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For Immediate Release
December 7, 2007
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WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) today announced the addition of two key staff members who will bolster organizing and policy capabilities of its Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign, a national advocacy priority to end the crisis at the intersection of poverty and race. Natacha Blain joins CDF as the Lead Strategic Advisor for the Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign and Lynn White joins as Senior Policy Associate for Juvenile Justice. CDF's Campaign seeks to dismantle the pipeline that puts Black boys born in 2001 at a one in three lifetime risk of going to jail and Latino boys born in 2001 at a one in six lifetime risk of the same fate.
"Our Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign is a strategic priority for the Children's Defense Fund," said CDF Vice President of Policy Karen Lashman. "Natacha's and Lynn's expertise and commitment will be crucial to helping stem the flow of the tens of thousands of children and teens who get pulled into the pipeline each year."
Natacha Blain comes to CDF with a wealth of legislative and advocacy experience from her work as an attorney and as a staffer on Capitol Hill. Her doctorate in clinical psychology and work experience in mental health will be key assets to CDF's campaign. Prior to joining CDF, Ms. Blain served as Legislative Director for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and as Director of Research for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America where she focused on issues affecting the civil justice system. She has also served as a Supreme Court Fellow in the Research Division of the Federal Judicial Center where her work included evaluations of offender re-entry and employment programs. Ms. Blain holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hahnemann University (now Drexel University), a J.D. from Villanova School of Law, and a B.A. from St. John's University. Ms. Blain will play an instrumental role in helping to implement the best practices highlighted at CDF's September Cradle to Prison Pipeline Summit at Howard University by strengthening relationships with community leaders seeking to dismantle the Pipeline.
Lynn White brings to CDF direct experience working to improve the juvenile justice system through her legislative and legal advocacy work in Texas. Prior to joining CDF, Ms. White served as a Legal Fellow at Texas Appleseed in Austin, Texas where she worked to help reform the Texas juvenile justice system, evaluate the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 on Texas school districts, and develop a pro bono program for hurricane survivors in need of legal assistance. Her previous positions include service as a Legislative Assistant to Representative Dawnna Dukes in the Texas State House of Representatives and an Associate at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Washington, DC, where she worked on labor and employment and trade and regulatory cases. She holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law, where she served as Senior Editor of the Howard Law Journal, and a B.A. from the University of Texas. Ms. White will analyze federal, state and local policy relating to juvenile justice and advocate for sound policy improvements at all levels of government that help to dismantle the pipeline.
For more information about CDF's Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign visit www.childrensdefense.org/cradletoprison.
The Children's Defense Fund 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.