Historic Step 4 Children | June 2016

Stand in Solidarity: Inaction is NOT an Option. #DisarmHate
“For months, even for years, through several sessions of Congress, I wondered what will bring this body to take action. What will finally make Congress do what is right, what is just, what the people of this country have been demanding, and what is long overdue?” Congressman John Lewis’ call to action in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 22 was the beginning of an extraordinary event in our nation’s capital.

Inaction is not an option

In the wake of the deadliest terror attack since 9/11 members of Congress staged a sit-in to protest the lack of action to reduce the scourge of terror, hate and bullets that break hearts and communities each day in our country. Doing nothing cannot be an option. We can and must do better by expanding background checks to cover sales at gun shows and over the internet, denying those on the “No Fly” lists the right to buy guns, and reinstating the ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.The sit-in followed by a week an almost 15-hour filibuster by Senator Chris Murphy to force a Senate vote on gun violence prevention amendments.

Members of the House have vowed to continue their nonviolent protest after the July 4th recess. Support the protestors. Tell the others, enough is enough, Vote for Common Sense Gun Safety Measures NOW!

Historic Step Forward for Vulnerable Children
On June 21, the House passed the bipartisan Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016, H.R. 5456, by a voice vote. This is an historic first step for vulnerable children who come to the attention of the child welfare system because of abuse and neglect. For the first time, it opens up federal dollars that had been used primarily for out-of-home care for prevention services to keep children at risk of foster care placement safely with their families. The bi-partisan Family First Prevention Services Act was introduced in the House by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI). An identical bill, S. 3065, has also been introduced in the Senate by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and hopefully will be passed before Congress recesses for the summer in mid-July. The bill also includes important provisions to encourage children who need foster care to be placed in the least restrictive, most family-like settings that meet their special needs. Once Senators return on July 5th, they only have until July 18th before they adjourn for the summer. Please support our most vulnerable children by calling your Senators and urging them to pass the Family First Prevention Services Act, S. 3065, NOW.

U.S. v. Texas Blocks Help for Millions of Immigrant Families
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Texas prevents millions of immigrant families from moving forward to a brighter future. The Supreme Court by its 4-4 vote affirmed a Texas federal district court ruling that had blocked  President Obama’s November 2015 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Children (DACA). Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and other immigrants who came to the U.S as children, continue to be denied the right to apply for temporary work authorization and protection from deportation. One in five undocumented immigrant adults has a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse and about 3.8 million undocumented immigrants have children who are U.S. citizens. The expansion of the Deferred Action for Children program would have allowed an estimated 290,000 people brought to this country as children to apply for DACA. CDF had joined 75 other education, health and child advocacy organizations on an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in this case, which supported the President’s policy changes.  

Marian Wright Edelman in the News


We need to make our schools child-centric, not adult-convenient.
– Marian Wright Edelman, June 10, 2016

This Fireside Chat addressing chronic absenteeism with U.S. Secretary of Education John King, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro and CDF President Marian Wright Edelman provides innovative solutions to help increase high school graduation rates. The first-ever national chronic absenteeism numbers and analysis were released during the chat. Learn More.

The greatest national, economic, and military security problem we face does not come from any enemy without, it comes from our failure to prepare millions and millions of children for the future… This is going to be our undoing.
– Marian Wright Edelman, June 14, 2016

This superb Clinton Global Initiative America panel, “Overcoming Poverty; Improving Opportunity,” is a robust discussion among CDF President Marian Wright Edelman, Annie E. Casey Foundation President Patrick McCarthy, PolicyLink Vice President for Programs Michael McAfee and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Watch Now.

Minnesota Ranks #1 in Child Well-Being
Bharti_Web2.jpgFor the second year in a row, the national KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Minnesota number one in child well-being thanks to state and local investments and policy changes in recent years to increase health care access and improve economic stability. Bharti Wahi, executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN), the Minnesota KIDS COUNT grantee, said, “However, we cannot be content with a high ranking that masks chronic inequities for children of color in our state. We need to increase access to opportunity and reduce systemic barriers so that all Minnesota children have access to their basic needs and opportunities that help them thrive.” Learn more about KIDS Count data in Minnesota.

It's Not Too Late

Proctor Statue

You still have time to register for the 22nd annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, “Praying with Our Feet: Pursuing Justice for Children from the Sanctuary to the Street.” Join our Beloved Community July 18-22 at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, TN. This year’s lineup of Great Preachers, Children’s Concerns Speakers and Workshop leaders will not only inspire you in your advocacy for children in your community, but also lead you to discover strategies, skills and effective models that will equip you in your faithful work to end child poverty, dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline, and improve the lives of all children in your community. If you are interested in receiving Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s) for your participation at this year’s event, we encourage you to register online with Garrett-Evangelical. Online registration closes on July 12. If you are unable to come for five days, please consider joining us for one or two days. Together we can improve the lives of the most vulnerable children in our communities. Register today!

Insuring All Children


Make a difference in your community: ensure the future by insuring all children with health coverage now. CDF and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, will offer a school health enrollment toolkit (#InsureAllChildren) in August that contains lessons learned over a decade of enrolling eligible but uninsured children in health coverage through schools and provides support for superintendents, school districts and parents who are interested in starting similar School Health Enrollment programs in their communities. Sign up now to receive a copy of the toolkit set for an August release.

Dive into Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® Columns from this month as she covers topics from heritage and roots to diversity in the teacher population, and in the wake of the Orlando Massacre the need for action to reduce the epidemic of gun violence and the value of love for all regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation.Take part in these riveting discussions on confronting our past and protecting our future by leaving your comments. #MustRead.


Inaction Cannot Be An Option

The Crucial Need to Expand the Non-White Teacher Pipeline

Remembering, Reclaiming and Honoring Our Roots

Thank you for your continued support and dedication toward improving the lives of vulnerable children across the country.

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