July 11, 2012


For More Information Contact:
Patti Hassler
Vice President of Communications and Outreach
202-662-3554 office


July 11, 2012 (Washington, D.C.)—With more than 16 million children living in poverty in America, and an educational achievement gap that is creating a cradle to prison pipeline for too many of our young people, the Children’s Defense Fund is issuing an urgent call to action, as it convenes its first national conference in nine years. This is a critical time in our country. While politics play out in Washington and state capitols, the most basic needs and rights of millions of children are not only going unmet, but are not even part of the conversation.

In Cincinnati, Ohio from July 22-25, more than 3,000 leading advocates, including 1,500 young adults, will gather to discuss best practices and actionable steps to renew and reinvigorate the pursuit of justice for our country’s most vulnerable—children. Together they will call on President Obama and Governor Romney, as well as state and local candidates, to discuss what each would do to advance children’s rights in the next administration.

“All of us must recommit to continuing and expanding the hard work of building a transforming national movement to ensure economic, racial, and educational equity, to break up the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and the mass incarceration of black males, and to create a just playing field for every child,” said Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund. “We must do more than just talk about the problems. We need to hold ourselves accountable to commit to taking action and reinvigorating the transformative nonviolent movement to protect children that CDF has led for almost four decades.”

What: Children’s Defense Fund National Conference:
Pursuing Justice for Children and the Poor with Urgency and Persistence
A Community and Youth Empowerment Conference
Where: Duke Energy Convention Center
525 Elm Street
Cincinnati, Ohio
When: July 22-July 25, 2012
Who: Geoffrey Canada, Founder and CEO of Harlem’s Children Zone
Bryan Stevenson, Founder and CEO of Equal Justice Initiative
Michelle Alexander, Legal Scholar and Author of The New Jim Crow
Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
Judith Browne Dianis, President of the Advancement Project
Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Charles Ogletree, Jesse Climenko Professor at Harvard Law School

The conference is open to the media. To register for press credentials contact: Emily Hammer at