Support the Next Generation of Young People
Today, you can boldly display your support for equity for all Maryland's children, youth, and families with your purchase of an equi-TEE. The t-shirts, available for a limited time, are $22 each. T-shirts, which are designed by Makaylie Muller, range from youth XS to 4XL in adult sizes.
Our goal is to raise $1,500 and we want to sell 150 shirts by March 11, 2021. Currently, we have sold 14 shirts and well on the way. Proceeds from the campaign will support our transformational work as we advance policies and programs to ensure children and families of every race, ethnicity, and place of birth achieve their full potential.
We Are Getting Closer to An Equitable Maryland
Together, we are making inroads to an equitable Maryland for our children, families, and communities.
The Blueprint for Maryland's Future is now law with both the Senate and the House overriding the Governor's veto. Check out our article below to find out what this means for our children. We also must celebrate the work of Rachel White, our child welfare policy director, who was instrumental in working with legislators to introduce the usage of racial impact statements in criminal justice bills. These statements ensure that recommended bills do not create or increase disparate outcomes among people of different races or ethnicities. These advances are only the beginning.
Addressing Inequities in the African American Community
Thank you to Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando and Dr. Qadira Ali Huff, MD, MPH, FAAP, DipABLM for sharing their insights and recommending solutions to address systemic inequities at our recent webinar, African American Families in Maryland: A Perspective Through Data. Nonso Umunna, our research director, presented data from the Kids Count Data Center while Rachel White, our child welfare policy director, presented child welfare indicators and advocacy solutions. The webinar reviewed the dynamics of the data in Maryland as well as the leadership and advocacy needed to address inequities to ensure that an entire generation of children will not face long-term effects.
We make history every day by being innovative, transformational, and intentional in how we address inequities. Those who have gone before us have laid the groundwork. Now it is our turn. Maryland is one of the richest states in the Nation yet there are 76,000 African American children living in poverty. This statistic, the highest among all other peer groups, should not be. Let us work together to eliminate poverty so that all children, youth, and young people can reach their full potential. #equityforallkids.
HB375-Time to Care Act, we are proud to support HB 375, the Time to Care Act. We are one of over 60 members of the Time to Care Act Coalition. This legislation will ensure extended paid leave is available for even low-wage workers so they can take time off when they themselves, or their loved ones, need to be cared for. We hope that the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant enough wake up call for our legislators to have the will to ensure this bill passes.
SB425-Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), ACY will also support SB 425 on Tuesday, which would create a statewide workgroup focused on screening children for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Studies show that the more ACEs a child is exposed to, the worse their health outcomes as adults. By screening more children for ACEs, supports can be offered to families to buffer negative impacts and improve adult health outcomes.
Advocates for Children and Youth will provide testimony in support of Maryland State Department of Education's Early Childhood Budget. Economists have found that investing in early childhood education supports, especially for children living in under-resourced communities, provides the highest return on investment. Given the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on families, these early childhood investments are more important than ever.
For more information regarding our legislative agenda, click here.
HB708, Baltimore's Safe Streets program, Maryland's House of Delegates last week followed the Senate's bold leadership to override the Governor's veto of SB 708, which provides $6.6 million in funding for community violence intervention programs like Baltimore's Safe Streets program. States like Maryland are turning to intervention strategies to break the cycle of violence; research shows that a combination of focused, community-based intervention programs and firearms policy reforms dramatically reduces violence, especially in underserved communities.
Maryland General Assembly Overrides the Governor’s Veto
Last week both the Senate (31-15) and the House (95-37) voted to override the Governor’s veto of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (HB1300, 2020). This important victory is for more than 900,000 students and future generations that will attend Maryland public schools. What the veto override sets in motion is implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future over the next five years with dedicated resources for the following:
- increased access to early childhood education programs (i.e., pre-kindergarten, Judy Centers, family support programs);
- greater investments in high-quality teachers and leaders;
- improved standards for college and career readiness pathways;
- stronger connections between governance and accountability; and
- additional resources for community schools and other student support services.
The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will set the pace for providing a world-class education for all Maryland’s students regardless of zip code. Next steps for the legislature around education and the Blueprint is approval of the Governor’s budget along with alignment of state and federal resources to address COVID-related impacts around learning loss, the digital divide and wrap-around services.
Over the past year, Advocates for Children and Youth's Board of Directors and Staff have been working on refining our approach to advocacy. We shared our mission statement, launched our campaign, Equity for All Kids during the 2020 legislative session, and continue to be responsive and preemptive to the new challenges that the pandemic has either magnified or exposed.
To give you further insight into our progress toward racial equity and inclusion both internally and externally, we are sharing our Strategic Framework, Theory of Change, and Values. With these tools in hand, we will work toward building a strong Maryland by advancing policies and programs to ensure children and families of every race, ethnicity, and place of birth achieve their full potential.
Advocates for Children and Youth
One N. Charles Street | Suite 2400 | Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Advocates for Children and Youth is funded by: Abell Foundation | The Annie E. Casey Foundation | Arnold Ventures | Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation | Clayton Baker | The Fund for Change | Fund for Families with Young Children | Greater Washington Community Foundation | Lockhart Vaughan Foundation | Meyer Foundation | OSI-Baltimore | Partnership for America's Children |