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Marian Wright Edelman

Stories by Marian

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Migrant children: Innocent victims of the U.S. war on drugs

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.

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Breaking the code of silence: transforming trauma to voice

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:

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Saving our children from the return of the unjust greedy weasels

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.

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The seed experiment: Tracking the progress of America’s children

A perennial favorite science project from preschool on up is the “seed experiment.”

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Making strides for preschool, the future of America

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.

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Ella Baker: Outspoken warrior and civil rights heroine

"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

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The invisible leaders of social change, civil rights

Women’s History Month is a reminder that in every major American social reform movement, women have always played a critical role

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Stand your what? American youth killed by adults with guns

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.”

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Building on CHIP’s success across the country

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.

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The United States need immigration reform now!

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.

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Stop the shutdown, prevent severe economic meltdown

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

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Celebrating 40 years for 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.

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‘Mentors matter’ in the lives of Black boys

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.”

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All children need teachers who care about them

“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?

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Fifty years later: Where do we go from here?

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.’

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Teddy bears, toy guns and real guns

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

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We must do better: Look at the facts

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.

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Justice denied

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.

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‘That gun changed our lives forever’

“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.

‘Soon we will visit the museum to see poverty’

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.”

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We can do better on guns

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?

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A failing idea: Zero tolerance discipline policies

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:

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Common sense gun safety laws

“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.

Numb, spiritually dead nation

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.

Children need to fly, too, to end sequestration

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.

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Protecting children from guns, the fight is not over

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?

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The NRA is afraid of the truth

(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?

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Devastating voices of our children

“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?”

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Missing leadership, core values

"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

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All-American crisis

"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.