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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2009
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WASHINGTON, DC — Today, as our nation prepares to celebrate Mother’s Day, a group of prominent Hollywood women—including Jessica Alba, Regina King, Keri Russell, Jurnee Smollett, Ali Wentworth and others—joined Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and Michelle Fenty, attorney and Washington, DC, First Lady, on a children’s health reform Child Watch day in Washington, DC. They were joined by families from Texas, Virginia and Montana who spoke about the struggles they’ve faced trying to get their children the health coverage they need.
The group conducted a CDF Child Watch visit to the Unity Health Care Upper Cardozo Clinic in Columbia Heights, where they met children at the clinic and held a roundtable discussion with health care providers and working families from across the country about the difficulties in accessing quality affordable health care for their children. The women shared these experiences when they met administration officials and Congressional leaders later in the day to ask for guaranteed quality affordable health care for all children as part of the health reform legislation being drafted this month.
"Eleanor Roosevelt believed that only women with power would stand up for women and children without power, and that a woman’s will is the strongest force in the world," said Marian Wright Edelman. "Just as she used her indomitable will to educate and move the country and world to help the neediest among us, this Child Watch visit will help shine a light on the struggles so many parents encounter when trying to secure health and mental health care for their children. It is time for women to unite and bring that strong will to the corridors of power on behalf of powerless women and children. Together, we can and must build the political will to ensure all children and pregnant women have access to health coverage."
The group of women included: actress Jessica Alba; Founder and Director of the Angelrock Project Malaak Compton-Rock; Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman; attorney and First Lady of Washington, DC Michelle Fenty; child advocate Ruth-Ann Huvane; actress Regina King; Executive Director of the Creative Artists Agency Foundation Michelle Kydd Lee; child advocate Katie McGrath; Executive Director of the just keep livin foundation Shannon Rotenberg; actress Keri Russell; Senior West Coast Editor of Vanity Fair Krista Smith; actress Jurnee Smollett; film music supervisor Laura Wasserman; and actress and comedienne Ali Wentworth.
About the Children's Defense Fund
The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for 35 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation. Supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations, CDF advocates nationwide on behalf of children to ensure children are always a priority.
The CDF 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.
About the CDF Child Watch Program
The CDF Child Watch program seeks to educate the heart and the mind; tie the faces of children to unjust budget and policy choices; help influential decision makers see child needs in their own communities; show them positive alternatives; engage them in seeking solutions; and build bridges across race, faith and income. CDF’s goal is to get the movers and shakers to move and shake our policy, media and political leaders to action for children and create a new powerful cadre of leaders for children. The Child Watch program’s roots can be traced back to 1967 when a young civil rights lawyer named Marian Wright took Senator Robert F. Kennedy away from the marble corridors of Washington to the clapboard shacks of the Mississippi Delta to see what was happening to America’s children.
About Unity Health Care
Unity Health Care, Inc. (Unity), Washington, DC’s largest nonprofit health and social services organization, serves individuals and families in all eight wards of the District of Columbia through its network of 14 Community Health Centers, nine sites serving homeless individuals and a mobile medical outreach unit. In 2008, Unity served more than 81,000 of the most vulnerable residents of the District including the uninsured, working poor, homeless and the formerly incarcerated. For more information about Unity Health Care, Inc., visit our website at www.unityhealthcare.org.