Marian Wright Edelman: “The Future Has Its Eyes on You”

CDF Freedom Schools programs encourage students in grades K-12 (known as “scholars”) to excel and believe in their ability to ma
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Photos: Children's Defense Fund\Julie Bennett\Facebook

The future has its eyes on you.” That was the message children enrolled in Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® summer programs across the country heard and shared as they participated in this year’s National Day of Social Action on July 20. CDF Freedom Schools programs encourage students in grades K-12 (known as “scholars”) to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves and their families, schools, communities, country, and world with hope, education, and action. Every summer scholars participate in a National Day of Social Action.

This event has been a regular part of CDF Freedom Schools programming since the program’s beginning, and gives young people a chance to participate in collective action and use their voices to express their desire for change and their vision for a more equitable future. Above all, the National Day of Social Action reinforces CDF’s message that children are never too young to make a difference.

This year’s theme was Climate Justice is Racial Justice. CDF Freedom Schools leaders partnered with Youth vs. Apocalypse, a diverse group of young climate justice activists working together to lift the voices of youth, especially youth of color and working class youth, to fight for a livable climate and an equitable, sustainable, and just world.

At CDF Freedom Schools sites across the country scholars took field trips to science museums, shared youth-produced videos, wrote letters to their elected officials, learned about clean water and other needs in their communities from local experts, and found many other ways to learn more and share their urgent message. Read the Full Column

Marian Wright Edelman is Founder and President Emerita of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission 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. For more information go to

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