Are You Hype? | JULY 2016

Without a Doubt - We Have Been Revived!


More than 500 faith-based advocates gathered at CDF Haley Farm last week to be part of our Beloved Community for the 22nd Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry. Among the nearly 300 young adult leaders were about 80 seminary students who enriched our intergenerational conversations about ending the violence of child poverty and racial, ethnic and gender inequality.

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III challenged participants to turn moments into movements just as Civil Rights leaders Ella Baker and Dorothy Height did — reminding us that women’s voices are vital in the children’s  movement. Dr. Michael Brandon McCormack electrified the chapel by tracing the roots of contemporary police violence and hate back to the violence of slavery, the violence of seizure. Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. warned the very survival of our children is at stake if we do nothing to stop the violence and mistreatment.


We're grateful to all the great preachers, speakers and workshop leaders. With the generous support of the Bezos Family Foundation, we offered a track of well-attended workshops on how faith leaders and advocates can help build support for investments in early childhood development and learning in their communities, and how to translate good ideas into action. Special thanks to Rev. Clifford Barnett, Jane Morrow and Mebane Boyd from New Hanover County, North Carolina, Smart Start, and Rev. Marilyn Cunningham, Karen Costello and Brigit Hurley from Rochester, New York, who shared their good programming and advocacy for young children.

A special shout-out for Dr. John Kinney who reminded us of who we are, our purpose, and to give more of ourselves to help see the change we want to see in America and Civil Rights leader, Rev. James Lawson, Jr., who led workshops on nonviolent organizing and delivered the final sermon reminding everyone that our nation cannot be strong until we dismantle the injustices with compassion and truth.


CDF President in the News
Marian Wright Edelman and her husband, Peter Edelman were interviewed for the first time together as witnesses to Senator Bobby Kennedy's hunger tour in Mississippi that precipitated huge expansions in the safety net for hungry children and families in America.  

The Edelmans: 50 years of fighting for equality Market Place (7/21/16)
Mrs. Edelman said the country is at a crossroads. "I think that we are teetering on the brink of either moving forward or moving backwards as a nation," she said. "It's time for a new movement to address poverty and massive economic and wealth inequality. This is a very real and dangerous point in our country and the time for citizens to step up, for all of us to step up and say we are not going to tolerate our children and grandchildren having to fight these battles all over again."

Poverty-stricken past and present in the Mississippi Delta PBS NewsHour (7/22/16)
In April of 1967, Senator Robert Kennedy visited the Delta to have a look for himself at how bad the poverty was...Marian Wright had been working in the Delta, opening Head Start offices to help low-income families. She’s the one who convinced Kennedy to come to Mississippi. There is a little bit of romance in this story. Marian Wright and Peter Edelman met on that trip to the Delta. They have been married for almost 40 years. Marian Wright Edelman went on to create the Children’s Defense Fund.

Are You Hype?


More than 11,000 children in 28 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands are nearing the end of their six weeks of CDF Freedom Schools® experience. Nearly 2,000 college students, trained by CDF, are empowering them in a fun-infused, culturally diverse and literacy rich program. The children learn how they can make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, nation and world. Learn more about how CDF Freedom Schools programs are improving the lives of vulnerable children in this small sample of CDF Freedom Schools stories. It’s not too late to get on the Road to Freedom to support this crucially important work.

Children lead peace march in Minneapolis MPR News (7/20/16)
About 150 teenagers, and children as young as five, participated in their first-ever peace march in north Minneapolis Wednesday. The young demonstrators, sweating in the day's heat, carried colorful signs that read Black Minds Matter, Equal Rights For All and Vote for My Future. The event was part of a national day of social action organized by the Children's Defense Fund.

Local Students March, Write Letters to Head of St. Anthony Police Department KSTP local ABC station (7/08/16) "Look at all of the people crying, all of these sad faces." Another scholar read her letter aloud, saying, "Do you feel sorry for what you did?" Another child read his letter aloud, saying, "Look at all of us little kids; we want to go to sleep without fear." At just 9 and 10 years old, they're sharing their thoughts and questions about the shooting death of Philando Castile by a police officer. The Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Program is rooted in the American Civil Rights Movement. It's a six-week program with a multicultural curriculum that promotes a sense of self-worth.

Camps teach kids to put their faith into action Religion News Service (7/05/16)
The CDF schools emphasize literacy to help impoverished kids toward a more secure future. But the content of the books they read is civil rights history, and the Freedom Schools invite the young scholars into issue-based political advocacy and community service. “They will definitely get some practice in engaging in social change,” said Reginald Blount, an assistant professor of youth formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, which is hosting its first CDF Freedom School this summer in Evanston, Ill., through the first week in August.

Freedom School, being piloted in territory, offers different way of learning The Virgin Island Consortium (7/12/16) “Freedom School is a Lieutenant Governor’s Office initiative introduced as a pilot program in the Virgin Islands, in St. Croix and St. Thomas,” said Site Coordinator Dorine Cuffy. The program seeks to build strong, literate, and empowered children prepared to make a difference.

Actions to Take NOW!


Congress may be out for the summer recess, but they still need to hear from you. Take action TODAY!

Call or Tweet your members of Congress today (202) 224-3121! Tell them to support common-sense solutions to reducing gun violence in America, including barring suspected terrorists from purchasing guns; requiring persons to undergo a background check to buy a gun whether they are shopping at a gun show, online, or at a licensed gun dealer; and reinstating a federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Call (202) 224-3121 or Tweet NOW! Together we can ensure more children have access to high-quality child care allowing their parents to work and children to develop in safe, supportive environments. Tell Congress to support a $1.2 billion increase for the Child Care Development and Black Grant (CCDBG) to ensure all eligible children have access to high-quality child care. Urge your Senators and Representatives to support the increase when they return to Congress after Labor Day.



Join us by signing the pledge and consider how you can impact the vote in your community. Yourr activities might include helping others register to vote and helping voters get to the polls. Please make sure one of your actions is to discuss with your children, grandchildren or children in your neighborhood the importance of elections and how they impact the future of our communities, nation and world. 

Take your children, grandchildren or other children in your life with you when you vote this November, so they can see democracy in action. Please take the Pledge NOW!


Sneak Peak
Watch this video featuring Children's Defense Fund president Marian Wright Edelman and AASA, The School Superintendents Association Executive Director Dan Domenech for a sneak peek of the Insure All Children school health enrollment toolkit.

CDF, in partnership with AASA, will launch Insure All Children, a school health-based outreach and enrollment toolkit, to help school districts across the country identify and enroll uninsured children in health insurance to ensure they are Happy, Healthy, and Ready to Learn! The Insure All Children toolkit, supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies, contains lessons learned from the 14 school districts large and small, urban and rural in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas where CDF and AASA have launched school health insurance initiatives. Sign up today to get alerted for the launch of the toolkit or look for updates on Twitter when you search for #InsureAllChildren.

Marian Wright Edelman’s July Child Watch® Columns focus on sowing seeds of hope and faith for the future, and will inspire you to take action for our most vulnerable children and help end the violence birthed from racial tensions across the nation. #MustRead.

How Much Do Black Child Lives Matter?

Our Nation’s Unfinished Business

Don’t Make Our Most Vulnerable Children Wait Longer!

Seed Sowing for a Beloved Nation and World Community

Time for “Good Trouble” Inside and Outside of Congress

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

Please share our message and mission with your networks. Encourage everyone you know to sign up to receive information from CDF and help #ImpactTheVote by pledging to show the children in their lives democracy in action. Please support our work by making a tax-deductible donation.

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