As the school year ends and families look ahead to summer plans, I hope many will be able to consider travel that is not just a vacation, but an education and inspiration.
As a teenager, many of Barbara Johns’ wildest dreams were about a surprising subject: a new school.
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently took the strong step of declaring a moratorium on the death penalty in California, saying, “Our death penalty system has been, by all measures, a failure. It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation. It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. Most of all, the death penalty is absolute. It’s irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error.”
On March 15, a terrorist carrying two semi-automatic weapons and three rifles attacked worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 men, women and children – some of them refugees who had fled war zones seeking safety.
Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the Los Angeles area resident bishop of the United Methodist Church, is acting with urgency. Along with more than 100 other religious leaders and activists, she was arrested for civil disobedience at the White House for protesting the deportation of the unaccompanied children crossing our border after fleeing from the brutal violence and poverty of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Michael Patrick MacDonald is a storyteller. He recently encouraged the crowd of young leaders at the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools’ National Training to understand the power of storytelling to create change. His first book, All Souls:
This column is not about the recent story making headlines in New York City on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to lift a ban on pet ferrets.
A perennial favorite science project from preschool on up is the “seed experiment.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ran on a campaign to fund full-day public preschool for all New York City children through a modest increased income tax on residents making more than $500,000 a year.
"Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a White mother’s son – we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens." – Ella Baker
Women’s History Month is a reminder that in every major American social reform movement, women have always played a critical role
The headlines in the case were sadly familiar. An angry adult armed with a gun used it to shoot and kill an unarmed Black teenager he thought seemed “bad.”
We’re used to making a big fuss over children’s birthdays, but this week child advocates and families across the country are celebrating the Children’s Health Insurance Program on the fifth anniversary of its reauthorization.
Jaime Gordillo Villa, age 9, was born in the United States and is a good student who has gotten awards for both good grades and behavior. He wants to be a lawyer when he grows up to help immigrants and others who need help. He says he doesn’t want people to suffer for things they didn’t do.
Since the government was forced to shut down on Oct. 1, one of the most common refrains has been that some members of Congress are acting like children – or, more accurately, worse than most children
NNPA) – On Sept. 30, friends and supporters of the Children’s Defense Fund will gather at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to celebrate CDF’s 40th anniversary and honor our best known alum, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
These are the words of an 18-year-old who recently graduated from high school in a high-poverty neighborhood in the nation’s capital: “Where I live, which is Ward 7, everyone is the same … If you follow the crowd, you’re going to end up dead or in jail because that’s where most of them are. But if you’re a leader and you make your own decisions, then you can set your path for life.”
“You see a lot of teachers judge and stigmatize their students based on where they come from. A lot of my teachers thought that since I was from the South End of Louisville and I grew up in Section 8 housing that I wasn’t capable of doing all the things that I did, and the first time that I really felt like I was someone, it was the first time my fifth grade teacher actually pulled me to the side and said, ‘What can I do for you to help you as a student?
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was the promise that all men, yes, Black men as well as White men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’
Imagine your kindergartner is visiting a new friend’s house. During the hour they are running around together, they’ll pick up and play with all three of the following things, but only two of them have been tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for safety standards
Nearly 2,000 people attended Molly Conley’s funeral last month to mourn the young humanitarian who was the victim of a random drive-by shooting the day after her 15th birthday. She was shot in the neck while walking with friends to a sleepover in a residential neighborhood in Lake Stevens, Wash. Molly was a 4.0 student best known for her kindness that she used to encourage her parents to care for infants waiting for foster families and to start a group called “Mother’s Helper” that raised money to aid victims of domestic abuse.
Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, is as important as the killing of White mothers’ sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest.
“My heart was shattered while I was working at 60 Minutes when my only sister was shot and killed by her husband. There was a restraining order that stopped nothing.
We can change the world … Let’s believe in it; let’s make it happen so that someday soon we will visit the museum to see poverty because we will never see poverty in society. It does not belong in a civilized society.”
Guns killed more preschoolers in one year than they did law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Ask yourself if this is really what we as Americans meant by putting our children first?
Many school children in America are on summer break right now, but here’s a pop quiz about discipline policies in our nation’s schools that’s just for grownups:
“I’m learning that milestones are a very difficult thing to get through in this first year … Everything has become ‘after Noah’s death,’” Jodi Sandoval said through a stream of tears. Jodi lost her 14-year-old son, Noah McGuire, to gun violence in Clintonville, Ohio, last July 5.
Ka’Nard Allen has been shot twice in his 10-year-old life. On May 12, he went with his mother to the annual Mother’s Day second line parade in New Orleans. When two gunmen shot into the line of participants – men, women and children – Ka’Nard’s cheek was struck by a bullet. Eighteen other people were wounded, including a 10-year-old girl. Less than a year ago, at Ka’Nard’s 10th birthday party in his front yard, his 5-year-old cousin, Brianna Allen, was fatally shot by an AK-47, and he was shot in the neck.
Anyone despairing that Congress can’t get anything done should note last week’s swift vote to get furloughed air traffic controllers back to work. Congress can move very quickly and efficiently when it wants to and when its own comfort and that of constituents well-off enough to fly was affected.
The United States Senate’s failure to pass common sense gun safety measures – the Manchin-Toomey Amendment to expand background checks to keep guns away from underage or dangerous people, and amendments to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines designed only to kill as many human beings as possible ‒ is a moral failure of great magnitude. Once again, the safety of children has been sacrificed by political leaders in service to the gun lobby. As Americans, do we value guns more than the lives of children? Do we really want to continue to have political leaders who kowtow to the threats and money and half-truths of the gun lobby, and who think their political jobs are more important than the right of children to live and learn and grow up in safety?
(NNPA) Why is the National Rifle Association so afraid of the truth? There are many misconceptions about guns and gun violence swirling around in Americans’ minds ‒ and in many cases, this misinformation is no accident. For years the NRA has blocked the truth and actively fought against and prevented research in the causes and costs of gun violence because they don’t want Americans to know the truth about guns, how to prevent gun violence, and how to make themselves and their children safer. Why else would they have Congress pull gun injury prevention research funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health? Why have we put up so long with efforts to block all research on a huge public health threat that injures and kills tens of thousands of Americans every year?
“My friends are dead. I saw the bad man. He was next to me when we ran out.” “I played ball with him. Now he is dead.” “My friend got killed cause she didn’t hide good enough.” “Do you think it is my fault?”
"It will not be sufficient for Morehouse College, for any college, for that matter, to produce clever graduates, men fluent in speech and able to argue their way through; but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private - who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who are willing to accept responsibility for correcting the ills." - Benjamin E. Mays
"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.