Children's Defense Fund

 

 

in this edition

Highest Honor

Youth Spotlight: Kim Tran

Make a Difference This Week

Save the Dates

Budget Watch

Highest Honor

On March 13th, CDF President Marian Wright Edelman received the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Medal of Education Impact. Mrs. Edelman received the school’s highest award from Dean Kathleen McCartney "for making a lasting difference in the field of education and on the lives of learners across the nation and beyond." It was a coming-home of sorts for Mrs. Edelman as she reflected on the roots of CDF which began in Cambridge with Harvard Graduate School of Education support. The ceremony was followed by the Askwith Forum on school violence. Mrs. Edelman was joined by John Merrow and Elaine Zimmerman, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Children. Since the massacre in Newtown, she and others have worked with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Listen to the children through her heart-wrenching witness.


Youth Spotlight: Kim Tran

kim-tran.jpgAs part of our 40th anniversary year, we will be celebrating in each newsletter the work our young advocate leaders are doing. This month recent Beat the Odds® recipient Kim Tran was honored with the Loudoun (Va.) Future Leaders award. Kim shares this award with her surrogate family from Dominion High School in Sterling, Va. Over the past two years, teachers, counselors and administrators at the high school have offered housing, provided rides to work and even at the worst times, given this extraordinary young woman gift cards for food and clothing, while Kim has worked hard to excel academically and make a difference in her community. And Kim has been accepted by her first choice college, Virginia Tech. Watch Kim’s story and join us in congratulating Kim for never giving up on her road to college!


Make a Difference This Week

i-can-make-a-difference.jpgIn March, we continued our sustained call for common-sense gun safety laws as we supported a successful ‘Moms Take the Hill’ event where moms demanded action from their members of Congress. CDF-Ohio testified before the Ohio State Senate about the urgent need for gun access prevention measures to save lives of Ohio children. Read their issue brief to figure out what you can do in your state. CDF-California organized a school safety forum for youth and community leaders in Oakland. Melanie Hartzog, the new head of our New York office, galvanized marchers at a rally in Rochester to support the tough new common sense gun safety laws recently passed in the state. We will never forget the thousands of children lost to this epidemic of gun violence each year in America.

This week we are lifting up Ana Marquez-Green who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School and would have celebrated her seventh birthday on April 4th. Advocates are taking a copy of Marian Wright Edelman’s book "I Can Make A Difference" to members of Congress at their home offices. Ana's mother feels the book honors her daughter, an avid reader, and all of the children killed by gun violence who now won’t get to grow up to make a positive difference in America.

Sign-up to visit with your Senators in your home district this week and we will follow-up to make sure you are well prepared. You can make a difference by helping to protect children instead of guns.


Save the Dates

We have several events coming up that you’ll want to mark on your calendar:

CDF Freedom Schools® National Training

FS-logo_200.jpgThere is nothing like seeing more than 1,500 college-aged youth pumped up to learn the CDF Freedom Schools curriculum and bring a love of reading back home to children in their community. Be a part of this transformative week, June 2 – 9. Find out what it takes to start a summer program and help close the achievement gap in your community. Email Dana Hall for details at dhall@childrensdefese.org.

Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

ets-black-teen.jpgDid you know that Black males age 18 and older in 2008 represented only five percent of the total college student population, but 36 percent of the total prison population? Find out what you can you do to help close the achievement gap facing Black males in high school on Monday, June 24th  when CDF will co-sponsor with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) our third Black male symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This year we will look at the perilous high school years and programs that work.   

Proctor Institute

proctor-action-center.jpgThe theme of the 2013 Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry is, "Beating Swords Into Plowshares:  Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty."  Join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, July 15-19 for spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education. 

Hear from Marian Wright Edelman and a compelling list of speakers about ending the deadly toll of guns that take a child’s life every 3 hours and 15 minutes and the violence of poverty that harms 1 in every 5 children in our nation. 

Get equipped with powerful skills for non-violent community organizing from Civil Rights leader the Rev. Dr. James Lawson. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Lawson “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world” and it was King who invited Lawson into leadership in the movement. Come learn from the master strategist in a plenary session and afternoon workshops.

Make this a family retreat and bring your children for a learning experience they will never forget, a special four day CDF Freedom Schools experience. Learn more and register today.

40th Anniversary Celebration:

Big news, coming soon.


Budget Watch

A lot happened in March with the federal budget. The House and Senate averted a shutdown of the federal government by passing a budget agreement for FY 2013 and letting across the boards spending cuts (the Sequester) go into effect for the rest of the fiscal year. The House and Senate passed budgets for FY 2014 that represent, competing visions for the country. The House passed Ryan budget continued an assault on children and families with draconian cuts in child investments. Our friends at Every Child Matters are organizing a ‘Don’t Cut Us’ rally in Paul Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. Learn more about this event and send a message to your representatives telling them ‘Be Careful What You Cut’. Get the latest on the budget battles with our Children’s Budget Watch updates.

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