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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 301 - 350 of 384  Previous12345678Next
  • 09/05/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Congress Must Pass Legislation to Help Children in Foster Care"
    "Congress has a unique opportunity before it leaves Washington, D.C. at the end of September to help children in foster care by enacting important innovative legislation. The Fostering Connections to Success Act (H.R. 6307)..."
  • 08/22/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Immigration Enforcement—Raiding Children's Dreams"
    "On May 12, 2008, teachers in Postville, Iowa, interrupted their classes, called the names of some of their Latino students and directed them to report to the principal's office. Usually, this would mean that they were in for punishment for some infraction...."
  • 08/15/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Sentencing Children to Die in Prison"
    "Ian Manuel was 13-years-old when he participated in a robbery attempt in Florida, leaving the victim with a nonfatal gunshot injury. Ian turned himself in to police, and his attorney told him he would receive a 15-year sentence if he pled guilty. Instead, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole...."
  • 08/08/08
    Child Watch® Column: "The Pact"
    "It all started with a trip to the dentist when George Jenkins was 13. He was at the dentist's office getting braces when a pair of pliers caught his attention. When he asked what they were for, the dentist took the time to show George how his different tools worked and teach him a few facts about his teeth...."
  • 08/01/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Juveniles Don't Belong in Adult Prisons"
    "Jails and prisons are dangerous places for anybody, but especially for children and teens. Many of these institutions house vicious predators who have been locked up for brutal violent crimes..."
  • 07/25/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Mental Health Support Makes a More Normal Life for Teens Possible"
    "To a stranger, Samantha Brown, 18, would look like any other teenager. The petite student is dressed in the latest gear, face covered in glitter makeup. Her friendly eyes dance behind oversized glasses while two pink barrettes keep her hair off her face..."
  • 07/18/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Homeboy Industries—Hope Has a New Address"
    "The first time Father Gregory Boyle performed a funeral mass for one of the youths from the Pico Gardens and Aliso Village public housing projects in East Los Angeles was two decades ago. The young man was a casualty in a war among eight gangs in the economically depressed, mostly Latino neighborhood..."
  • 07/11/08
    Child Watch® Column: "A National Day of Social Action for Health Care"
    There are 9.4 million uninsured children in America today—one child in eight—and millions more are underinsured, but not enough adults are stepping up to change this disgraceful reality. So to raise awareness about the problem, on July 11, thousands of children participating in the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program across the country took part in a National Day of Social Action....
  • 06/27/08
    Child Watch® Column: "We Must Pay Attention to the Rise of Gun Violence"
    "Over a 48-hour period this Memorial Day weekend, 21 people were shot in New York City, six fatally. A gunman opened fire on a crowd in a shopping district in Queens and wounded five people. A 15-year-old was killed while leaving a party in Manhattan. A 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were wounded in Harlem..."
  • 06/20/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Mothers Rocking the Prison Cradle"
    "Many mothers who experience childbirth are coached through labor in a hospital maternity ward with supportive doctors and nurses. Their husbands may capture the birth with a video camera. After the baby's bawling first breaths, mother and child bond in a joyous embrace.."
  • 06/13/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Remembering Mildred Loving"
    "In early May, Mildred Loving, a widow, grandmother and great-grandmother, quietly passed away at her home in rural Caroline County, Virginia. Yet her passing was noted across the country because Mrs. Loving, who was Black, and her late husband Richard, who was White, made history when their struggle to have their marriage recognized led to the landmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling overturning laws in Virginia and other states that banned interracial marriage..."
  • 06/09/08
    Child Watch® Column: "CDF Gun Report Shows Increase of Child and Teen Deaths"
    "Imagine a bullet fired from a semiautomatic pistol, moving through the night darkness faster than the speed of sound—more than 1,200 feet per second or four football fields end to end. Now imagine that bullet slamming into the body of a child like a brick through a picture window...."
  • 05/30/08
    Child Watch® Column: "The Costs of Health Care Are Burying American Families"
    "Unpaid medical bills are piling up on kitchen tables all over America. In addition to the rising costs of food, gas and housing, more and more working families are becoming overwhelmed by skyrocketing health care costs. Since 2001, average premiums for family health insurance coverage have risen 78 percent and now stand at more than $12,000 annually, not including out-of-pocket costs which average an additional $3,000..."
  • 05/23/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Let's Take Bullying Seriously"
    "A youthful tough who got his growth spurt early gets cruel gratification from intimidating weaker peers. The popular jock cruises the locker room looking for "nerdy" kids to torment. The clique of "cool girls" ridicules female classmates that "look different" and excludes them from their circle..."
  • 05/16/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Congress Must Act to Protect Young Detainees from Abuse"
    "In recent years, the Children's Defense Fund has received horrifying reports of the physical and sexual abuse of children and teens in juvenile correctional facilities. There are accounts of children being forced to eat their own vomit, of children being left naked for weeks in small isolation cells with nothing but a hole in the floor for a toilet...."
  • 05/09/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Washington's Two Economies—A Growing Income Gap"
    Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, is one of the great cities of the world. Tourists come here from around the globe to enjoy its world-class museums and art galleries and visit its columned edifices of gleaming marble...
  • 05/02/08
    Child Watch® Column: "We Must End Child Hunger Now"
    "In America, millions of low-income families struggle each month to obtain a minimally adequate diet. In 2006, 12.6 million children and 22.9 million adults lived in households struggling against hunger, and those numbers are expected to grow amid a weakening economy..."
  • 04/25/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, Harvard College's Next Dean"
    This is another one of my Spelman College bragging stories. In March, Harvard University announced the historic appointment of Dr. Evelynn M. Hammonds, a Spelman graduate, as the next dean of Harvard College...
  • 04/18/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Join the GrandRally and Help Grandparentsand Other Relatives Raising Children"
    "What happens to the children of a single mother who becomes so disabled by mental illness or substance abuse that she can't take care of them? Or to the children of a parent who gets killed in a car accident? Who takes care of the children when both parents are called up for military duty overseas?.."
  • 04/11/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Celebrating Young People Who Beat the Odds"
    "I'm always delighted to write columns about people who are doing what's right and good, especially when they're young. So I'd like to share with you a few of the inspiring stories of some of the high school seniors honored this spring at Beat the Odds® Awards events hosted by the Children's Defense Fund's Minnesota and Texas offices."
  • 04/04/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Honoring King is Not Enough"
    "The day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot, I went out into the riot-torn Washington, D.C., streets and into schools in those neighborhoods scorched by flames to talk to the children. ..."
  • 03/28/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Let's Not Discard Working Families That Got Subprimed"
    "The economic downturn that has rocked our nation over the last few months has been attributed in part to the subprime mortgage crisis. Its impact on our nation's biggest mortgage lenders, major banks and Wall Street investment houses with holdings and investments in subprime mortgages ..."
  • 03/21/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Helping Low-Income Taxpayers Get Their Due"
    "Great news: Within the thousands of pages of tax law lies a provision called the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that enables many working poor families to climb out of poverty...."
  • 03/14/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Missouri's Humane and Sensible Approach to Juvenile Justice"
    "At younger and younger ages, children and teens who go through the juvenile justice systems of many states are condemned to long terms at large youth detention centers and adult prisons only to languish in cells surrounded by thick walls and razor wire...."
  • 03/14/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Where are the Children in President Bush's Budget?"
    "When President George W. Bush released his $3.1 trillion Fiscal Year 2009 Federal Budget on February 4, it was a clear statement that he has far less regard for our nation's children than for the richest most powerful Americans and far more interest in waging war than in waging peace...."
  • 02/22/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Hilda Mason — Educator, Activist and Washington, DC's Grandmother"
    "When I think of the many people, of all ages, who became lost or troubled where I grew up in Bennettsville, South Carolina, I also think of the pool of community co-parents and elders who were always there to help them and guide them in the right direction. Hilda Mason, teacher, civil rights activist and city council member, was just such a leader here in Washington, D.C....."
  • 02/16/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Black Families Need to Hold on to Children - Our Growing Edge"
    "Throughout most of our history, Black families have been like that oak tree. Despite enormous assaults and pressures, Black parents and elders remained determined to hold on and persevere long enough to prepare the next generation and give them a better life. During Black History Month, many Americans take time to remember the achievements of amazing Black individuals. But Black families deserve their own praise for all we've accomplished."
  • 02/15/08
    Child Watch® Column: "The Supreme Court Must Uphold DC's Handgun Ban"
    "This year, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to overturn a lower court decision striking down the District of Columbia's 1976 handgun ban designed to reduce violent crime. If the Court reverses the lower court and upholds the ban...."
  • 02/08/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Making Sure Our Children Know Their History"
    "Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history." So said Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the scholar and historian who is called "The Father of Black History..."
  • 02/01/08
    Child Watch® Column: "A Child Next Door May Need Your Help"
    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...
  • 01/25/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Dr. Bill Cosby's Message to Parents: We Need to Listen"
    "Beloved educator, entertainer, and author Dr. Bill Cosby is a man on a mission: turning the Black community around. It's the key theme of his new book, Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors, co-authored with Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint...."
  • 01/18/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Dr. King's Prophetic Call to Conscience and Action Today"
    "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...."
  • 01/11/08
    Child Watch® Column: "The Parent Institute For Quality Education: Solutions That Work"
    "At the national summit on the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Crisis convened by the Children's Defense Fund at Howard University in September, we had the opportunity to hear from a number of national experts about solutions that are working to keep at-risk children off the track to prison and on the path to success....."
  • 01/04/08
    Child Watch® Column: "Excellence Charter School — A Model for Academic Achievement"
    "One of the greatest life changers is a college education. For so many young people, college is a vehicle that allows them to reinvent themselves in the image of their own dreams...."
  • 12/28/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Creating a Community Cradle Roll"
    "Was your name on the Cradle Roll? Many of us who grew up in the church will know right away just what that means."
  • 12/21/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Making Room at America's Inn for All God's Children"
    "Like Howard Thurman's "Prayer of Thanksgiving," I like sharing this story a friend shared with me as "the best sermon" my dear friend and mentor Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., who passed away last year, "never preached." It was Christmas Eve and the pews at New York City's Riverside Church were packed."
  • 12/14/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Giving -- The True Gift of Christmas"
    "Christmas is a festive time when many families come together, homes are decorated with trees hung with ornaments and lights and sumptuous dinners are prepared. Christmas also can be, for a variety of reasons, a time of stress. "
  • 12/07/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Augustus Hawkins -- A Marvelous Statesman Passes On"
    "Augustus F. "Gus" Hawkins was a legislator, an advocate for children and working families, and a statesman. He died at the age of 100 on November 10th."
  • 11/30/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Let's Put the "Justice" Back in Our Juvenile Justice System"
    "Although she had no prior criminal record, 14-year-old Shaquanda Cotton was sentenced in 2006 to up to seven years in correctional detention for shoving a teacher's aide in the small town of Paris in East Texas. Another 14-year-old girl was sentenced by the same judge to probation after she was convicted of the serious crime of arson."
  • 11/23/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Young, Black, and Locked Up"
    "If you were asked where the United States ranks among industrialized countries on low birthweight, infant mortality or child poverty, a guess much higher than the bottom on any of these social indicators would be wrong. But if you were asked where America stands on imprisoning its citizens, you would be correct to answer that we surpass everyone else. Our nation incarcerates more people — over 2.3 million in 2006 — than any other country."
  • 11/19/07
    Child Watch® Column: "A Litany of Thanksgiving"
    "In this season of Thanksgiving, I wish you wealth in the things of true value — family, friends, health and peace of mind and spirit. For those of us with plenty, it's a time to stretch our waistbands with customary comfort food — turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce."
  • 11/09/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Courage to Beat the Odds"
    "Imagine being alone on a battlefield facing new enemies each and every day. There are few visible avenues of retreat or escape and few resources to help you survive. But by dint of inner strength, you not only survive, you prevail."
  • 11/02/07
    Child Watch® Column: "From School Yard to Prison Yard"
    "In a number of America's upper-income communities, parents like generations of family members before them preregister their children at birth for blue-chip nursery schools in hopes of placing them on the path to Ivy League and other top-tier universities. By contrast, millions of Black and Latino children from poor families with no or few stimulating prekindergarten opportunities never make it onto the college track."
  • 10/26/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Fighting the Culture Battle for Our Children's Future"
    "Compared to today, many of the messages that our children received from popular culture in the 1960s and 70s were positive or at least not harmful. We all remember the Motown love ballads of groups like "The Temptations" who sang songs with lyrics like: "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May. I guess you'd say, 'What can make me feel this way?' My girl…." Marvin Gaye's What's Happening Brother album offered a commentary on war, poverty, drug abuse and pollution"
  • 10/19/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Oratory and Baseball are Strong Diversions from the Prison Pipeline"
    "This is one of a series of Child Watch® Columns on dismantling America's Cradle to Prison Pipeline. Young people get on the prison track for a variety of reasons—they fall in with the wrong crowd, they have few positive adult influences in their lives, they are not engaged in positive activities."
  • 10/12/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Childhood Obesity -- A Growing Epidemic"
    "Children around the world face life-threatening nutrition problems. The international child relief organization, Save the Children, says that each year, chronic long-term malnutrition contributes to the deaths of approximately 6.5 million children worldwide."
  • 09/28/07
    Child Watch® Column: "A Call to Action to Dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline"
    "The Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution as a roadmap to, as the Preamble says, "establish justice," "promote the general welfare" and "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Somehow over the last 220 years, our nation lost its way and developed a system that has established America as the prison capital of the world."
  • 09/28/07
    Child Watch® Column: "Dr. Asa Hilliard -- Scholar Liberator"
    "We lost a giant in August when educator, psychologist and historian Asa G. Hilliard III died while leading a study tour in Egypt. Asa Hilliard was a pioneering scholar who sought a greater balance in the history curriculum as it is taught in American elementary and secondary schools and at the university level."
  • 09/21/07
    Child Watch® Column: "President Bush's New Health Rules are Wrong for Children"
    "Late on a Friday afternoon in the middle of the August congressional recess, after the House and Senate passed legislation reauthorizing and extending the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the Bush Administration issued harsh and restrictive rules for SCHIP that would make it virtually impossible for states to extend health coverage to many of America's more than nine million uninsured children."
  • 09/14/07
    Child Watch® Column: "We Will Not Be Silent About the Jena Six"
    "I'm writing to urge all of my readers to take action and demand justice for the African American youths known as "the Jena Six." These young men, all teenagers, are in great peril of being condemned to long prison terms for allegedly participating in a school fight in the small rural town of Jena, Louisiana. Mychal Bell, 17, has already been convicted by an all-White jury of aggravated second-degree battery and may be sentenced to as much as 15 years and a $10,000 fine at a hearing scheduled for September 20th."
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