EVENT: The Children’s Defense Fund National Conference
DATE: July 22-July 25, 2012
LOCATION: Cincinnati, Ohio
REGISTRATION: Registration closes July 13, 2012
The Children’s Defense Fund National conference, “Pursuing Justice for Children and the Poor with Urgency and Persistence” will gather 3,000 leading researchers, educators, policymakers, practitioners, faith leaders, and advocates including 1,500 young adult leaders from July 22nd – July 25th in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As stated in the CDF National Conference materials, “When 16.4 million children are poor, 8.3 million children don’t have health care, and a majority of children cannot read or compute at grade level in the fourth, eighth, and 12th grades – we have a growing national crisis that demands an urgent response in these politically volatile and polarized times.”
The event promises exciting, essential programming, cutting edge plenary sessions, dozens of compelling workshops that focus on the latest research and best practices, community building models, and community and youth empowerment strategies to close the gap between what we know works and what we actually do for our most vulnerable – children and the poor.
The Children’s Defense Fund National Conference’s list of impressive confirmed panelists and moderators for some of the mini-plenary sessions include:
Ending Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies and the Criminalization of Children at Increasingly Younger Ages
Zero tolerance school discipline policies are a key feeder system into the Cradle to Prison Pipeline, increasing the use of suspension and expulsion for students who do not pose a threat to school safety, disconnecting students from school and criminalizing children at increasingly younger ages. How can 6, 7 and 8-year-old children be arrested and handcuffed on school grounds for nonviolent offenses without a huge community outcry? This session will address the role of zero tolerance school discipline policies in fueling the drop out crisis and profile compelling organizing strategies that have engaged youths and parents directly affected by harsh discipline policies in successful campaigns to modify school policies and procedures; institute restorative justice models; and create positive learning environments for all children.
Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
Judith Browne-Dianis, Advancement Project
Janet Connors, Community Fellow and Trainer, Center for Restorative Justice
Ricardo Martinez, co-director, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos
What’s Next for Health Reform? Ensuring Affordable Health Coverage for Every Child
Learn about the early coverage gains for millions of children, young adults and families since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and explore the road ahead since the U.S. Supreme Court decision as states work to develop health insurance exchanges and design a simple and seamless system for families to enroll in coverage. Take action to protect and improve Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and learn about promising strategies to enroll uninsured children in health coverage including the Connecting Kids to Coverage Challenge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education and CDF’s partnership with the American Association of School Administrators to enroll uninsured children in health coverage through local schools.
Moderator: Elisabeth Wright Burak, senior program director, Center for Children and Families
Donna Cohen Ross, senior policy advisor, Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services
Sharon Adams-Taylor, associate executive director, American Association of School Administrators, AASA
Amy Swanson, CEO, Voices for Ohio’s Children
Take Action to Protect Children, Not Guns: Community Responses to Address Trauma and Violence
In 2008 and 2009, 5,740 children and teens were killed by guns, more than all the U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The leading cause of death among Black teens ages 15 to 19 in these two years was gun homicide. The number of preschoolers killed by guns in 2008 (88) and 2009 (85) was nearly double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 (41) and 2009 (48).Learn about the inspiring work of community leaders who are working to end gun violence, address the root causes of youth and community violence and take action to protect children, not guns.
Moderator: Toby Hoover, executive director, Ohio Coalition to Stop Violence
Daniel Webster, co-director, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research
Dr. Victor Garcia, trauma surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Reverend Ray Hammond, co-founder, Boston TenPoint Coalition
Roy Martin, senior youth development specialist, Boston Public Health Commission
Closing the Achievement Gap through Quality Summer and Afterschool Enrichment Programs
Learn about collaborative models that work to close the achievement gap through early literacy initiatives in doctor’s offices, partnerships with faith communities to reweave the fabric of family and community and expanded summer and after-school enrichment programs. This session will discuss strategies to expand successful models to close the achievement gap both in and out of school.
Moderator: Ron Fairchild, CEO, Smarter Learning Group
Lauren Gilbert, Vice President of Programs, Bell Foundation
Emily Raine, Manager, Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative
Mary Nell McPherson, Executive Director, Freedom Schools Partners, Charlotte, NC
Dwayne Crompton, Kansas City Freedom School Initiative
A Conversation with Educator and Author Jonathan Kozol
About his first book in 10 years, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America, Jonathan states: “The heart of the book poses the question: What are the ingredients of character, and what are the enlightened interventions, that have enabled many of the kids I’ve followed ever since I met them in the 1990s to rise above the terrible obstacles they faced in rock bottom, totally segregated, and unequal schools? How did they transcend it all and grow into contributive maturity, while others never did recover from the damage that they underwent in those early years?” Come meet and hear this great teacher and prolific writer and be revived and encouraged in your own efforts to protect every child’s right to learn, thrive and contribute.
Source: The Children’s Defense Fund
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rape combined. And studies suggest that up to ten (10) million children witness some form of domestic abuse annually. Everyone has a right to be safe.
Research data indicates that when different members of the community coordinated their efforts to protect battered women and hold batterers accountable, these efforts were more successful. Coordination helps to ensure that the system works faster and better for victims, that victims are protected and receive the services they need, and that batterers are held accountable and cease their abusive behavior. A critical first step toward coordinating responses is developing a common understanding of domestic violence.
Law enforcement agencies, advocates, health care providers, child protection services, local businesses, the media, employers and clergy can—and ideally should—be involved in a coordinated community response. Health care providers, in particular, can be important participants. Doctors, nurses and emergency room workers may see and treat women who do not or cannot seek other kinds of assistance. Coordinated community response programs often work to create a network of support for victims and their families that is both available and accessible. Coordinated community response programs often use the full extent of the community’s legal system to protect victims, hold batterers accountable, and enforce the community’s intolerance of domestic violence. Coordinated community response programs also often engage the entire community in efforts to change the social norms and attitudes that contribute to domestic violence. (From American Medical Association, Family Violence: Building a Coordinated Community Response 12 (1996).)
The conference aims to advance the health care system’s response to domestic violence. The Conference attracts the nation’s leading medical, public health and family violence experts from across the U.S. with increased international participation. In addition to the institutes, workshops, and plenary session, award winning actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith will perform part of her one-woman show on healthcare, Let Me Down Easy, during the biennial National Conference on Health & Domestic Violence.
Event Date: March 29-31, 2012
Location: San Francisco, California
Sponsor: Futures Without Violence
The 6th Biennial National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence will feature cutting-edge research and practice on the intersection of healthcare and violence prevention. Workshops, scientific posters, and plenary sessions highlight the latest research and most innovative clinical responses to domestic violence, with a focus on the work being done by physicians, physician assistants, dentists, nurses, nurse midwives, mental and behavioral health providers, social workers, domestic violence experts, researchers and others. The Conference includes an Exhibit Hall to feature local and national resources. The Conference is primarily funded by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
With thirteen (13) in-depth Pre-Conference Institutes, one hundred and seventy (170) workshop presentations, in addition to plenary and keynote sessions, the Conference is one of the largest forums of its kind for advocates, clinicians, and researchers.
Prevention Pre-Conference Topics:
The prevention pre-conference institutes, workshops, and plenary sessions are as follows:
Prevention: Here are some of the prevention related titles of sessions:
Pre-Conference Institute: Promoting healthy relationships & preventing teen dating violence in the middle school years
Pre-Conference Institute: Intersectionality and gender based violence
Pre-Conference Institute: What’s your role in ending violence against women on campus?
Teen dating violence trajectories: Expect respect and gender matters intervention projects
Evaluation of the green dot bystanding intervention program in high school and college campuses
Weathering tough economic times through relationships: Innovations in teen dating violence prevention with youth at the center
Preventing IPV among Hispanics: Family, partner and community violence exposure, innovative training programs and impact on reproductive health of gang-affiliated Latina women
Interactive multimedia and online tools to understand teen perspectives on relationships, teach about IPV, and to transform negative social norms to positive ones
The fourth R: Classroom and small-group strategies to reduce dating violence and abuse
Promoting healthy relationships among adolescents in health care and school settings
Engaging men and boys as allies: Prevention programs and therapeutic tools for young men exposed to violence
Closing plenary session on Transformers: Risk, Resilience and the Promise of our Teens
Conference Sponsor: Futures Without Violence’s
“Everyone has the right to live free of violence. Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund, works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.”
From domestic and dating violence, to child abuse and sexual assault, Futures Without Violence works to end some of the most pressing global issues of our time. We advance the health, stability, education, and security of women and girls, men and boys worldwide. In 1994, Futures Without Violence was instrumental in developing the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed by the US Congress. Striving to reach new audiences and transform social norms, we train professionals such as doctors, nurses, athletic coaches, and judges on improving responses to violence and abuse. As well, we work with advocates, policy makers and others to build sustainable community leadership and educate people everywhere about the importance of respect and healthy relationships – the relationships that all individuals, families, and communities need and deserve.
For further information on the conference or to register, please visit www.nchdv.org.
Source(s): Prevent-Connect. Futures Without Violence website.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art.
On November 29, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder convened the first of four public hearings of the National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, a part of the Defending Childhood initiative, which is gathering expert and community testimony on children’s exposure to violence. Recent research shows that more than sixty (60) percent of American children have been exposed to violence, crime, or abuse—many within their own homes.
The task force will hold additional hearings this year in Albuquerque, NM; Miami, FL; and Detroit, MI. These hearings will help the task force to identify promising practices, programs, and community strategies to prevent and respond to children’s exposure to violence. The task force will also issue a final report to the attorney general presenting its findings and comprehensive policy recommendations.
To learn more about the afore-referenced task force, visit: www.justice.gov/defendingchildhood/task-force.html. Also visit the U.S. Department of Justice’s Defending Childhood initiative at www.justice.gov/defendingchildhood. Additionally, you can read a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice on the first hearing on children’s exposure to violence at: www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/November/11-ag-1541.html.
Sources: Prevent-Connect, Ohio Department of Health’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program, US Dept. of Justice Action Center.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
The state of Arizona started a wave of anti-immigration laws which have been replicated by four (4) states to date. In response to the enactment of these laws, many organizations and individuals have taken decisive action to indicate that there is no place in a free nation for “show me your papers” laws. The ACLU and other national advocacy organizations remind us that that these anti-immigration laws[i] — already signed in Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Georgia and Alabama[ii] — pose a grave threat to our civil liberties.
It is the ACLU’s assertion that these “show me your papers” laws which were passed in Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Georgia and Alabama intrude on the federal government’s immigration authority and institutionalize racial profiling and discrimination in states and localities throughout the nation — in direct violation of the Constitution’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. As a result, the ACLU has brought class action suits to halt this wave of anti-immigration laws and is urging the Department of Justice to take immediate action to challenge these laws in court.
In July of this year, I wrote about Alabama’s anti-immigration law because it was termed the strictest anti-immigrant law in the nation. There is great opposition to the law not only within that state but also across our nation. Alabama’s anti-immigration law, HB56, took effect in September of 2011. Before the law could go into effect, the American Civil Liberties Union, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian American Justice Center and the Asian Law Caucus filed a class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s anti-immigrant law (HB56)[iii]. After the suit was filed in this case a press release was sent out by the ACLU which read:
“Alabama has brazenly enacted this law despite the clear writing on the wall: Federal courts have stopped each and every one of these discriminatory laws from going into effect,” said Cecilia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Local Alabama communities and people across the country are shocked and dismayed by the state’s effort to erode our civil rights and fundamental American values.”
Many community leaders oppose the anti-immigration law for a range of reasons. “This legislation not only violates our values as a community but will also create astronomical costs at a time when our state can least afford it,” said Shay Farley, Legal Director, Alabama Appleseed. “If these legislators have their way, millions of taxpayer dollars will be squandered and our already underwater state economy will take another serious hit.”
In response to the class action suit brought by the ACLU against the State of Alabama, on September 28, 2011, a federal court judge issued a ruling in that case. Here are comments from the ACLU on the court’s ruling in that case, as they appear in the press release, “While the court has blocked some extremely problematic provisions from going into effect, thereby allowing Alabamians to continue engaging in everyday activities such as seeking employment and giving rides to neighbors, we are deeply concerned by the decision to allow some unconstitutional provisions to stand,” said Andre Segura, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Laws that require police to demand ‘papers’ from people who they suspect appear undocumented encourage racial profiling, threaten public safety, undermine American values and have no place in our society.”
With that said, the ACLU is continuing the fight to halt the wave of racial profiling laws via filing law suits and other advocacy efforts. Currently, it is requesting that the Obama administration do its part to stop the anti-immigrant activists from putting these laws on the books. To assist in this effort to get Justice Department involvement in this issue, the ACLU is asking each of us to, Tell Attorney General Holder: There is no place in our country for “show me your papers” laws. Toward that goal the ACLU prepared a petition which appears on its website. Please join me in signing and circulating the petition entitled “No place in America for “show me your papers” laws!”.
For further information about anti-immigration laws, visit the website(s) for the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Immigration Forum, or the Asian American Justice Center.
Source(s): ACLU website. ACLU Press Releases. ACLU Press Release September 28, 2011. Alabama Coalition for Immigration Justice Press Release, National Immigration Forum, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian American Justice Center, “Anti-immigration law march in Birmingham draws a crowd and keeps commenters divided, too”, The Birmingham News, June 26, 2011, “Report: Anti-Immigration Law Cost Millions, Jamilah King, COLORLINES, Thursday, January 27, 2011, Huffington Post, and America’s Voice on Line, “Alabama anti-immigration law facing court challenge”, Tom Baxter, Southern Political Report, July 8, 2011, “HB 56: Alabama May Pass Nation’s Harshest Anti-Immigrant Law”, Nsenga Burton, the Root, June 9, 2011.
Photo Credit Microsoft Clip Art
[i] .Alabama is the fifth state to pass anti-immigration law. Some opponents of the law have deemedAlabama’s anti-immigration law to be the most comprehensive/extreme in the nation. To date, the anti-immigration laws have not been fully implemented due to legal challenges by a coalition of national advocacy organizations. The coalition members include: the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American Justice Center, Latino Justice PRLDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
[ii] It has been reported that the Alabama anti-immigration bill (HB 56) replicates some portions ofArizona’s anti-immigration law. As it was written,Alabama’s anti-immigration law:
- Allows local law enforcement to demand papers from and detain those they believe are in the country illegally.
- Makes it a crime for undocumented immigrants to hold a job in Alabama, and make it a crime for any immigrant in the state to be caught without documentation proving status.
- Makes it illegal to sign a contract with undocumented immigrants, to knowingly rent property to them, to knowingly hire them for jobs.
- Requires businesses to use E-Verify, the government database of names, to check employees’ legal status.
- Mandates that parents report the immigration status of their children to public schools to assist the schools to: maintain legal status records on all their students; and document the costs of educating undocumented children.
[iii] The decision in this case came down at the end of September of this year.
In 2011, National Teachers Day was May 3. Every day, teachers make a meaningful difference in the lives of countless students across the world. For some students, many of their fondest memories were made at school. Teaching is a daunting job that is often overlooked but very critical in a person’s intellectual as well as emotional development.
In 2012, National Teacher’s Day will be held on May 8, 2012. The overarching goal of National Teacher’s Day is to recognize educators for their dedication to ensuring that every student receives a quality education. The work of teachers should be celebrated by students, parents, and the community as a whole not simply on National Teacher Day but every day. For ideas on how to recognize the important and necessary work undertaken by teachers, consider visiting the National Educators Association (NEA) website at http://www.nea.org.
Source(s): National Educators Association
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
When the DREAM Act failed, the hopes of many students were dashed. Because of the incoming Congressional leadership’s views on immigration, the vote held on Saturday was likely the last chance to pass the bill for at least two years. With that said, some DREAM Act eligible students will now face deportation. Others will now be unable to attend school, join the military, or hold certain jobs if they are not eligible to work in the United States. Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art