Houston Children’s Sabbath

January 28, 2024 3:00 pm

Houston, TX — On Sunday, January 28, 2024, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas will join community members and activists to celebrate Children’s Sabbath at Trinity East United Methodist Church, in Third Ward.

Children’s Sabbath is a multi-faith event that encourages places of worship to center their prayers, religious messages, and education programs around the needs and urgent problems that young people face. Additionally, Children’s Sabbath encourages communities to respond with outreach and advocacy to inspire new, year-round efforts dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth.

Children’s Defense Fund-Texas State Director Dr. Brandy Taylor Dédé points out this year’s Children’s Sabbath event comes at a crucial time for young people in Houston and Harris County.

  • In 2023, the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department received detention referrals for more than 3,800 youth, most of whom were Black and Brown youth. That number has steadily increased since 2021.
  • Roughly 20 percent of children in Harris County experience systemic geographic barriers to food access, according to the most recent data from Feeding America.
  • One out of every ten children in the Houston Metropolitan area were uninsured in 2022, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families. That figure outpaced the state average for Texas, the state with more uninsured children than any other state.  

“Every child should grow up with dignity, hope, and joy,” said Dr. Taylor Dédé. “Many places of worship across the Greater Houston Area provide critical services and support to make sure all young people receive the care and resources they need to thrive. CDF-Texas is proud to partner with the historic Trinity East United Methodist Church for this Children’s Sabbath event to highlight the importance of faith communities in child and youth advocacy.”

Children’s Defense Fund-Texas is teaming up with Trinity East United Methodist Church, which turned 115 years old last year, and Houston activist Sister Mama Sonya, to organize this year’s Children’s Sabbath.  

Children’s Sabbaths celebrations occur at places of worship across the nation each year. Clarissa Webb, CDF-Texas Community Engagement Manager, said the observance can be used to place a spotlight on issues impacting the ability for our young people to thrive, from poverty to gun violence to inaccessible health care.

“These events can positively impact young people because they directly seek out and uplift their needs in their communities,” Webb said. “When we center children and youth in our work, we learn exactly what they need, and we are better positioned to address the problems they face.”