November News from CDF | November 2016

Changing the Odds for Children

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On November 16, the Children’s Defense Fund honored former Secretary of State and CDF Alumna, and the first woman to win the popular vote for President of the United States of America, Hillary Rodham Clinton and five extraordinary youths at the 2016 Beat the Odds® Celebration in Washington, D.C. The event garnered major national and international press coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first public appearance since the 2016 presidential election results.

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The audience was deeply moved by her call for everyone to work together and never give up. “Under Marian’s leadership, the Children’s Defense Fund works to give every child a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life. And I cannot think of a more noble or necessary mission,” said Hillary Rodham Clinton.

We are grateful to all who supported our Beat the Odds campaign including our speakers, performers and presenters. The Beat the Odds scholars’ stories of hardship overcome captivated the audience and inspired new support for CDF’s work — including presenter Debbi Jarvis, Vice President of Corporate Relations, Pepco Holdings, who pledged a gift of $5,000 and Rev. Dr. William Barber II who pledged to donate $1,000 a year for the next 10 years and encouraged 100 others to do the same. CDF president and founder, Marian Wright Edelman closed the evening with a rousing call to action.

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If you missed it, you can watch video of the event on CDF’s Facebook page. Thank you again to all who support our work to change the odds for all of America’s children.  


Last Chance to Double Your Gift's Impact for #GivingTuesday

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We are deeply grateful to those of you who supported CDF in your #GivingTuesday actions and doubled the impact of your gift. We want to give a special thanks to the generous, anonymous donor who agreed to match dollar-for-dollar every gift we received for #GivingTuesday up to $250,000.00. If you have not yet made a #GivingTuesday donation there is still time. Please consider giving as generously as you can to support CDF’s Leave No Child Behind® mission. We will never give up in our fight to improve the odds for all of America’s children. Please stand with us, your gift will help strengthen our voice for poor and vulnerable children to ensure it will be heard. Together we can level the playing field for all children.


Act Now for Children
Never has the call to moral and political struggle for justice been more urgent in our nation as now when forces of regression seek to destroy racial and gender progress and dash the hopes of millions of children. Please sign the two petitions and/or organization sign-on letter below. The SAVE for All Coalition will collect signatures into January 2017 to present to the new President and Congress.  We need your help to sign and to get others to sign. These are critically important building blocks for our advocacy efforts — to stand up for and with low-income and vulnerable people, including children, and show the breadth of support for vital safety net programs.


Stand Up to Hate Petition
In the aftermath of the 2016 election schools across the country have reported an increase in acts of intimidation and violence toward students — often citing Donald Trump’s name. Too many children are focused on fear rather than learning and some are avoiding school completely. Adults in America must work together to make a difference by teaching our children to love themselves and others as God loves us and treat others respectfully and fairly. Take action now and sign this petition from Stand for Children that urges President-elect Trump to unequivocally denounce acts of hatred to help put an end to acts of intimidation and violence towards students. Sign and share this important petition today and stand up to hate.

Sign On Letter & Petition
The SAVE for All Coalition is a group of more than 1,400 national, state and local organizations, including Children’s Defense Fund, that believe in four principles for Strengthening America’s Values and Economy for All. Federal priorities must (1) protect and assist low-income and vulnerable people; (2) invest in broadly shared economic growth and jobs; (3) increase revenues from fair sources; and (4) seek savings from reducing waste in the Pentagon and elsewhere. Please support these principles by signing the SAVE for All letter and/or individual petition. The letter is for national, state and local organizations to sign and the petition is for individuals. Click here, please choose the appropriate one. Read the group letter. Sign and share.


Advocating for Young Children
On November 28th and 29th CDF held a meeting of women leaders of primarily organizations of African American women, the third in a series of small convenings supported by the Bezos Family Foundation. Previous meetings brought together parent advocates and faith leaders, many of whom had not been engaged in early childhood advocacy. Our goal is to highlight the need for additional voices to push for investments in young children at the federal, state and local levels and increase one on one interactions between children and the adults in their lives. Each began with a presentation on the importance of fostering healthy brain development in young children, and the fact that their brains are developing most rapidly during the first five years of their lives, shaped by their experiences and environments. The Vroom approach was emphasized as a way to make every moment a brain building moment for young children. We believe a better understanding of the developmental, fiscal and societal benefits of quality interaction in young children helps reinforce the need for expansion of a full continuum of quality early childhood programs.


Special Congratulations to Maya Lin

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President Barack Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to 21 individuals including artist, designer and longtime CDF friend Maya Lin on November 22. Congratulations to Ms. Lin on this important recognition. Maya Lin is perhaps best known as the designer of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.  We feel fortunate to have two exquisite Maya Lin designed buildings at CDF Haley Farm, our training ground and home for spiritual renewal in Tennessee: The exquisite Langston Hughes Library houses an extensive collection of first edition culturally diverse, award-winning children’s books and the ark-shaped Riggio-Lynch Chapel elegantly symbolizes the safe haven every child deserves.


Changing the Odds for California's Children
The Children’s Defense Fund - California 26th annual Beat the Odds® Ceremony will be held tomorrow, December 1, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Join Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, emcee Conan O’Brien and other special guests to honor five Los Angeles high school youths in recognition of their academic achievement despite overwhelming challenges. Congratulations to Jose Aceves, Alexandra Flores, Cierra Gunderson, Destiny Novillo and Florencia Valenzuela.

Tickets available by contacting Harvin Rogas at 310-559-9334. Please consider giving as generously as you can to help support these youths and CDF-CA.


Marian Wright Edelman’s November Child Watch® Columns
Marian Wright Edelman’s November Child Watch® columns encourage us to speak up for our children and continue to move forward together towards justice and the future all of America’s children deserve.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Our Nation to Stand Up for All Our Children

Bringing America Together for Our Children’s Sake

Keep Moving Forward on the Path Towards Justice

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, and encourage everyone you know to give as generously as they can and double their impact with CDF this #GivingTuesday.

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