Archives: Voices

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, July 21, 2023

The harsh fall edition. In September and October, millions of Americans with low incomes will face additional hardship because of the expiration of a wide array of pandemic-era programs that were passed or expanded over the past three years. “Several pandemic-era safety net programs will come to an end at roughly the same time this fall, creating a major economic squeeze for millions of families,” Axios notes. “Scores of Americans will soon start facing bigger bills for student loan payments, child care, health care and food, deepening the impact of years of inflation.” 

Black Maternal Health Crisis: America is Failing to Protect Expecting Black Moms 

The decorated track star Tori Bowie captured a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, two gold medals in the 2017 World Track Championships, and was the fastest woman alive at one point. At age 32, Tori Bowie died at home during childbirth on May 2, 2023, while suffering from eclampsia. Despite her supernatural-like talent, Tori fell victim to the systemic issue of Black maternal mortality rates. If Olympian Tori Bowie can suffer from this health crisis, then every Black woman is at risk.  

What decades of social work taught me about poverty

I’ve worked with many economically struggling people. I grew up in meager circumstances myself and well remember the stigma and shame of having to do without. And this I can tell you: Not one person I’ve ever met wants to be poor, sick, disabled, struggling, or on the receiving end of public assistance programs. These programs are vital but often inadequate and difficult to access. 

Celebrating with CHN: The Human Needs Hero Reception 

The Coalition on Human Needs Thursday night hosted its annual Human Needs Hero Reception and honored Sr. Richelle Friedman, who spent 30 years fighting for social change in D.C., including 16 years serving as CHN’s Director of Public Policy. Friedman “ended her D.C. ministry” this past December and returned to her home state of Iowa, where she continues to pursue progressive advocacy. 

The Century Foundation’s state fact sheets are a great resource for child care advocates 

Last month, Voices for Human Needs detailed The Child Care Cliff, a new report released by The Century Foundation. The report warned that as many as 3.2 million kids could lose access to child care beginning this fall and 70,000 child care centers across the U.S. could close.  As part of the report, The Century Foundation released fact sheets for all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Each state fact sheet documents how many kids are expected to lose child care; the number of child care programs expected to close; the loss of earnings families will experience as a result of having to cut their hours or leave the workforce entirely; the loss of employer productivity; and the loss of child care jobs.

Coming Thursday, July 13: CHN’s annual Human Needs Hero Reception!

After years of living remotely, CHN is back in person next week with our live-and-in-person Human Needs Hero Reception. This year, we will be honoring someone very close to our heart — an exceptional champion who has spent decades fighting for human needs — our very own Sr. Richelle Friedman, who stepped down in December after serving as CHN’s Director of Public Policy from 2006 to 2022.

The Stains of Redlining in the U.S.: Why We Need Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity 

Redlining and other discriminatory housing practices resulted in economic imbalances between neighboring communities in many parts of the U.S. One prime example of this is the current economic imbalances between the South/West and the North sides of Chicago. The concentration of race within these neighborhoods also stems from these unjust practices. The North Side is predominantly White, with the South and West sides traditionally comprised of Black and Hispanic families. The discriminatory housing practices and confined demographics have manifested a clear tale of two cities; one city that is flourishing with economic prosperity and the other that has been crippled by systemic injustice.  

Supreme Court ends term with two more defeats for human needs advocates 

Just 24 hours after handing down an historic and momentous decision striking the use of affirmative action in college admissions, the U.S. Supreme Court Friday handed human needs advocates two more significant defeats. The Court struck down President Biden’s $430 billion signature program to forgive student loan debt, a move that would have aided nearly 40 million Americans. And it ruled unconstitutional a Colorado law that banned some private businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ people. 

CHN Member Groups and Allies React: A “Rogue” Court Denies the Reality of Racial Inequality – and Life – in America

CHN member groups and allies reacted with anger and angst over Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the use of affirmative action in college admissions – as well as with fear that the country’s institutions of higher learning will become re-segregated. But they also expressed a spirit of determination – a collective will that the six justices who struck down affirmative action will not have the final say when it comes to fighting racial discrimination in our country. 

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, June 30, 2023

The we’re-failing-our-children edition. The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores are out and the news is not good. The math and reading performance of 13-year-olds has hit the lowest level in decades. The last time the math performance was this low for 13-year-olds was 1990 – in reading, the last time it was this low was 2004. 

Child care cliff: 3.2 million kids could lose access beginning this fall 

As many as 3.2 million kids could lose access to child care beginning this fall and 70,000 child care centers across the U.S. could close, according to a disturbing new report released this week. The report, released by The Century Foundation, warns of the consequences of the loss of billions of dollars authorized by Congress as part of its pandemic-era aid. The report warns that these disastrous child care losses will have “ripple effects” that go far beyond the child care industry, which already was in dire straits even before the pandemic hit.