Youth Justice


This holy season as Christians honor and celebrate the birth of the world’s most famous poor baby born in a manger, I hope we all will pause to remember the 15.5 million invisible poor babies and children in our rich country who need our help to survive and thrive and reach their God-given potential. Together let us recommit ourselves to ending child poverty now. If we love America we must all stand tall against the excessive greed that tramples millions of the children entrusted to our care. Every child is a sacred gift and deserves just treatment in our nation and world.

Praying and Standing for Children

We pray and stand for children blessed by parents who care and for children without a parent or anyone who cares at all.

We pray and stand for children filled with joy and for children whose days and nights are joyless.

We pray and stand for children with hope and for children whose spirits have been dimmed and dashed.

We pray and stand for children high on play and study and laughter and for children high on pot, glue, cocaine, and ecstasy.

We pray and stand for our children for whom we pray every day and for children who have no one to pray them along life’s way.

We pray and stand for children poised by circumstance to soar and conquer life’s challenges and for children bogged down by the pain of survival.

We pray and stand for children who love to read and for children who can’t read at all, for children who learn with excitement and for children told by adults that they cannot achieve.

We pray and stand for children who expect and are helped to succeed and for children whom no one believes in or helps to succeed.

We pray that we will be a help and not a hindrance to children we call our own and to all the children You created who are part of our family too.


Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to

Mrs. Edelman’s Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post.