Closing the opportunity gap for our children


October 12, 2016

national-comparison-of-children1Children remain more likely to be poor in America than any other age group, with nearly one in five in poverty in 2015. As with adults, children of color experience poverty at much higher rates that their white peers. In fact, African American and Latino children are roughly 2.5 times more likely to be poor than white children… While their parents struggle to pay for necessities, children in poverty may pay in other ways, from damage to brain development to poorer physical and mental health, education and employment outcomes.”

As we noted in our recent report, The High Cost of Being Poor in the U.S., from which the above paragraph is taken, millions of children in the U.S. growing up in and near poverty face an opportunity gap to achievement and success.

On Monday, October 17, just two days before the final presidential candidate debate in Las Vegas, Every Child Matters, the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance of Nevada and partners are hosting the Children’s Opportunity Forum, a day of nonpartisan activities to highlight this opportunity gap, and discuss what we can do together to close it. CHN is proud to cosponsor these activities, which will be live-streamed. We hope you’ll join us online!

ecm-opportunity-gap-eventFirst, join us at 4pm ET/1pm PT for a town hall conversation among national thought leaders, grassroots activists, family stakeholders and audience members about the barriers to children’s opportunity, emphasizing the importance of candidate and voter education. To date, panelists include representatives from the Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s Leadership Conference, the National Council of La Raza (all friends of CHN) and others. Also invited are high-level surrogates from the presidential candidates’ campaigns to talk about what they plan to do to close the opportunity gap. Register for the town hall live stream here.

Then, that evening at 9pm ET/6pm PT, join us and renowned Harvard social scientist Robert Putnam as he shares findings from his book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Mr. Putnam will discuss how the promise of the American dream eludes millions of children, and policy solutions to close the widening opportunity gap among children. Register here to watch the livestream or a one-time recorded re-broadcast online.

As Election Day draws nearer, we should be thinking hard about our priorities as a nation. Reducing child poverty – which remains higher than in 2007 before the Great Recession – and closing the opportunity gap for our kids should be top priorities.

We hope you’ll join us for these great events online, via the live stream and by using #KidsOpportunity. You can also host a viewing party by inviting friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and more – it’s a great way to begin these conversations in your own community. Check out this watch party toolkit for a  few quick tips to make your event successful, and check out the #KidsOpportunity Forum social media toolkit for sample social media posts and images.

child nutrition
child poverty
Child Tax Credit
early childhood
Early Childhood Education
Education and Youth Policy
opportunity gap
Poverty and Income
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families