When Richard Levy moved to the United States as a Holocaust survivor, he had no notion of racism and knew little about the history of slavery in the United States. However, when he married his wife, Betty, he became sensitized to the problem of racism in the United States.

Betty and Richard were members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and protested the urban renewal projects in Syracuse that threatened the homes and livelihoods of Black families starting in 1963. They were both arrested for their efforts and spent a brief time in jail. The couple was married for nearly 60 years until Betty passed away in 2019.

As a long-time fundholder of the Community Foundation, Richard has supported several nonprofits and initiatives. A major charitable passion of his is the equity and inclusion sector, through which he has supported the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Equal Justice Initiative and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He also served on the board of the Central New York Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU).

Richard created this fund to honor Betty’s memory by supporting equitable causes within the community that were important to them both.

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