Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Driving change through conversations

By meerna Jul11,2024
Driving change through conversations

INDIANAPOLIS — This election season, local families are focusing on their children and their futures. The national group hosted a listening session here in Indianapolis, giving parents a chance to share what they would like to see from the election and beyond.

The Children’s Defense Foundation hosted an event Wednesday evening at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, one of many Freedom Schools across the country.

“Here in the Midwest, we hear themes that resonate across the country,” said the organization’s president and CEO, Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson.

The local session discussed issues including gun violence, children’s mental health, and financial education for children and parents.

The Dodson family was among dozens of parents who showed up at the session to voice their opinions.

“We’re always trying to fight for a seat at the tables that we’re sitting at. We’re always trying to find something and have someone stand with us and support us and say, hey, we’re fighting with you,” Deanna Dodson said.

Their children have been participating in the summer literacy program at the Freedom School at St. Luke UMC for the past three years.

“We don’t teach kids to read, but we teach them to love reading,” said Kendra Johnson, co-principal of the school. “That’s how we have the power to change the trajectory and dynamics of the world around us.”

Dozens of families showed up Wednesday to participate in the change, which is being spearheaded by the Children’s Defense Fund, an organization whose mission is to defend the rights of children, especially children of color.

“A public policy agenda for caring communities, economic mobility, civic education, child health and early childhood development, that’s what candidates and communities should be talking about,” Dr. Wilson said.

The organization’s visit to Indiana was one stop on a multi-state tour aimed at hearing from parents and children to help shape national policy.

“We will make sure that we highlight this in the public discourse so that it influences our public policy, our direct engagement, our legislative education and the lobbying that we do on behalf of children and families in Washington,” Dr. Wilson said.

The goal is to improve the lives of children and enable children and youth across America to enjoy growing up.

On Thursday, Dr. Wilson will participate in a Harambee read-aloud session with young St. Luke’s Freedom School scholarship recipients.

On Saturday at 10:00 a.m. there will also be a symposium led by young people at St. Luke’s Church

We invite the audience to participate.

By meerna

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