The Children's Agenda is unique in that we advocate at the local, state and national levels. National policies have profound impacts for children locally. For example:
By partnering with national coalitions and initiatives, The Children's Agenda has greater impact. We learn from other organizations and contribute to a shared national agenda. National partnerships also give us the opportunity to elevate children's needs as they relate to other social issues. This makes children visible in policy initiatives where they might otherwise be overlooked. By working with national partners like the Partnership for America's Children, Alliance for Early Success and Annie E. Casey Foundation Advocacy Learning Lab, we achieve far more together than any of us would on our own.
July has meant of a lot of national work at The Children's Agenda. Read on for updates and opportunities to get involved with linking local, state and national efforts for children.
Raising Democracy by Resurrecting Hope
Our work at The Children's Agenda isn't about our organization working alone. It's about being part of a national movement for children.
Movement building is hard and requires deep, authentic connections. The Children's Defense Fund's Proctor Institute is a place for building those connections. By sharing stories and a passion for justice, advocates are renewed, informed and inspired.
This year two of our staff -- Brigit Hurley and Brittany Read -- attended the Proctor Institute in-person and virtually. Brigit shared the work of our Interfaith Collaborative on a panel along with colleagues from the Children's Defense Fund - NY.
Faith communities have a long history as leaders in social change movements. Connected by a shared commitment to caring for children, we can lift our voices and act together.
Planning for Monroe County's 2022 Children's Interfaith Weekend is underway. If your faith community would like to get involved, let us know!
TCA's Brigit Hurley with colleagues from Children's Defense Fund - NY
Larry Marx (CEO, The Children's Agenda) and Kercena Dozier (CEO, Children's Defense Fund - NY) on a visit to TCA's office in July.
"It's not right that families who can afford any kind of care and can go anywhere can make that choice. Children who live in homes that don't have those resources should have the same choice." ~ Bridget Shumway, Generations Childcare
of New York State is in
child care deserts
New York child care programs closed from
January 2020 - July 2022
So Far, So Good, and Still So Far to Go
This year saw tremendous strides in New York's commitment to quality, affordable child care. Most recently, New York state began distributing funds to new child care programs to serve families living in child care deserts. That includes designated funds for infant/toddler care and night/weekend hours.
Yet, we have a long way to go to reach our vision of universal child care that provides every child access to quality early education, provides every family with peace of mind, and pays professional child care providers professional wages.
The Children's Agenda is pleased New York was chosen by the Alliance for Early Success as 1 of 6 states to participate in the Child Care NEXT initiative.
This month our Policy Director, Pete Nabozny -- along with our co-leads from New York at the Schuyler Center for Advocacy & Analysis and the Alliance for Quality Education -- participated in a national convening of Child Care NEXT states.
Together, they planned how to build and sustain political power, organizing, and advocacy at all levels – from neighborhoods and communities to the state capitol, and everywhere in between.
The Children's Agenda staff learning and sharing at Clarissa Uprooted.
Connecting Past and Future, Local and National
As part of our ongoing professional development and commitment to antiracism education, our staff visited the Clarissa Uprooted exhibit.
The exhibit is an intergenerational oral history project by youth from Teen Empowerment and the Clarissa Street Reunion Committee. It focuses on the stories of elders who grew up in the Clarissa Street neighborhood. Once a thriving Black neighborhood, it was harmed by urban renewal and interstate projects in the 1950s-1970s.
What happened in the Clarissa Street neighborhood was echoed across the country in communities like Maxwell Street in Chicago, Roxbury in Boston, Treme in New Orleans, Overtown in Miami, and West Bottom neighborhoods in Kansas City.
Approximately 1.2 million families were displaced nationally. Although Black Americans were only 13% of the population at the time, they made up at least 55% of people who were displaced.
Clarissa Uprooted gave our staff the opportunity to listen to stories of elders, study maps and archives, and reflect on our role in repairing the intergenerational harm that was done. We were inspired and challenged by the stories of joy and celebration, pain and betrayal.
Knowing our local history and how it is connected to national policies can help us do better now.
Parent Leadership Spotlight
This month, some of the parent leaders who work with The Children's Agenda met with our new staff and interns to talk about how they are strengthening parent leadership and advocacy. Our staff are excited to support the organizing and advocacy of parent advocates -- from our local school district to Congress.
Our parent/family advocacy group is growing! All Rochester parents/families are welcome! To get involved, send a message to Carmen Torres using the button below or call her at (585) 256-2620 ext. 2613.
Our team is growing! Join with us in welcoming two new staff members to The Children's Agenda.
Shannon Mullin is our new Research & Policy Analyst. Because smart voices are based on evidence, she will be analyzing data, reviewing evidence, and translating research into policy recommendations. Shannon grew up in Ballston Spa, NY. She earned her bachelor's degree in Conflict Analysis & Resolution at George Mason University and her master's in Public Health at the University of Albany. In-between degrees, she worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer in New Orleans. Shannon brings expertise in maternal and child health policy and interned with the Schuyler Center for Analysis & Advocacy.
Brittany Read is our new Advocacy Coordinator. Because bold voices are strongest when they speak together, she will lead and strengthen our coalition work and community-based advocacy, including the Kids Can't Wait NYS Campaign and The Children's Agenda's Interfaith Collaborative. Brittany grew up in Rochester and graduated from Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in Strategic, Legal & Management Communications at Howard University and her master's in Social Work, Social Policy & Social Administration at the University of Chicago. Brittany brings expertise in after-school programs and interned with After School Matters.
Episode 15 – Jenn O'Connor on Preventing Childhood Trauma
Jenn is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Prevent Child Abuse New York. She and Pete Nabozny discuss a wide range of topics, including what primary prevention is and why it matters, Prevent Child Abuse New York’s work, and recent policy changes affecting children in New York State.
Episode 18 - Rachel Bonsignore on Kindergarten Readiness
Rachel is the Executive Director of Liftoff Western NY, an initiative to ensure all young children in Western NY are ready for Kindergarten. She and Pete Nabozny discuss Liftoff’s origins and the effort’s key issues areas. They also highlight promising local efforts to better support young children in western New York.
TCA In the News
Addressing Homelessness and Poverty in Rochester (WHAM)
Youth Mental Health
Supporting Students: What's Next for Mental Health (Christian Science Monitor)
Featuring Rochester parent & The Children's Agenda Board member Toyin Anderson
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The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.