Children Can't Wait | March 2016


Celebrate Women's History Month with Marian Wright Edelman

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Join the Children’s Defense Fund-California tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the California African-American History Museum in Los Angeles for "Leveling the Playing Field for California’s Children," an intergenerational conversation with women leaders. Held in honor of Women's History Month, this special event will bring together CDF president, Marian Wright Edelman, and Los Angeles’ most powerful activists for an open dialogue about the crisis facing our children today – and what we can do about it. You can still register for this free event.


Changing the Odds in Minnesota
Minnesota’s children continue to benefit from child advocates who stand up and speak out for policies that improve their lives.


Our Children Can't Wait
Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (with the Kids Can’t Wait Coalition) is pushing the legislature to support a strong start for children; ensuring affordable, accessible child care for all families by fully funding the Basic Sliding Fee Child Care Assistance Program and expanding the state Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. To make the case, Fallon advertising agency, CDF’s pro-bono partner of 30 years, produced this moving video featuring stories of Minnesotans with child care challenges. Nationwide, more than 360,000 child care subsidy slots have been lost since 2006. Did you know that in many cities child care costs more than many parents pay for rent?

Until Congress acts to significantly increase funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), we applaud states like Minnesota for marching forward to change the odds of success for children.

They Beat the Odds
On April 9, CDF-Minnesota will host a Beat the Odds® Awards Celebration to give $5,000 scholarships to six deserving high school students. For the first time, the Pat Fallon Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a student interested in the arts. The scholarship was established in honor of long-time Children’s Defense Fund board member and co-founder of Fallon advertising agency, Pat Fallon, who passed away last November. St. Paul City Council President Russ Stark and Fallon co-founder, Fred Senn, will present to St. Paul honoree Mela Nguyen. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges will present to the Minneapolis winners: Christopher Oquist; Domenic Johnson; Hennessey Carlbom; Sebastien Lannelongue; and Shamaria Jordan. Special guest Governor Mark Dayton and Children’s Defense Fund president Marian Wright Edelman will also speak. Tickets are still available. If you are unable to attend, please donate to the CDF-MN Beat the Odds program.


Making a Difference through 2016 CDF Freedom Schools® Program

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“I hope you will answer the call to rescue our youth from hopelessness and despair and dead-end lives by starting a CDF Freedom Schools® program in your community." – Marian Wright Edelman

Studying at Florida State University for a master’s degree in Exceptional Student Education, Keely Smith spent the summer of 2014 as a CDF Freedom Schools intern. She heard that call and immediately said sure, why not! Less than a year later Keely was running a CDF Freedom Schools site serving 50 children in a rural community near her home in Tallahassee. Today, she is Co-Executive Director of two sites that will serve 100 children this summer. She has helped to create partnerships with Florida State University and Florida A&M University to support the work: "I honestly could not imagine life without CDF Freedom Schools program. It has made me a more joyful person and educator, and I know it has had the same impact on my staff and our scholars. You can see it in our excitement for this summer!" 

P.S. Recently married, Keely is now called Mrs. Norris by middle schoolers in her special education classes. She is a shining example of servant leadership and of CDF’s youth leadership development programs. Please donate to pay for the culturally diverse, high-quality books we provide to our nearly 13,000 CDF Freedom Schools children.


Early Bird Discount Ends April 3, 2016
Have you registered? The early bird registration discount for the 2016 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry: “Praying with Our Feet: Pursuing Justice for Children from the Sanctuary to the Street”? ends Sunday, April 3— there’s still time to register!

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Checkout the lineup of Great Preachers and Teachers. Come and you will discover strategies, skills and effective models to equip you in your faithful work to end child poverty, dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline™ and improve the lives of all children. Join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, community organizers, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates in the intergenerational, interracial and multi-ethnic conversation pursuing justice for our nation’s children. Register today before the Early Bird Discount ends on April 3rd.


Bright Futures: Improving Education and Transforming Outcomes for Girls of Color

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Our nation’s girls are graduating at higher rates from high school than boys, but not girls of color. Data show girls of color graduate at lower rates than White girls and boys — a disparity that has pervasive educational and economic consequences. Find out what you can do to change the odds stacked against them. Register today for the “Bright Futures: Improving Education and Transforming Outcomes for Girls of Color,” a free symposium from Educational Testing Services and Rutgers University-Camden April 14 and 15, featuring change makers including CDF-California Executive Director Alex Johnson and CDF-New York Director of Youth Justice Elizabeth Powers. Space is limited.


Welcome to CDF-New York, Naomi Post!
We are thrilled to announce that Naomi Post will be joining us as the new Executive Director of CDF-New York on April 18, 2016. She brings nearly 30 years of professional experience in advocacy and community organizing; executive level policy work; budget development and oversight and strategic planning. During her tenure at The Atlantic Philanthropies, she was the Head of Community Based Programmes and managed a portfolio of over $100 million in grants supporting community schools and school based health centers in four diverse states. She led a child and youth public/private advocacy effort to expand robust prevention programs, including afterschool programs and research-based home visitation for first-time mothers in Philadelphia and co-founded the Philadelphia Youth Violence Reduction Partnership. Her decade-long tenure with the Philadelphia Family Court reforming the juvenile justice system was recognized by the Juvenile Court Judges Commission as the best community based program in the State.

“I am thrilled to serve with the Children’s Defense Fund, an organization I have long admired,” said Naomi, “I am eager to continue to advance the hard-fought progress to level the playing field for all of New York’s children.


CDF President in the News
Marian Wright Edelman, founder of Children’s Defense Fund, to visit Charleston – The Post and Courier (02/28/16)
Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, is a South Carolina native whose social activism was first sparked by her childhood experiences growing up in Bennettsville. Segregation ruled the day, but Edelman rejected it as illogical and unfair, and that was when she was 5 years old. Today, she is 76 and an esteemed matriarch of the civil rights movement. Read this excellent profile.

THE JOURNEY: “On Behalf of Children – Marian Wright Edelman” – WHUR 96.3 (03/20/16) Marian Wright Edelman has dedicated her life to advocating for the most vulnerable in our population. On this episode of The Journey, Howard University President Wayne Frederick chats with the activist who is founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund about her more than five decades of work.


Catch up on Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® columns from March: Inequality in America. Guaranteed to stimulate, inform and inspire you to take action for social justice now.

The Moment We Have Waited For

Tick, Tock, Tick Tock: Flint’s Disposable Poor Children

America, I Am You

America’s Back Door


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

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