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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 400  Previous12345678Next
  • 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."
  • 09/12/08
    Child Watch® Column: "We Must All Register and Vote during This Historic Election"
    People who don't vote don't count and are letting our children and our country down. As our nation's most historic election approaches, we must think of the youngest and most vulnerable among us and make sure we vote this November.
  • 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....."
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