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Marian Wright Edelman's Child Watch® Columns

Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman is a lifelong advocate for disadvantaged Americans and is the President of CDF. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation's strongest voice for children and families.

Her Child Watch column is sent every Friday to subscribers and posted to The Huffington Post weekly.


Child Watch Column Archives

Items 251 - 300 of 385  Previous12345678Next
  • 08/21/09
    Child Watch® Column: "The Economic Costs of Uninsured Children"
    In June, Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy released "The Economic Impact of Uninsured Children on America," a new report whose bottom line is that extending health insurance coverage to all children in the United States would be relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of letting children remain uninsured and would yield economic benefits that are greater than the costs.
  • 08/14/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Life and Death and Child Health Reform"
    As a child, Devante Johnson's future seemed to be full of promise. His mother, Tamika Scott, worked hard, managing to raise three boys while pursuing a career, buying a house and completing a college degree. But as we reported two years ago, her family's middle class security crumbled when her doctors told her she had Multiple Sclerosis and strongly urged her to leave her job because the stress of work would make her condition worse. With the dramatic loss of income and insurance, everything she was building began to slip away as she cashed in stocks and used money from her retirement fund to pay bills. Fifteen months later, her problems worsened. Her oldest son, Devante, then 10, was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer.
  • 08/07/09
    Child Watch® Column: "We Must Support the Youth PROMISE Act"
    Over the last three decades, politicians from Capitol Hill to local city councils have generated law enforcement polices and practices based on the mantra that we have to "get tough on crime."
  • 07/31/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Unfair Children's Health Disparities: More Reason for Reform"
    In all of the recent debate over who deserves access to health care in our wealthy country, one often forgotten fact is that this is one more area where Black children and other children of color have always been left behind. Of the nine million uninsured children in America, minority children are uninsured and underinsured at far greater rates than White children.
  • 07/24/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Eleven-year-old Ronald's Troubling Predicament"
    Eleven-year-old Ronald has just finished the fourth grade at his New Orleans elementary school. During the school year he was enrolled in an after-school Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® program, which seeks to help children fall in love with reading, increase their self-esteem, and develop more positive attitudes toward learning.
  • 07/17/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Children Demand Real Child Health Reform Legislation in Congress for All Children"
    As legislators on Capitol Hill make crucial decisions right now to reform America's broken health care system, thousands of children across the country raised their voices demanding health coverage for all children during the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® annual National Day of Social Action.
  • 07/10/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Let's Stop Playing the Lottery with Our Children's Health"
    As Congress drafts legislation to reform America's health care system, our Senators and Representatives must consider the impact of the unjust lottery of geography on children like Carlos Sanchez (not his real name). For five years, Carlos, 15, received pediatric care at the Upper Cardozo Health Center, one of the 39 sites that are a part of Unity Health Care, Inc.
  • 07/03/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Health Coverage: Making Too Little, Making Too Much?"
    The James family in Fort Worth, Texas, should be celebrating right now. After losing his last job due to the difficult economy, Jason James, who worked as a supervisor at a warehouse company, had been searching for new employment for months.
  • 06/26/09
    Child Watch® Column: "This Is Congress's Chance to Fix the Health Care System for All Children"
    On June 23, I testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, to comment on its comprehensive health reform discussion draft. I pressed the Subcommittee on the need for health care reforms that extend affordable and accessible coverage with comprehensive benefits to all children in every state and urged them to simplify enrollment and retention, particularly in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • 06/19/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Insuring Taylor's Future"
    Leigh Bernard expects her seven-year-old twin daughters Taylor and Sydney to grow into productive, self-sufficient adults. That shouldn't be an unreasonable expectation as they're both bright, active children who are doing well at their school in Glen Allen near Richmond, Virginia.
  • 06/12/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Bridget's Battle"
    Desni and Bob Crock want their two-year-old daughter Bridget to have everything she needs to fight the rare cancer that's attacking her lung, but they find themselves fighting a second battle at the same time—a battle to survive financially because of soaring health care costs.
  • 06/05/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Santa Clara County Probation Program's Alternative to Warehousing Youths"
    At the Children's Defense Fund's Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Summit in Sacramento, California, we heard from young people from Missouri and California who are trying to get out of the pipeline with the help of caring adults.
  • 05/29/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Empowering the Next Generation Through the CDF Freedom Schools® Program"
    Close your eyes and think about the words summer school. What comes to mind? If you picture a room full of children clapping, chanting, laughing and learning to fall in love with books and reading, you could be imagining the experience thousands of children across the country are about to have over the next few months as they participate in the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program.
  • 05/22/09
    Child Watch® Column: "A Song for Anna"
    Bill La Croix began singing to his daughter Anna as soon as she was born. Picking his banjo, he sang to his little blue-eyed girl about the mountains outside their Victor, Montana, home. But Anna didn't hear her father's music. When she was about 14 months old, Bill and Anna's mother, Amy, discovered their child was deaf.
  • 05/15/09
    Child Watch® Column: "National Foster Care Month"
    May is National Foster Care Month and this year is a good time to reflect on the progress we can make in improving the lives of children and youths in foster care by implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (Fostering Connections Act).
  • 05/08/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Insurance CEOs Get Rich While Denying Health Coverage to Children"
    Katie Hebert, age 4, is a very sick little girl. She gets severe seizure-like attacks that can last 11 hours from an undiagnosed neuro-developmental disorder. She is deaf in one ear, has a feeding disorder and requires daily medication for asthma...
  • 05/01/09
    Child Watch® Column: "The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy"
    After falling for many years, the teen pregnancy rate is again on the rise. According to a report released in March by the National Center for Health Statistics, the teen birth rate increased 5 percent between 2005 and 2007. And a 2007 Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey reveals that the declines in teenage sexual activity and increases in teenage contraceptive use have come to a standstill.
  • 04/24/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Whatever It Takes"
    Whatever It Takes. That's the title of the recent book by New York Times Magazine editor Paul Tough about Geoffrey Canada, a vice chair of the Children's Defense Fund's board of directors and the visionary creator of the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ). "Whatever it takes" is Canada's philosophy about serving and saving the thousands of children in the nearly 100-block radius that constitutes the Harlem Children's Zone Project.
  • 04/17/09
    Child Watch® Column: "National Child Abuse Prevention Month"
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month—a good time for us to look at the child abuse and neglect crisis in America. The statistics are shocking: A child is abused or neglected every 40 seconds. During 2007, an estimated 794,000 children were determined to be victims of child abuse or neglect, and almost 3.2 million children were subjects of abuse or neglect investigations.
  • 04/10/09
    Child Watch® Column: "A Public Health Insurance Plan Can Cover All of Our Children"
    It's plain that our nation's health insurance system is broken: 46 million people in America lack health coverage—nine million of them children—and the number of uninsured is growing during the current recession.
  • 04/03/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Dr. John Hope Franklin—Scholar, Teacher, Activist, Friend"
    On March 25 beloved historian John Hope Franklin, the nation's leading scholar of African American history, passed away at age 94. Dr. Franklin became a scholar of Black history at a time when many other "experts" didn't believe there was anything about African American history worth studying.
  • 03/30/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Important Free Help at Tax Time"
    Mabel Pichardo is a self-employed mother of two young children from New York City. She earned approximately $31,000 last year making ends meet through three different freelance jobs. In 2008, she had her tax returns prepared for free at the nonprofit Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation...
  • 03/20/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Dentists Remember and Respond to a Child's Preventable Death"
    To the horror of us all, Deamonte Driver, a seventh grader from Prince George's County, Maryland, died of complications from an abscessed tooth on February 25, 2007. The outrage is that Deamonte's life could have been saved by routine dental visits and an $80 extraction.
  • 03/13/09
    Child Watch® Column: "The Girl Next Door May Now Be on the Corner"
    We rarely see headlines that read: "Prostitute Arrested for Soliciting" because such law enforcement incidents are so commonplace. But behind the thousands of stories about prostitution that don't make their way into the newspapers is the brutal nightmare of child trafficking in America today....
  • 03/06/09
    Child Watch® Column: "A Look at Race, Incarceration, and American Values"
    Glenn Loury, a professor in the Department of Economics at Brown University, has long been one of the nation's most outspoken Black intellectuals. For many years he was a leading conservative voice on topics like affirmative action, and whenever he focuses on a policy issue affecting the Black community, people pay attention...
  • 02/27/09
    Child Watch® Column: "The Growing Problem of Over-Policing Our Schools"
    Imagine being four years old and put into handcuffs because you and your friend wouldn't take a nap in your pre-K class. Or being five years old, handcuffed, and taken away from your school by ambulance to a hospital psychiatric ward after throwing a tantrum in the kindergarten room. These scenarios might sound far-fetched...
  • 02/20/09
    Child Watch® Column: "National Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Summit This Week"
    "As most children grow up in America, they hear the out-loud dreams and expectations that their parents and other adults have for them: doing well at school, a fulfilling career and a family. Regrettably, those are not the dreams and expectations that many poor Black and Latino children grow up with. For too many of them, childhood means starting school not ready to learn, not reading at grade level, being pushed out or dropping out of school at younger and younger ages, then hanging out on the corner and getting a "street" education. This often leads to getting sucked into the pipeline to prison, which can best be described as a living nightmare..."
  • 02/13/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Economic Crisis Puts Children at Risk"
    "In the middle of all the headlines and 24-hour news reports about the economic crisis, one critical story is just beginning to be told. Four days after Christmas, the Washington Post ran this article: "Child Neglect Cases Multiply As Economic Woes Spread." In the article, area child welfare workers talked about the noticeable rise in the number of child abuse and neglect investigations. Many of the new neglect cases were connected to families trying to make do without heat, electricity or necessary medical care, like asthma medications and other basic needs. An emergency room doctor at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, worried about a recent jump in the number of children coming in with bruises, broken bones and burns, and colleagues in other cities told her they'd noticed the same thing."
  • 02/06/09
    Child Watch® Column: "The Cradle to Prison Pipeline: America's New Apartheid"
    "Incarceration is becoming the new American apartheid and poor children of color are the fodder. It is time to sound a loud alarm about this threat to American unity and community, act to stop the growing criminalization of children at younger and younger ages, and tackle the unjust treatment of minority youths and adults in the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems with urgency and persistence...."
  • 01/30/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Black History American History"
    "A century ago, a two-day race riot in Springfield, Illinois, where White mobs lynched two Blacks, turned out to be the final straw for a small interracial group of Americans committed to social justice. Lynchings and other acts of terror against Blacks at the height of the Post-Reconstruction Jim Crow era had become all too common. But after the White mob violence instigated by some of the 'best citizens' in President Abraham Lincoln's hometown, this group decided to act..."
  • 01/23/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Now Is the Time to Bail Our Poor Children and Families Out of Poverty"
    "As the current recession has turned into what may be the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, we all witnessed televised coverage of the CEOs of big banks, investment houses, mortgage companies and auto makers testify before Congress and plead for financial bailouts. They argued that bankruptcy of these corporate behemoths would result in a national economic catastrophe..."
  • 01/16/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Inauguration Day: Continuing the Dream"
    "Rosa sat so Martin could march. Martin marched so Barack could run. Barack runs so our children can fly!" From text messages to t-shirts, versions of this quote circulated everywhere during last year's historic presidential election. The popular message captured many people's belief that just like Mrs. Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President-elect Barack Obama is part of a historic legacy of trailblazers and leaders, each one taking a giant new step toward making a better nation for the next generation of Black Americans and all Americans..."
  • 01/09/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Remembering Sally Smith, the Pioneering Arts Educator"
    "It was a catered evening reception at the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., but this event didn't signal an exhibit opening for a famous painter. The guests of honor were 30 outstanding, though generally unheralded, elementary and high school art teachers from across the country flown to Washington to receive a personalized award and a print signed by artist James Rosenquist..."
  • 01/02/09
    Child Watch® Column: "All Parents Can Use Support"
    "Parenting offers the most wonderful and daunting challenges in the world. Parents are their children's most important teachers and mentors, and they bear primary responsibility for nurturing their sons and daughters while keeping them safe."
  • 12/26/08
    Child Watch® Column: "CDF's 35th Anniversary: Looking Back, Looking Forward"
    "As we all look to a new year and pause to remember the highlights of the last one, the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is reflecting on a major milestone: 2008 marked our 35th anniversary. In October, we celebrated with a special event at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C."
  • 12/18/08
    Child Watch® Column: "A Christmas Prayer to End Poverty in Our Time"
    As 2.1 billion Christians in our world prepare to celebrate the birth of the most famous poor baby in history, I hope they and all peoples will commit to helping all the poor babies in our rich nation and world find a place in our hearts and at our tables of plenty.
  • 12/12/08
    Child Watch® Column: "America's Sixth Child"
    "On the day he died, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called his mother to give her his next Sunday's sermon title: "Why America May Go to Hell." In his 1968 call for a Poor People's Campaign, he warned that "America is going to hell if we don't use her vast resources to end poverty and make it possible for all of God's children to have the basic necessities of life."
  • 12/05/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Are We Preparing Our Children to Lead in Science?"
    "On October 4, 1957, history changed with the Soviet Union's successful launch of Sputnik I, the world's first man-made satellite. Americans were alarmed that we had been outpaced technologically and saw the Soviet feat as a threat to our national security. In order to catch up with the Russians, our nation swung into action and infused new funding and resources into scientific research on a priority basis that resulted in new labs springing up all over the country."
  • 11/28/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Dr. Julius Richmond—Creator of Head Start"
    "In July 2008, Dr. Julius B. Richmond passed away at age 91 at his home outside Boston. Dr. Richmond served as U.S. Surgeon General under President Jimmy Carter. He was a pediatrician, professor of medicine, a child development specialist, and a co-creator and the first director of Head Start. "
  • 11/21/08
    Child Watch® Column: "A Time for Thanksgiving"
    "The past year has been a tumultuous and uncertain one for many Americans. Each day's headlines brought worrisome news: the collapse of Wall Street; massive home and job losses; and a spreading global economic crisis. We all felt enormous fear and insecurity for our family's and children's futures...."
  • 11/21/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Kauffman Foundation Expands Kansas City CDF Freedom Schools® Program"
    "The rows of young people with "Kansas City CDF Freedom Schools" in black letters on their goldenrod T-shirts stood out among the 1,200 mostly college students shouting: "Rock the Freedom Schools, Rock the Freedom Schools...."
  • 11/14/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Is the U.S. Living Its Creed and Preparing for the Future?"
    "At this transformative moment in American life with the election of Senator Barack Obama as our first African American and 44th President of the United States of America, we citizens must now roll up our sleeves and help translate this new presidency into a transformation of America's investment priorities and values—real change...."
  • 11/07/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Yes We Can"
    "I am so proud of America! I am so proud of President-Elect Barack Obama who calls us to greatness and to rise to our best selves. And I am so proud of all the young people who joined with him in saying, "Yes we can."
  • 10/31/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Benjamin Jealous: A New Generation of NAACP Leadership"
    "In September, with his selection as the new president and CEO of the NAACP, Ben Jealous became, at 35, the youngest president in the organization's history. He represents a new generation of Black leadership—one of many Black adults and youths who grew up benefitting from the increased access to education and opportunity opened up by the Civil Rights Movement..."
  • 10/24/08
    Child Watch® Column: "In This Election The Supreme Court Matters"
    "On the way to the voting booth on November 4, in addition to thinking about who should occupy the White House, we should also be concerned about who he will appoint to federal courts. The next President will likely name one to three Justices to the Supreme Court and hundreds to lower federal courts. I can't over-emphasize how important this is to America's children and future...."
  • 10/17/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Eternity Isn't Forever"
    "Eternity means forever. Perhaps a mother who names her child Eternity hopes it will be a talisman to ward off the dangers that stalk poor and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Sadly, with the gun violence that is so pervasive in many of our communities, too many parents live with a paralyzing fear that their children may not be safe from those dangers...."
  • 10/10/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Teen Pregnancy in America Today"
    "Vice-presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin's announcement that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant has sparked a new conversation about teenage pregnancy in America. This renewed focus on teen pregnancy is an opportunity for us all to commit to giving young people our support rather than stigmatizing and judging them...."
  • 10/07/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Judging the Candidates on Their Records"
    "During nearly two years of presidential campaigning, the candidates have made claims and promises on how they would perform if they are elected to the White House. Some of the criteria we might use to judge a candidate's fitness and temperament for leadership are difficult to quantify..."
  • 09/26/08
    Child Watch® Column: "The Long Hard Road to Race-Free Politics in America"
    "A cartoon published in the early 1960s depicted a Black boy saying to a White boy: "I'll sell you my chance to be President of the United States for a nickel." The cartoon summed up how much most Black people felt the chances of a Black child growing up to be President were worth..."
  • 09/19/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Invest in Children Not Prisons—Stop Prop. 6"
    "Every election year, politicians talk about getting tough on crime. One easy and politically popular strategy is to show voters you are tough on crime by spending billions of dollars sending people to prison."
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