Monthly Newsletter - July 2013
Celebrate With Us
historic year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation
Proclamation and the 50th anniversaries of the decisive Birmingham
Children’s Crusade which helped topple Jim Crow laws, the assassinations of
President John F. Kennedy and Medgar Evers, and the March on Washington. At the March, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared not only his dream but reminded us of our nation’s unfulfilled
promissory note CDF still struggles to cash for millions of our children and
our poor in America. CDF is the child of these transformative historic
struggles for civil rights and economic and social justice. As we celebrate
our 40th anniversary, a major inflection year in CDF’s and in our
nation’s history, your generous support and active partnership is needed more
than ever to pursue justice for children and the poor with urgency and
persistence. Join us on September 30th at the John F. Kennedy Center for
the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. to mark all we have accomplished since
these historic events and all the work that remains to be done. Individual
tickets and sponsorship packages are now
available for purchase online.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday
before a CDF video session.
evening will honor former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has
been with us from the beginning as a law student and intern at CDF’s parent
organization, the Washington Research Project; as a CDF staff attorney when we
began; and as a long serving board member and then board chair until she became
First Lady. We also will be celebrating CDF’s role as a leadership incubator
over the years by highlighting CDF Freedom Schools® children, Beat
the Odds® scholarship recipients, interns, and former staff who are
making a huge difference in the lives of countless children across our nation. This will be an evening to remember! Secure
your seat today. If you can’t attend, please
donate as generously as you can to our 40th Anniversary
Changing the Odds for Children Campaign.
New Report: Protect Children Not Guns 2013
you know the National Rifle Association and its allies have worked relentlessly
to block the truth about guns and to prevent the enforcement of gun safety
laws? Find out how in our new report, Protect Children Not Guns 2013. It
details the most recent information on child and teen gun deaths including a
state-by-state breakdown; analysis of the psychological and emotional trauma of
gun violence on children; comparisons of U.S. gun violence rates with other
high-income countries; good and bad state actions on gun violence prevention;
and an economic analysis of the cost of gun violence. The report provides
actions that individuals, communities and policymakers can take now to protect
children from gun violence. Learn more about the facts by downloading
and sharing the report, or ordering
a hard-copy, then take action!
CDF Freedom Schools® Scholars: Making a Difference!
CDF Freedom Schools program wrapped up another amazing summer, empowering and
inspiring more than 11,000 children with a love for reading and learning. This
year’s National Day of Social Action put the spotlight on gun violence prevention. On July
10th, Freedom Schools children in Minneapolis,
held rallies. Other Freedom Schools children wrote letters to the President,
their senators and representative, asking them to protect children, not guns.
The children shared their personal heart-wrenching, often gun violence-filled
stories. One young scholar wrote to President Obama, “I myself have grown up
around guns my whole life. I have lost 7 friends from violence and guns. … Gun
violence is a real problem that I have dealt with every day of my life. 7
people are too many to lose and I don’t want to see another one of my friends,
or even myself gone. We need a change.”
Los Angeles County, Freedom Schools transformed two juvenile probation camps in
La Verne and Malibu. According to an article this week in the L.A.
Times, “The results startled officials: Suspensions from classes and other
disciplinary actions plunged by 93% at Camp Afflerbaugh during the five-week
program, which concluded last week. Lemar Ruffin, a probation officer who took
the 10-day training in Tennessee and has become one of the program’s biggest
fans, said there used to be daily fights—16 one day—but not one scuffle
occurred during the morning Harambee. ‘Nobody thought it would work,’
Ruffin said, but instead they had ‘kids from every gang high-fiving each
is believing, watch
this video from L.A. County Commission Mark Ridley-Thomas’ website!
Introducing the CDF Nashville Team
January, we have had a new team working in Nashville, Tennessee organizing in
and around the city to dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline™ and confront
zero tolerance school discipline policies that are criminalizing children at
younger and younger ages. The CDF Nashville Team is headed by the
Rev. Janet Wolf, a seasoned veteran in nonviolent struggle and a Great Preacher
at this year’s Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry. Her young team ‘gets it’ when it comes to the
prison pipeline, as they have seen firsthand their friends and family locked up
or been locked up themselves, as in the case of Ndume Olatushani who spent 27
years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. We’re thrilled to have them
furthering our mission in Nashville.
tomorrow, they will be leading a citywide
Children’s Sabbath weekend to talk and take action to reduce gun violence.
They will work in the schools, then hold a prayer vigil and press conference on
Friday, followed by a weekend
of interfaith Children’s Sabbath services in the theme, “Beating Swords
Into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Poverty”.
New Resources Available for the Children’s Sabbaths
We are pleased to provide congregations planning a National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® celebration with a variety of resources This year’s flagship celebration will be held at the Washington National Cathedral on Sunday, October 20th, as CDF President Marian Wright Edelman joins Cathedral Dean Gary Hall to hold up the prophet Micah's vision where our children are free from the violence of weapons and poverty and the people ‘beat their swords into plowshares.’ If you are in the Washington, DC area, save the date and plan to join us. Otherwise, please start planning your own Children’s Sabbath today!
Just posted for free download are two new sections of this year's manual "Beating Swords Into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty;" Christian Education Resources and a Seven-Day Guide for Prayer and Reflection, joining the Welcome, Planning, and Actions sections. Coming soon will be the Jewish Resources and the Multi-Faith Resources sections. Each October, thousands of congregations lift up children in need and advocate on their behalf by planning a Children’s Sabbath service in their own place of worship or in community-wide celebrations.
Our Spirits are Rested and Ready
The weekend before our 19th Annual Proctor
Institute began at CDF’s Haley Farm, the verdict for the George
Zimmerman trail was announced. Our week together was filled with emotion.
The Rev. Dr. Leslie Callahan, the Institute’s opening night Great Preacher,
offered the story of the Good Samaritan as an example of how a ‘Neighborhood
Watch’ should be conducted and the Rev.
Dr. Otis Moss Jr., veteran civil rights leader, led us on a journey to find
strength, endurance, character, and hope out of struggle. For
inspiration for the road ahead, watch their
videos. They were joined by a host of other great teachers, preachers, and
workshop facilitators, including the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr., who led a
three-day workshop on nonviolent organizing, preached, and gave a plenary
address. Participants, including over 200 young adult leaders, took action
throughout the week, calling their members of Congress to demand they ‘Protect
Children, Not Guns’ and invest in early childhood development and education
to beat back the violence of guns and poverty our children endure. Check out a photo
album from the week on our Facebook page. By the end of the week
our spirits were renewed, and participants gained new skills, and the truth
and inspiration needed to push forward the movement.
Bravo to CDF-Ohio interns and Freedom
Schools servant leader interns who organized a community youth-violence
forum for about 500 people last night in Columbus, OH! The event titled “Who
Killed Trayvon Martin?” featured a panel discussion from community leaders and
activists dealing with issues of race, gun violence, the need to dismantle the
Cradle to Prison Pipeline™ and replace it with a pipeline to success and
opportunity, and the need for sustained action. Read the article
in the Columbus Dispatch or watch local news
coverage of the event featuring interviews with the youth.
Children’s Budget Watch
Budget battles are once again heating up on Capitol Hill just as Congress prepares to head home for its August recess. When members return on September 10th, there will be only nine scheduled legislative days before the current continuing resolution (CR), which funds government programs, expires on September 30th at the end of the fiscal year, If Congress has not agreed on a budget for FY 2014 by then, government funding runs out and the government could shut down. There continues to be much debate over the level of spending for FY 2014. There are questions to be resolved about whether or not sequestration cuts will continue and for how long, and whether another CR will be approved for fiscal year 2014, and at what levels. Threats to child investments are very real.
Please continue to share CDF’s budget principles with family, friends and colleagues. When your senators and representatives are home during the August recess, make sure to tell them: “Be Careful What You Cut”. And as always, stay tuned to CDF’s Budget Watch!