Newsroom

Newsroom image of kids

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 399  Previous12345678Next
  • 12/04/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Is There Still No Room in Our Inn for the Most Famous Poor Baby in History?"
    In this holy season of Advent, tens of millions of Christians are waiting for and preparing to celebrate the birthday of the most famous poor baby in history on Christmas Day. Yet that baby – born in a stable after being denied a room in the inn for his birth over 2,000 years ago – might still find "no room" signs in the health care inn in the richest nation on earth in 2009.
  • 11/20/09
    Child Watch® Column: "A Thanksgiving Prayer to End Poverty in Our Time"
    Thanksgiving is a time when many Americans pause to be grateful for all we have. In the current economic downturn when the gap between rich and poor is at the highest level since the Great Depression and the unemployment rate is 10.2 percent, millions of our neighbors, including many families with children, are struggling hard to count their blessings.
  • 11/13/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Amen! Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond and Ella"
    On November 4, 2009, about 4,000 babies in strollers, young children, parents, youths, teachers, child care providers, doctors, and grandparents rallied and strolled all around our U.S. Capitol. We told Congress that millions of children must not be left worse off after health reform and that the effective and cost effective Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should be kept and improved rather than eliminated as the House health reform bill would do.
  • 11/06/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Adults! Stand Up and Help Prevent Millions of Children From Being Worse – Rather Than Better – Off After Health Reform"
    Health reform bills pending in the House and the Senate would make millions of children worse off after health reform than they are now. This must not happen. The House bill eliminates the successful Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 2013 and would move millions of children who had been in CHIP to a completely new, untested and far more expensive Health Insurance Exchange where parents will end up paying more for their children to receive fewer assured benefits.
  • 10/30/09
    Child Watch® Column: "What Are America's Real Values?"
    What is a child's life worth? What is a child's health worth? What is a child's spirit, battered by preventable suffering and chronic disease, worth? What are a child's hope and ability to learn worth? What are the true values of the world's richest nation that is so spiritually poor that it even debates whether it can afford to give all its children the basic right to health care?
  • 10/23/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Can Children Get Congress To Protect Their Health?"
    In 1931, Grace Abbott, the Chief of the U.S. Children's Bureau, gave a speech about her long and frustrating workdays in our nation's capital trying to advocate for children's needs. She said she felt all alone standing with her baby carriage on the sidewalk watching a great traffic jam moving toward the Capitol where Congress sits.
  • 10/16/09
    Child Watch® Column: "The Annual National Observance of Children's Sabbaths® Celebration"
    For many people of faith who care about children's needs, the third weekend of October is a special celebration. Each year, on this weekend, thousands of churches, synagogues, mosques and temples across the country hold special worship services, education programs and advocacy activities to engage people of faith in the lives of children and their families.
  • 10/09/09
    Child Watch® Column: "The Huge Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap"
    McKinsey & Company is one of the leading management consulting companies in the world so when they turn their attention to analyzing a problem, people listen. Recently, McKinsey's Social Sector Office has been studying a crisis affecting America's children that has enormous repercussions for our nation. In April, they released the report "The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools," and in it they concluded our nation's persistent educational disparities are taking a huge economic toll.
  • 10/02/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Shooting Deaths of Children Rose for Second Straight Year"
    I'm deeply disturbed that after a decade of decline, the number of firearm deaths among children and youths has increased for the second year in a row. Our 2009 "Protect Children, Not Guns" report released in September reveals that almost nine children and teens die from gunfire every day—one child death every two hours and 45 minutes.
  • 09/25/09
    Child Watch® Column: "A Child's Race Against a Deadly Disease"
    Two-year-old Case Hogan is a bright, happy child with a sunshine smile who is in a desperate race against a degenerative disease that is causing the gradual deterioration of his body. A medical diagnosis revealed that Case has Hunters Syndrome, also known as MPS II.
  • 09/18/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Child Health as a Critical National Security Issue"
    In April 2005, a group of scholars at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services published a policy brief on "National Security and U.S. Child Health Policy: The Origins and Continuing Role of Medicaid and EPSDT."
  • 09/11/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Keeping Children Out of the Pipeline to Prison"
    Hundreds of thousands of our nation's children are being funneled down life paths that lead to arrest, conviction, incarceration and even death. The urgent challenge for each of us and for our nation is to prevent this waste of our children's lives and of our nation's capabilities and future.
  • 09/04/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Promising Models for Reforming Juvenile Justice Systems"
    Nationally, one in three Black boys and one in six Latino boys born in 2001 are at risk of going to prison during their lifetimes. Although boys are more than five times as likely to be incarcerated as girls, the number of girls in the juvenile justice system is significant and growing.
  • 08/28/09
    Child Watch® Column: "Katrina's Children— Still Struggling"
    Dear President Obama: My name is Jade Windon, 7th grade student at McDonogh 42 Charter School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. President, I write to you expressing how many of our lives continue to be affected today by the storm that happened almost four years ago. Hurricane Katrina devastated the lives of everyone here and in the Gulf Coast region.
  • 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.
Items 251 - 300 of 399  Previous12345678Next