Things that Make for Peace: Addressing Child Poverty
Women constitute nearly two-thirds of all minimum wage workers, and are primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners. Children’s Defense Fund, a partner of United Methodist Women, lifts up the cause of 16.1 million children who suffer from poverty in the United States. Black and Hispanic children are more impacted by child poverty than others. Not adequately addressing child poverty costs the nation half a trillion dollars annually through the loss of children’s productive lives, poor health and the likelihood of engaging in crime.
As our children and teachers start a new academic school year, Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, tells the story of Janol Vinson, a teacher.
“You see a lot of teachers stigmatize their students based on where they come from. A lot of my teachers thought that since I was from the South End of Louisville, and I grew up in Section 8 Housing, that I wasn’t capable of doing all the things that I did, and the first time that I really felt like I was someone, it was the first time my fifth grade teacher actually pulled me to the side and said, ‘What can I do for you as a student?’ And I ask that my students now. I pull them to the side and say, ‘What can I do as an adult to help you?’ I feel like every time I talk to someone, I should instill something in them, and I want that in return. And that happens just through treating people with love.”
—From “All Children Deserve Teachers Who Care About Them,” by Marian Wright Edelman, Children’s Defense Fund, August 30, 2013.
(Hum) Some one’s praying Lord … Kumbaya.
Let us pray for the students who still experience discrimination due to their poverty, color and lack of adult leaders to mentor them. Let us pray that each child realize his or her full potential in the school and community.
God of life, lead us to justice and peace.
Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D., is the executive for spiritual growth, United Methodist Women