Child Watch® Columns

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  • 11/22/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    A Litany of Thanksgiving

    On this Thanksgiving, I share again the beautiful prayer of great Black theologian Howard Thurman, A Litany of Thanksgiving, which my family reads together each year. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the values we embrace – especially this year as we feel so threatened by the negative forces of division and racial hatred.
  • 11/17/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Why America May Go to Hell!

    I hope you will speak up loudly and do whatever else is necessary to stop Congress’ hugely unjust Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that rewards billionaires at the expense of poor babies and corporations at the expense of vulnerable children. Millions of America’s children today are suffering from hunger, homelessness and hopelessness.
  • 11/03/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Pauli Murray's Song of Hope

    I met and got to know Pauli Murray at Yale Law School in 1960 and she was a mentor and friend during my three years of law school. By the time she arrived at Yale she had already published the acclaimed memoir Proud Shoes and the landmark legal study States’ Laws on Race and Color, which Thurgood Marshall called a Bible for civil rights lawyers.
  • 10/27/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Children and the Opioid Crisis

    President Trump’s announcement yesterday reminded us all that the opioid crisis is a public health emergency, but in fact it is also a national emergency and we must do so much more.
  • 10/20/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    We Can and Must Win for Children!

    As congregations of all faiths are observing the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration this weekend, “Moving Forward with Hope: Love and Justice for Every Child,” I offer prayers for all child advocates in this very challenging time for children and families and all of us when a half century of struggle for a more inclusive and just nation is at risk.
  • 10/13/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Healing the Gaping Open Wound: An Urgent Call for More Aid and Fair Treatment for Puerto Rico

    Three weeks after Hurricane Maria ravaged the entire island of Puerto Rico, the children who have returned to school for a few hours a day in a building with no power are some of the lucky ones. Most of Puerto Rico’s 1,113 public schools have not reopened yet. Some are still being used as emergency shelters for families who lost their homes in the storm.
  • 10/06/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Congress Is Holding CHIP and Children Hostage

    States and families across the country are in this crisis mode because Congress let the deadline to extend funding for CHIP pass at midnight on September 30th leaving nine million children like Dr. Falusi’s young patient uncertain about their health coverage.
  • 09/29/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Kneelers of Conscience

    Many President Trump observers believe he throws out inflammatory and divisive comments to distract in moments when the news cycle is critical of his erratic, inappropriate and contentious conduct. That appeared to be true last week when more than three million suffering Americans without power or enough food and water in hurricane devastated Puerto Rico were desperately crying for more federal help.
  • 09/22/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    The Continuing Mean Assault on Our Children’s Health

    It’s back. The assault on our children’s health coverage has been resurrected for a final last-minute attempt at passage and is even more dangerous and cruel than ever. The latest Graham (R-SC)-Cassidy (R-LA) revision of the health repeal bill feels like a Halloween movie cliché with a zombie-like villain that refuses to die if its threats to children, seniors, and more of America’s most vulnerable weren’t so deadly serious.
  • 09/15/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    A Prayer to End Child Poverty in Our Time

    We know what to do to end child poverty if we want to in rich America. The U.S. Census Bureau reported this week that the number of children in poverty declined slightly again for the second year, but that children shamefully are still our poorest age group.
  • 09/08/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    CONGRESS: ACT ON CHIP

    Now 20 years after CHIP put an entire generation of children on the path to a healthy adulthood, we stand at another pivotal moment: Unless Congress takes action, funding for this essential, popular, highly successful program will end after September 30, 2017. Without this funding millions of children could lose health coverage or pay more for less comprehensive coverage, leaving millions of children significantly worse off than they are today.
  • 09/01/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Praying and Standing for Children

    As a new school year begins I want to share prayers for our children, all of them, and for caring adults to be God’s hands and feet standing for children everywhere in these very difficult times in our nation and around our shared world.
  • 08/25/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Welcome to America

    I recently had the privilege of meeting five outstanding high school students the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio’s Beat the Odds® program was honoring for overcoming tremendous adversity, demonstrating academic excellence and giving back to their communities. One of these inspiring young people was Sara Abou Rashed.
  • 08/18/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Please Take Sides: This Is No Time for Silence or Inaction!

    There are not two sides to Nazism. There are not two sides to White supremacism, bigotry, and racial and religious hatred and intolerance. Heather Heyer – a nonviolent protester against racial intolerance – is not as much at fault as the man who violently and deliberately hit and killed her with his car on a Charlottesville street.
  • 08/11/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    A Success Story to Inspire Us All!

    I recently received this beautiful letter from one of our extraordinary Beat the Odds alumna that lifted my spirits in these difficult national times
  • 08/04/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    A Child Advocate’s Beatitudes

    Below is a prayer for child advocates. Teachers and school administrators are always on the front lines advocating for children so maybe one of them could use this today as s/he is preparing for the new school year.
  • 07/28/17

    Child Watch® Column:
    Happy Birthday Medicaid from the Millions Who Love and Need You

    President Lyndon B. Johnson said this fifty-two years ago on July 30, 1965 as he signed the bipartisan legislation that established the federal Medicaid Program and thanked former President Harry S. Truman and the many members of Congress from both parties who had laid the groundwork and worked tirelessly over many years to make the Medicaid program and its protections reality.
  • 07/21/17

    Child Watch® Column: "Keep Working and Never Ever Give Up!"

    As Senate Republicans spent the last few days in closed door meetings frantically trying to plot new ways to achieve their wretched plans to destroy the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it, hundreds of people of faith spent our week gathered at the annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry to rekindle our shared conviction that all great religious traditions call us to acts of love and justice especially for children who are impoverished, vulnerable, marginalized and excluded and to renew our deep and shared commitment to resisting evil and injustice with unrelenting determined nonviolent action.
  • 07/14/17

    Child Watch® Column: "An Open Letter to the United States Senate "

    I learned my first lessons about injustice and health as a little Black girl growing up in segregated Bennettsville, South Carolina. I remember my parents’ and my sadness over the senseless death of little Johnny Harrington, who lived three houses down from our church who died before he reached 10 because his hard working grandmother didn’t know about the need for or have the money for him to get a tetanus shot after he stepped on a rusted nail. I also remember being awakened in the middle of the night after a Black migrant family’s car collided with a White truck driver’s vehicle on the highway in front of our parsonage, and the horror I felt when my Daddy, my siblings and I witnessed the White ambulance driver and attendants arrive on the scene only to leave behind the seriously injured Black migrant worker after they saw that the White truck’s passengers were not hurt.
  • 07/07/17

    Child Watch® Column: "Tell Congress to Stop Picking on Our Most Vulnerable Children!"

    It is unfathomable to me that week after week I must continue to defend the Medicaid program that for more than 50 years has protected the health and well-being of tens of millions of America’s most vulnerable. We know many of the 37 million children enrolled in Medicaid today are from poor or low-income families and that 40 percent of children with special health care needs benefit from Medicaid. Among these children are almost half a million foster children, nearly 40 percent of them under age six. These children, invisible to many, are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable.
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