Child Watch® Columns

Items 281 - 300 of 570  Previous11121314151617181920Next
  • 07/20/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Pushing Children Out of School—A New American Value?"

    In 1642 the Massachusetts General Court passed one of the very first laws about education in what would become the United States. It ruled that because it was apparent “the good education of children is of singular behoof and benefit to any Common-wealth,” all parents and guardians were required to make sure children received “so much learning as may enable them perfectly to read the English tongue, & knowledge of the Capital Lawes.” Educating children well enough to read and understand the laws of the community was considered so critical that local selectmen were put in charge of making sure it was done—and they would be able to tell children hadn’t been educated properly if they became “rude, stubborn & unruly.”
  • 07/13/12

    Child Watch® Column: "The Politics of Power and the Precious Right to Vote"

    “The first fact that we need to understand is that America has a longer history of disenfranchisement than it does of enfranchisement. What do I mean by that? At the time of the American Revolution when America was finding its footing, more than two-thirds of the people who resided in the colonies couldn't vote. You had to be white, you had to be male, you had to have property, and you had to be privileged. This history of America is a history of political exclusion . . . It was because people were trying to control power from the very beginning.”
  • 07/06/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Ending the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and Mass Incarceration—the New American Jim Crow"

    A Black boy born in 2001 has a one in three chance of going to prison in his lifetime and a Latino boy a one in six chance of the same fate. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world: 7.1 million adult residents-one in 33-are under some form of correctional supervision including prison, jail, probation, or parole. Michelle Alexander writes in her bestselling book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness that there are more adult African Americans under correctional control today than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. In 2011, our state and federal prison population exceeded that of all European nations combined. Something's very wrong with this picture.
  • 06/29/12

    Child Watch® Column: "See Something, Say Something"

    On June 25th, the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama banned mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole for juveniles. This is a major victory for children and for America and a giant step forward for justice for children. Until this week, America was the only country in the world to routinely condemn children as young as 13 and 14 to die in prison.
  • 06/22/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Saving Our Democracy: A Loud Wake Up Call"

    I had the recent privilege of attending the annual dinner of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights honoring Congressman Barney Frank and National Council of La Raza head Janet Murguia. After affirming the enormous progress our nation has made in overcoming bias against people of color and gays and lesbians, Wade Henderson, the very thoughtful Leadership Conference head, issued one of the most eloquent and sobering warnings I’ve heard about the enormous dangers to America’s democracy we face today. We must heed and act upon his words.
  • 06/22/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Saving Our Democracy: A Loud Wake Up Call"

    I had the recent privilege of attending the annual dinner of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights honoring Congressman Barney Frank and National Council of La Raza head Janet Murguia. After affirming the enormous progress our nation has made in overcoming bias against people of color and gays and lesbians, Wade Henderson, the very thoughtful Leadership Conference head, issued one of the most eloquent and sobering warnings I’ve heard about the enormous dangers to America’s democracy we face today. We must heed and act upon his words.
  • 06/15/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Detours and Danger Warnings on the Road from Slavery to Freedom"

    On June 16th, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is hosting a Juneteenth celebration commemorating the jubilant day in 1865 when the last Black slaves got word they were free more than two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. On June 17th, labor, civil rights, education, and community leaders, child advocates, and citizens are joining together in a silent march in New York City to protest the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policing tactics. These two events cover very different places and times but are connected as part of the slow, hard and unfinished journey towards freedom and racial justice in our nation. Although we have come a very long way on the arduous road from slavery to freedom, we still have a long way to go.
  • 06/08/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Tolerance of Poverty"

    The latest edition of UNICEF's report on child poverty showed the United States ranks second out of 35 developed countries on the scale of what economists call “relative child poverty” with 23.1 percent of its children living in poverty. Only Romania ranked higher. It was another shameful reminder that, as economist Sheldon Danziger put it, “Among rich countries, the U.S. is exceptional. We are exceptional in our tolerance of poverty.”
  • 06/01/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Freedom Summer"

    When Kyla was in the third grade, she failed the state-required end-of-grade tests at her Charlotte, North Carolina elementary school. Her grandmother was worried that summer school wouldn’t be fun, but then she heard about the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® program, and she knew Kyla...
  • 05/25/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Time to Stop 'Stop and Frisk'"

    This Father’s Day, June 17th, the Children’s Defense Fund-New York and I will be joining George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the Children’s Defense Fund national board member, Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network, other advocates, elected officials, union leaders, and citizens to mount a silent march down Fifth Avenue to protest the New York City Police Department’s harsh stop and frisk policy.
  • 05/18/12

    Child Watch® Column: "No Holiday for Hunger"

    Summer is usually imagined as a carefree time for children and families—a lazy, relaxing season filled with cookouts, backyard picnics, and trips to the ice cream truck. We don’t usually equate “summer vacation” and empty stomachs.
  • 05/11/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Working Hard to Get Back on Track"

    Since childhood, 21-year-old Ashante Dickens has had a clear goal: “I want to be an elementary school teacher. That’s my passion.” She got good grades in school, and did well enough in high school to be allowed to take a few early enrollment classes at a nearby college in early childhood education. She was on the road to realizing her dream when a family problem changed her course.
  • 05/04/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Poison in America"

    The growth in hate groups and the use of their divisive and negative language in the mainstream political and media arena is cause for national alarm. Already this year several horrendous hate crimes, possible hate crimes, and crimes committed by people with ties to hate groups have received national attention.
  • 04/27/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Safe Harbor for the Homeless"

    Five-year-old Kamari and his three-year-old brother Shamarr clown around in the dining room of the YWCA Family Center in Columbus, Ohio. They and their mother, Stekeshia Harris, slept on cots in the shelter’s library for their first three nights there because there were so many homeless families needing shelter—a 330 percent increase from two years ago.
  • 04/20/12

    Child Watch® Column: "SNAP: Cutting What Works?"

    This week has been a devastating one for children and the poor. It began with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urging members of the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee for “moral and human reasons” to “protect programs that serve poor and hungry people over subsidies that assist large and relatively well-off agricultural enterprises.”
  • 04/13/12

    Child Watch® Column: "What a Difference a Gun Makes"

    On April 16, 2007, our nation suffered its deadliest shooting incident ever by a single gunman when a student killed 32 people and wounded 25 others at Virginia Tech before committing suicide. Five years later, have we learned anything about controlling our national gun and gun violence epidemic? A look at just a few of the sad headlines across the country so far this year suggests we haven’t learned much or anything at all.
  • 04/06/12

    Child Watch® Column: "America’s Public Schools: Still Unequal and Unjust"

    Millions of children in America are denied the opportunity to receive a fair and high quality education. In March, the U.S. Department of Education released new information showing that children of color face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous course offerings, and are more often taught by lower paid and less experienced teachers.
  • 03/30/12

    Child Watch® Column: "How Our Nation Can Protect Children, Not Guns"

    When the Children’s Defense Fund released its new report, Protect Children, Not Guns 2012 in March, we dedicated it to the memory of Trayvon Martin and the thousands of other children and teenagers killed by guns in America, including the 5,740 killed in 2008 and 2009 according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fight to uncover the truth of what happened the night Trayvon Martin died hasn’t ended but basic facts that have never been in dispute are starkly clear.
  • 03/23/12

    Child Watch® Column: "It’s Past Time to Protect Children Not Guns"

    Thousands of people across the country have poured into the streets—from New York to Sanford, Florida—to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. Hundreds of thousands more stepped up to protest online. In response to the public outcry, the Sanford Chief of Police has temporarily stepped down and the state prosecutor has stepped aside.
  • 03/21/12

    Child Watch® Column: "Walking While Black"

    Every parent raising Black sons knows the dilemma: deciding how soon to have the talk.
Items 281 - 300 of 570  Previous11121314151617181920Next