Child Watch® Columns

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  • 04/29/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Hope Is Waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court

    The futures of Baldo and his family and millions of other immigrant families are on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court makes a decision in U.S. v. Texas expected in June. Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit in February 2015 to block President Obama’s November 2014 executive action to help keep immigrant families together. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiatives would help parents and young adults remain in the U.S. temporarily to work, further their education, and support their families. Baldo’s story is documented in one of the 19 friend of the court briefs filed on behalf of more than 1,000 organizations and individuals supporting the President’s executive actions.
  • 04/22/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Recognizing All of America’s S/Heroes

    Every day I wear a pair of medallions around my neck with portraits of two of my role models: Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. As a child I read books about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. She and indomitable and eloquent slave woman Sojourner Truth represent countless thousands of anonymous slave women whose bodies and minds were abused and whose voices were muted by slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and confining gender roles throughout our nation’s history.
  • 04/15/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    End Child Summer Hunger Now!

    Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation and poor children like Linda who rely on free and reduced price breakfast and lunch during the school year to keep the wolves of hunger at bay face a long summer of food deprivation. “It was hard without school during the summer, but being able to qualify for something like food stamps or having a food pantry near us, that helped a lot,” Linda says, but at the end of the month, “it was kind of like a hit-or-miss kind of situation.”
  • 04/08/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Income Inequality: The Housing Struggle

    “I was in Newark and Harlem just this week. And I walked into the homes of welfare mothers. I saw them in conditions—no, not with wall-to-wall carpet, but wall-to-wall rats and roaches.
  • 04/01/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    The Time is Always Right to Do Right

    Black Voices, Politics, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., National Cathedral, Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, human rights, civil rights, poverty, war, slavery, genocide, voting rights, Vincent Harding, civil disobedience, war, non-violence, Vietnam War, Poor People’s Campaign, children, Washington, DC, hunger, homelessness, mass incarceration, criminal justice system, desegregation, voting rights act, racism, materialism, war, violence, Native American genocide, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, greed, income, inequality
  • 03/25/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    The Moment We Have Waited For

    Rev. C.T. Vivian, legendary civil rights leader, believes young people today are inheriting the world at a unique crossroads in history and that “this is the moment we have waited for. When I say ‘we’ve’ waited for, I’m talking about humankind has waited for. I’m talking about all the great philosophers and thinkers have waited for this moment.
  • 03/18/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Tick, Tock, Tick Tock: Flint’s Disposable Poor Children

    America’s political blame game continues while children continue to suffer life impairing harm. The nation was riveted this week as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chief Gina McCarthy were grilled over their shameful inaction on the Flint, Michigan water crisis by members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
  • 03/11/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    America, I Am You

    America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline™ is a toxic cocktail of poverty, illiteracy, racial disparities, violence and massive incarceration which sentences millions of children of color to social and economic death. Once young people have entered the prison pipeline, to many people they become invisible, just a statistic.
  • 03/04/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    America’s Back Door

    The Harvard Gazette has released a series of articles on inequality in America. They describe Harvard University scholars’ efforts across a range of disciplines to identify and understand this nation defining and dividing concern and possible solutions.
  • 02/26/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    The Third Reconstruction Era

    The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is in the final stages of construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., next to the Washington Monument and near the National Museum of American History. It will be a transformative and long-overdue landmark in the center of the nation’s capital.
  • 02/19/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    The Other Washington

    The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is in the final stages of construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., next to the Washington Monument and near the National Museum of American History. It will be a transformative and long-overdue landmark in the center of the nation’s capital.
  • 02/12/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Winifred Green: An Unsung Warrior for Racial and Economic Justice

    Transforming movements towards social justice depend on the work of a core group of committed and persistent and not always frontline soldiers — women and men who seize the moment and choose to stand up for what is right. My beloved friend and longtime Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) board member Winifred Green, who died February 6, 2016, was one of those unsung heroines.
  • 02/05/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Leading the March towards Criminal Justice

    Bryan Stevenson’s inspiring and best-selling book Just Mercy shares some of the fruits of his lifelong fight to push our nation closer to true justice. In January our nation took two more steps forward in the ongoing struggle to treat children like children and ensure a fairer justice system for all, especially for our poor and those of color.
  • 01/29/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Hungry Children in Rich America

    Sarah is three years old. She and her six-year-old brother, Bryce, are inseparable except when it’s time for him to visit the summer food program that provides meals at a school near his Ohio home for children who otherwise would go hungry.
  • 01/22/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    A Single Spark

    Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. should sharply remind us that the Civil Rights Movement should never just be chapters in history books. I was so proud of high school students from Seattle, Washington who learned how they could make a difference in the world around them.
  • 01/15/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Keeping Children Healthy, In School, and Learning

    Brandon, a six year old in the Houston Independent School District, had two working parents until his father was laid off. Brandon lost his health insurance when his father lost his job. Brandon’s mother quickly scrambled to try to enroll her son who has asthma in new coverage, but met some obstacles and didn’t know where to turn. Then the school district, which had been working with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and AASA (The School Superintendents Association), through a partnership supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies, stepped in and helped her find coverage for Brandon under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With his new health coverage, doctors discovered Brandon also had high blood pressure and prescribed medicine to control it. Now the school nurse monitors his blood pressure every day and Brandon is healthy and happy to be in school learning.
  • 01/08/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Guns Lethalize Anger and Despair

    “Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns -- 30,000. Suicides. Domestic violence. Gang shootouts. Accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children. Many have had to learn to live with a disability, or learned to live without the love of their life.”
  • 01/01/16

    Child Watch® Column:
    Whither America

    The start of this New Year finds America at an inflection point as wars and terrorism abroad are echoed in violence, suspicion, and fear at home. How will we meet the moment? Hundreds of organizations and individuals have signed on to the urgent message of the campaign We Are Better Than This: “We grieve the many lives that have been lost or painfully transformed in recent weeks through extreme acts of violence.
  • 12/23/15

    Child Watch® Column:
    A Christmas Prayer

    Three years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut where a lone 20-year-old gunman wielding an assault weapon snuffed out 26 child and teacher lives, our nation has done shamefully little to protect children instead of guns. This week more than ten thousand people attended over 100 Orange Walks in 43 states to stand up and deliver a rallying cry that we must and can end gun violence in America according to Moms Demand Action – a cry that must continue and get louder and louder until our tone deaf political leaders hear or are retired from office.
  • 12/18/15

    Child Watch® Column:
    Why Are Children Less Valuable Than Guns in America?
    It’s Time to Protect Children

    Three years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut where a lone 20-year-old gunman wielding an assault weapon snuffed out 26 child and teacher lives, our nation has done shamefully little to protect children instead of guns. This week more than ten thousand people attended over 100 Orange Walks in 43 states to stand up and deliver a rallying cry that we must and can end gun violence in America according to Moms Demand Action – a cry that must continue and get louder and louder until our tone deaf political leaders hear or are retired from office.
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