Marching Towards Change | February 2016


CDF-New York to Host 2016 Beat the Odds® Awards Gala

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Today New Yorkers will gather at The Pierre at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate five inspiring high school seniors who have overcome tremendous hardships to succeed academically and give back to their community. Speakers include LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Roger Ferguson and Marian Wright Edelman. The students receive a CDF Beat the Odds scholarship and support through the college admissions process. Join us tonight February 29th and help us salute these extraordinary young people who are beating the odds stacked against them. Help us make their dreams come true. Get your tickets now.

If you cannot attend, please give as generously as you can to support the CDF-NY Beat the Odds scholarship and leadership development program that has changed lives for decades.


The Power of the CDF Freedom Schools® Program
CDF Freedom Schools summer program is gearing up. Trainings have already begun. Last year we distributed more than 109,000 culturally appropriate books to nearly 13,000 at-risk students who participated in the CDF Freedom Schools program. Will you give hope to at-risk children today? Children who have the CDF Freedom Schools experience fall in love with reading and have the chance to beat the odds stacked against them — children like Kylon.  

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Learn how Kylon’s five years in a CDF Freedom Schools program at his Marvell-Elaine Elementary School in east Arkansas changed his life.

Generous gifts from caring child advocates like you enable us to serve more children like Kylon and guide them onto a path towards a brighter future. Give a child a gift of hope today by giving books to CDF Freedom Schools children.


Children's Defense Fund-California 2016 Policy Agenda

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Children’s Defense Fund–California, building on CDF's national agenda for children, released its 2016 Policy Agenda at a press conference at the state’s capitol building on February 23. The agenda provides a roadmap of policy changes to end child poverty for more than 2 million children, ensure educational equity, provide access to health care, and transform justice systems for youth in California. “Too many children in California — especially poor children, children of color, and children with special needs — face odds stacked against their success,” CDF-CA Executive Director Alex Johnson said. “We must come together to fight for policies that lift children out of poverty, connect families to quality health care, ensure fairness and equity in our schools and build a juvenile justice system that focuses on prevention and rehabilitation.”


Expanding Child Care for Infants and Toddlers

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Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Lois Frankel (D-FL) introduced new legislation this month to increase access to high-quality child care for low-income working families with young children. The need is great. In 2014 the annual cost of center-based child care for an infant was more expensive than a year of in-state tuition at a public college in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The Child Care Access to Resources for Early Learning Act (Child C.A.R.E. Act) would provide significant new mandatory funding to states to guarantee over the next 10 years all families with incomes under 200 percent of poverty and children under age four can access affordable, high-quality child care. Act now: Ask your Senators and Representative to co-sponsor the Child C.A.R.E. Act (S.2539/H.R.4524) to ensure a strong start for children in America’s hard-working low-income families.


Ending Youth Incarceration
CDF is pleased to partner with Youth First, a new national advocacy campaign launched February 23 to end the incarceration of youths by closing youth prisons and investing in community-based alternatives to incarceration and youth programs. Its campaign will ultimately focus on 15 states.  On March 3rd, Youth First will release new public opinion polling results concerning juvenile justice and the Youth Prison Inventory —a first-of-its-kind graphic mapping tool— that will show where youths are being incarcerated in the U.S. Please visit Youth First’s website and follow @NoKidsInPrison to learn more about the campaign, its goals and strategies, partners and resources and to see how you can get involved in your state.


In Loving Memory of Winifred Green
MWE-and-Winifred-300px-with-border3.jpgWe are sad to report the passing of our longtime partner and CDF board member, Civil Rights activist, child advocate and loyal friend Winifred Green on Saturday, February 6. She was one of a handful of prominent White women who supported school desegregation and keeping public schools open in Jackson, Mississippi in 1964. It cost her alienation from many family members and friends which she told this way, “Once my mother said to me, ‘What did we do wrong?’ I remember saying to her, ‘Granny taught me, ‘Red and Yellow, Black and White, they are precious in his sight,’ and I didn’t know that she didn’t really mean Black people.” To learn more read Marian Wright Edelman’s powerful tribute.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Children’s Defense Fund/Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative. Please give as generously as you can to support this crucial work.  


Please read Marian Wright Edelman's February Child Watch® Columns — which highlight Black history which is America's history only the truth will set us free.
From Wiifred Green to Bryan Stevenson and Reverend Dr. William Barber II, the march towards justice continues.

The Third Reconstruction

The Other Washington

Winifred Green: An Unsung Warrior for Racial and Economic Justice

Leading the March towards Criminal Justice


Thank you for your continued support and dedication to improving the lives of all children in America.

We hope that you will remember CDF, and all the children we serve, as you begin making your planned and sustaining giving decisions for 2016. Please share our message and mission with your family, friends and community, and encourage them to support our work and join our mailing list.

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