Tag Archives: Children’s Issues

Kids in Prison?

March is the Juvenile Justice Month of Faith and Healing, organized by the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. This month is an opportunity for the faith community to address the way in which our society holds children accountable when they are convicted of crimes.

Did you know…

  • Children sentenced to life in prison are among the most vulnerable members of our society. Nearly 80% of such children reported witnessing violence in their homes.
  • The racial discrepancy of youth sentenced to life without parole is massive. African American children receive such a sentence at 10 times the rate of white children.
  • 77% of girls sentenced to life without parole say they have been sexually abused.
  • Children housed in adult prisons are eight times more likely to commit suicide; five times more likely to be sexually assaulted; two times more likely to be assaulted by staff; and 50 percent more likely to be attacked with a weapon compared to children in juvenile facilities. Read more…

21 Facts for the 21st Annual World Water Day

This past Saturday, March 22nd, marked the 21st annual World Water Day.  What is World Water Day, you ask? World Water Day has been held annually on March 22nd since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly designated the day as the first World Water Day.  World Water Day is an opportunity to focus on the importance of access to freshwater for everyone on the planet and to highlight the millions of people living without access to clean water around the globe.  This year’s World Water Day focused on the intersection of water and energy, and the crucial impacts both have on alleviating poverty worldwide. Read more…

Students receiving school lunch

Ensuring Access to School Lunch in Minnesota

At the beginning of this year, a school in Utah made headlines after throwing away students’ meals because they had a deficit in their school lunch accounts. Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to Utah and occurs nationwide. But in one state, Jewish advocates are making a big push to do something about it. Read more…

President Obama with young child on his lap, sitting in elementary school classroom

Obama’s Big Budget

Earlier this month, President Obama released his budget for fiscal year 2015, which proposes new programs, withdraws some past proposals and reduces the deficit. We applaud the President, as the budget reflects the commandment in Proverbs 31:9 to, “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.” Read more…

Michelle Obama with Elmo and a basket of fruit and vegetables with faces

First Lady Fights Childhood Obesity

Building on the expansion of school meals programs, First Lady Michelle Obama announced new school wellness plans and food marketing regulations for our nation’s schools. Beyond the First Lady’s announcement, it’s been a busy week in the fight to end child obesity–a new report found a surprising 43% decline in obesity among 2-5 year old children in America over the last eight years. Read more…

Oppose Harmful Vouchers Legislation in Congress

During School Choice Week in January, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced two bills that would transform the public education system as we know it. By privatizing a majority of funds for public schools, The Scholarships for Kids Act (S. 1968/H.R. 4000) and The Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education Act (S. 1909) (or the “CHOICE Act”) would together turn a significant amount of federal education funds into vouchers.

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Halting Another Polio Crisis

In 2002, there were 1,600 polio cases in India.  In 2009, there were 741, nearly half of the world’s cases.  On January 13, 2014, India celebrated its third consecutive year of being polio-free.  This momentous accomplishment was marked throughout the worldRead more…

Double Booked: “Distressed Babies” and the Obligation of Care

The media-verse is abuzz with discussions on a variety of working families issues in the wake of recent comments by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong about employee benefits.

Armstrong organized a company-wide conference call for his employees to explain why AOL had decided to scale-back employer-matching contributions on its 401(k) program, and he explained that healthcare costs in particular were responsible for the decision. A very specific reference to “distressed babies” has ignited a firestorm of debate on health care insurance coverage, the high costs of neonatal care, employer-employee privacy (most AOL employees were easily able to identify the parents of the babies mentioned), and insensitivity to working parents, among myriad other issues. The mother of one of the aforementioned “distressed babies” penned a response article in Slate, where she explained:

Yes, we had a preemie in intensive care. This was certainly not our intention. While he’s at it, why not call out the women who got cancer? The parents of kids with asthma? These rank among the nation’s most expensive medical conditions. Would anyone dare to single out these people for simply availing themselves of their health benefits?

Read more…

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