

                         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 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.