We see service as the rent we pay in exchange for living, which is why Servant Leadership is central to our mission to Leave No Child Behind®. We are building the next generation of Servant Leaders who will lead with passion and a sense of mission. We know that every person can make a change in their families, communities, country and world to dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® through nonviolent direct action organizing.
Learn more about our many efforts across the country that are engaging and enabling youth, young adults and community members to make change for children. If you’re a leader who believes it is our responsibility to leave the world better than you found it, join the movement in a city near you!
In Nashville, we organize young people closest to the Cradle to Prison Pipeline. Our organizers have taught and trained young people on everything from making the right choices to taking direct action and changing the system that’s oppressing them. If you’re in Nashville and considering joining the movement, click below.
In Chicago we are founding the Coalition to Build the Cradle-to-Success pipeline. As an extension of our #ChildDefender Fellowship, a Chicago-based fellow is engaging local organizations to change the odds for Chicago’s children and ensure they get a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
In Cleveland we’ve organized the New Abolitionist Association, a youth led movement to dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline®. To date, our young leaders have held summits, impacted local policies and created programs benefiting the community. If your in Cleveland and considering joining the movement, click below.
As part of a multi-year effort to increase youth civic engagement and education, the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas is organizing and supporting young people that want to see improved access to health care and education and want to see an end to gun violence and poverty. We want to connect and empower young people with opportunities to become a part of the decision-making process at every level of government by bridging the gap in civic discourse and engagement. We are also bringing organizations and stakeholders together to re-imagine how to conduct civic education in Texas schools; how to engage first-time voters; and how to create opportunities for community engagement for youth.
Washington, D.C. Organizing
Speaking out for justice, especially for children and families in poverty, is central to most religious traditions. People of faith, places of worship, denominations and religious organizations play a powerful role in urging elected officials to invest in children. Children can’t vote or make major campaign contributions; but they, and we, can speak up and make the moral case that Congress should do what’s right for children—and have the power of our numbers to back it up.
To join any of the existing organizing teams, please contact our National Organizer, Joe Worthy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Speaking out for justice, especially for children and families in poverty, is central to most religious traditions. People of faith, places of worship, denominations and religious organizations play a powerful role in urging elected officials to invest in children. Children can’t vote or make major campaign contributions; but they and we can speak up and make the moral case that Congress should do what’s right for children—and have the power of our numbers to back it up.
What does it look like when the faith community calls for justice for children?
- Thousands of United Methodist Women sent postcards to President George W. Bush urging him to sign the Act for Better Child Care—something he was reluctant to do. When it came to his desk, he signed it, assuring high quality child care was affordable and accessible for low-income working families.
- Tens of thousands of people across the faith spectrum—including Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Protestant—came together for the Stand for Children rally at the Lincoln Memorial, which created momentum for the passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
- Hundreds of participants at CDF’s Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry called members of Congress urging them to vote to extend unemployment benefits, and Congressional staff called us to say they heard our message loud and clear.
- Participants in the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths weekend in Rochester, N.Y., focused on state legislation funding for early childhood education, sent in hundreds of letters, made in-person visits and held news conferences with local religious leaders, and it passed.
What does it look like when the faith community calls for justice for children? It looks like you—calling, emailing and even visiting your members of Congress to urge them to invest in children, and speaking to how your values inform that position. It looks like you, linking with others in your place of worship to unite and amplify your voices when you urge Congress to act.
People of faith know that there is power in gathering together. It’s important for our faith-life, and it is especially vital when it comes to seeking justice. It can be daunting to speak to those in power. It can be hard to feel like you’re making a difference. It takes time for change to happen. When it comes to advocating for the well-being of our nation’s children, you don’t have to go it alone!
- Sign up for CDF’s Child Defender Fellowship
- Get up-to-date information by signing up for Action Alerts
- Explore our Protect Children, Not Guns faith-toolkit
- Learn more about various children’s concerns and the polices that make a difference
- Attend CDF’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry for information, inspiration, organizing and advocacy skills
- Involve your place of worship in the multi-faith National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths weekend…taking action on the weekend and using the inspiration as a springboard for year-round action for justice by individuals, groups, or your place of worship
- Draw from CDF’s extensive resources for the faith community for prayers, education programs, and actions that can lay the groundwork for or reinforce your advocacy
- Lead monthly study and action groups on children’s issues