Children's Defense Fund
|Founder||Marian Wright Edelman|
|Marian Wright Edelman, President|
|Slogan||Leading our nation since 1973 to ensure a level playing field for all children|
The organization's stated purpose is “to ensure every child a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start, and a moral start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.”
The CDF was founded in 1973, citing inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s civil rights movement, with the goal of improving federal policies concerning child welfare and public education systems.
CDF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has offices in several states around the country: California, Minnesota, New York, Louisiana, Ohio, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. CDF programs operate in 24 states and the National Outreach staff also works on the ground and with partners in all 50 states.
Since its founding, the CDF has lobbied for passing legislation related to its goals, including the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975 (now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act in 1980. Its legislative interests have also included Head Start, Medicaid, and the Child Income Tax Credit.
The CDF's programs include a modern Freedom Schools program launched in 1993 for child enrichment through reading, a Beat the Odds program launched in 1990 that hosts awareness events and awards partial college scholarships, and a Youth Advocacy Leadership Training fund.
In recent years, CDF funds have gone towards free tax preparation assistance to low-income families and the generation of numerous child advocacy reports. These reports range in topic, from minority incarceration rates (and the school to prison pipeline) to gun safety concerning children.
Numerous notable individuals have been actively involved with the charity. Hillary Clinton, after completing law school, initially worked there as a staff attorney and eventually went on to serve as board chair. Reese Witherspoon currently serves on the Board of Directors. J.J. Abrams has funded Freedom Schools in the past.
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- "Charity Ratings | America's Most Independent, Assertive Charity Watchdog | CharityWatch". www.charitywatch.org. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
- Cousins, Linwood H. (2014-09-05). Encyclopedia of Human Services and Diversity. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781483346656.
- "Children's Defense Fund Joins Forces With JJ Abrams To Celebrate Founder Marian Wright Edelman's Vision". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- "Teen Pregnancy in America Today". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- "For the love of learning: Freedom Schools go above and beyond helping kids grow". kansascity. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- "Freedom Schools programs come to Sacramento for first time". sacbee. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Stedman, Alex. "Jennifer Garner, Conan O’Brien Honor Amazing Kids at Beat the Odds Awards". Variety. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Milloy, Courtland (2006-02-01). "At Tax Clinic, Some Relief From Those Low-Income Blues". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Radio, Southern California Public (2012-03-08). "Navigating the 'school-to-prison-pipeline' for minorities". Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Protect Children, not Guns
- "Simon Cowell Donates Paycheck to Idol Gives Back". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Traister, Rebecca (2015-06-15). "Meet the New, Old Hillary". New Republic. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Dore, Shalini. "Reese Witherspoon to Receive American Cinematheque Award". Variety. Retrieved 2016-02-08.