Edelman says time to defend children, poor is now

October 11, 2004

Hundreds filled the pews at Riverside Church on Sunday to celebrate the Children's Sabbath and hear Marian Wright Edelman's sermon titled "A Nation and Century Defining Time: Where is America Going?"

Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, said, "If ever there was a time to stand up, speak out, and act courageously to defend our children from fear and want, this is it. The very future and soul of America are at stake."

Edelman also appealed to the congregation to join her, Washington's Bishop John Bryson Chane and thousands of leaders and members of faith-based communities for an "Interfaith Service of Prayer, Hope & Action for Justice for Children and the Poor" on Thursday, October 28 at 7 p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the event is to unite religious leaders and people of every faith from across the nation in prayer, concern, and commitment to justice for children and the poor.

"Children are the poor and needy in our nation today because they cannot vote, lobby, or make campaign contributions. Children are also those who cannot speak ... In this election year, we as people of faith, are called to speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all those left behind, especially our young," said Edelman.

For more information, contact the Children's Defense Fund Action Council at 866.274.9654 or visit http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org

Note: The following titles are available from the Episcopal Book/Resource Center, 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017; 800-334-7626; https://www.churchpublishing.org/

  • To Read: RAISING CHILDREN IN A SOCIALLY TOXIC ENVIRONMENT by James Garbarino (San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995; 189 pages; $27.95.)
    From the publisher: "Each child born is a new opportunity. Each family can make choices and decisions that strengthen children and strike a small blow against the social toxicity that surrounds us. Citizens can put their money and their voices behind programs and policies aimed at detoxifying the social environment."
    James Garbarino is director of the Family Life Development Center and professor of human development and family studies at Cornell University. He has studied the impact of violence and stress on children throughout North America and around the world and is the author of 16 books including Children in Danger; What Children Can Tell Us; The Psychologically Battered Child and No Place to Be a Child.
  • To Read: ENDANGERED: Your Child in a Hostile World by Johann Christoph Arnold (Farmington, Pennsylvania: Plough Publishing House, 2000; 172 pages; $10.00)
    From the publisher: " If you care about your children but sometimes feel like throwing up your hands, Endangered will renew your confidence that no matter how great the odds, the love you give them is still the most decisive factor. Every parent and educator wants to be more effective. Endangered will show you how, not by offering child-rearing tips, but by transforming the way you view children and empowering you to act on the innate wisdom you already possess."
    Johann Christoph Arnold, an outspoken social critic, has advocated on behalf of children and teens around the world, from Baghdad and Havana to Littleton and New York. He has been on over 100 talk shows, and a speaker at many colleges and high schools.
  • To Read: THE IRREDUCIBLE NEEDS OF CHILDREN: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing, 2000; 201 pages; $24.00.)
    From the publisher: "What do infants and children really need? In this impassioned dialogue our country's most distinguished pediatrician and most influential child psychiatrist define what every child must have in the first years of life. Cutting through the theories, platitudes, and controversies that abound in childcare advice, the authors, both famed advocates for children, lay out the seven irreducible needs of any child, in any society. This short, hard-hitting book, the fruit of decades of experience and caring, sounds a wake-up call for parents, teachers, judges, political leaders-anyone who cares about the future of children and, therefore, society."
    Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, founder of the Child Development Unit at Children's Hospital Boston, is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School. A practicing pediatrician for over 45 years, he designed the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) used all over the world. Brazelton has written 28 books for both a professional and lay audience, including Touchpoints, To Listen to a Child, and the now-classic trilogy Infants and Mothers, Toddlers and Parents, and On Becoming a Family.
    Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School. A practicing child psychiatrist and supervising child psychoanalyst, Dr. Greenspan designed a developmental model which guides the care of infants and children with developmental and emotional problems throughout the world. The author or editor of 30 books, Greenspan's influential works include The Growth of the Mind, Building Healthy Minds, The Child with Special Needs (with Serena Wieder, Ph.D.) and The Challenging Child.

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