CONTACT: Naomi Steinberg - 707-845-1946, 707-768-3189
The first annual David Nathan “Gypsy” Chain Memorial Scholarship is now accepting applications from Humboldt area high school seniors and from first year students at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods. David Nathan Chain was a young forest activist killed in 1998 while trying to prevent illegal logging near Grizzly Creek in the Van Duzen River valley. On the 20th anniversary of his death, community leaders, friends and fellow activists established this fund to provide an annual $ 1,000 scholarship for students who have demonstrated commitment to issues of forest ecology through volunteer and/or academic projects. The fund is administered by the Humboldt Area Foundation.
Raised in Texas, David traveled to Humboldt County in the midst of the timber controversy. He learned tree-climbing and nonviolent protest tactics, and took the wood’s name “Gypsy.” The story of his vibrant life and tragic death at twenty-four is documented in A Good Forest For Dying, by Patrick Beach, (2004).
Rabbi Naomi Steinberg, one of the community organizers, comments, “This scholarship fund is very important to me. Twenty years ago David lost his life near my home in Carlotta, and I had the honor of speaking at his funeral in Texas, a heart-wrenching event. He was a wonderful young man, deeply loved, and sorely missed all these years. The scholarship is an opportunity for healing and comfort for his family and friends, and for all of us who were touched by his death.”
The scholarship application is now available. Both high school seniors planning to attend HSU or CR and first year students planning to continue at HSU or CR are eligible to apply. Applications will close on March 15 and the recipient will be announced in June.
Fundraising efforts for the scholarship are ongoing with nearly 30% raised thus far toward the goal of $25,000, which will fund the scholarship into perpetuity. Future fundraising events will include a film series and a concert with activist/songwriter Darryl Cherney. Tax-deductible contributions can be made via the Humboldt Area Foundation.