People of faith are called by that faith

to speak for all children.

January 20, 2010

"Not in an election year" 

     In recent months, the words "Not in an election year" have become a ubiquitous refrain from some of our federal, state and local politicians.  It is as though these words offer a reasonable explanation for not addressing the sufferings of a people...a people that these federal, state and local officials have been elected and appointed to represent and serve.  "Not in an election year," unfortunately, has become an accepted pass for politicians not to act on the courage of their convictions--to do little that would disturb the status quo, just in case their opponents can use "taking action" against them in the upcoming election.

     Consequently, "Not in an election year" has caused an unprecedented bottleneck in our country's ability to deliver timely and needed help to her people.  The painful contractions of this delayed birth are felt by the millions of children who do not have adequate health care; the millions of unemployed and under-employed; and the hundreds of thousands of homeless who have begun to blend into the quiet fabric of everyday life.  These, for whom help has not only been delayed, but denied, sit on the rubble of their lives--metaphorically waving dirty 

t-shirts and shooting in the air to draw attention to their plights.

     Over the remaining 35 or so days of this legislative session, our elected officials in the Georgia General Assembly have another opportunity to do what is required of them...to act courageously and compassionately and to engage all of the people they represent in honest and civil discourse.  Then, and only then, can our legislators bring to fulfillment the true intent of their oath--that, in their judgment, their decisions will be "most conducive to the interests and prosperity of this state."  

     For surely, what is conducive to the present interests and future prosperity of our state is to take the necessary steps that will:

  • provide quality and available early education to all children;

  • ensure that all children receive adequate health care;

  • enact a juvenile code that promotes and provides concrete prevention, intervention and rehabilitation policies and practices;

  • employ the full resources of this state to stop the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children; 

  • approach the budget with a balanced forward-thinking strategy rather than a short-term mentality; 

  • assist all families in need with job placement and child care assistance; and

  • promote responsible stewardship of the great diversity of resources in this state.

     As we, the people, move through this next election cycle in 2010, let us remember why we are here.  As the people of this great state, we have the responsibility to care for our children...not only in times of economic crisis and disaster, but each day as we participate in the lives of our local communities.  Equally, we must participate in the political process in order for our democracy to be a democracy.   We, in effect, dishonor one of the most important rights of citizenship when we abnegate our civic responsibility to ensure that our government responds to the needs of all of her people--to recognize, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu recognized, "that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours."

     Therefore, let us together make the words "Not in an election year" so abhorrent a phrase that it will be used only in the context of future political science lessons of "what not to say when running for elected office." 

ICM DAY AT THE CAPITOL: 

INTERFAITH COMMUNITY SPEAKING

WITH ONE VOICE FOR ALL CHILDREN

 

SAVE THE DATE!Thursday, February 11, 2010

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

 

ICM is calling upon the interfaith community to come back to the Capitol this year in force.  The 2010 legislative session will address the future of Georgia's children in several pieces of legislation--from child victims of prostitution to health care to a new juvenile code.  The interfaith community must show up and speak with a clear voice for children whose cries for help are silenced by misinformation and whose cries go unnoticed from a lack of awareness.

 

Advocacy issues include (but are not limited to):

- Re-write of Georgia's Juvenile Code (SB 292)

- Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking (SB 91HB 582SB 74SB 304

- Health Care/PeachCare for Kids:  $1 Cigarette Tax (HB 39)

- TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families):  Poverty Relief/Child Care Assistance

- Georgia's Universal Pre-K Program: 80% Enrollment Goal and Availability to All Children

 

And ICM will continue to work with others who are advocating for extending protected leave to unprotected workers.  Parents should not have to choose between keeping their jobs and taking their children to the doctor or attending a parent/teacher conference. 

 

Let us know that you are ready to work for the well-being of Georgia's children in 2010.  Contact us at info@interfaithchildrensmovement.org or at 770-498-2141.

PREVENT CHILD ABUSE GEORGIA:  

PROMISES TO KEEP TRAINING OF TRAINERS

  

 

 Child Sexual Abuse is considered one of the categories of childhood trauma linked to long term problems like poor health and poor qualilty of life well into adulthood.  The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study points to the importance of preventing not just the horror of sexual abuse itself, but other major health and social problems when we act before a child is harmed.   Many of us know the signs of abuse and who to call to make a report, but how many in your community know how to respond to adult behaviors that put children at risk? Before reportable trauma has happened? You can learn to arm people to take these uncomfortable situations into opportunities for prevention.

 

Promises to Keep Training of Trainers

 Circles of Safety and Building Blocks

of Healthy Sexual Development

 January 25-27, 2010

 

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia 

1720 Peachtree St., NW, Suite 625

Atlanta, GA 30309  

Click here to register

 

Click on the link above to get details on price, agenda, and a full description of the training or contact Anna Curtis at Prevent Child Abuse Georgia (404)870-6561 or annac@pcageorgia.org.

                           

CSEC - COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN

LOBBY DAY AT THE CAPITOL  

 

2010 Stop CSEC! Lobby Day

Date: February 1, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Location: The Steps of the Georgia State Capitol

 

Calling all ICM'ers!  Join Street GRACEA Future. Not A Past. and Wellspring Living as they come together and talk with Georgia legislators about the upcoming bills that affect the victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Everyone can make a difference and we want you to help us speak with one voice and ask our legislators to pass stronger laws to fight the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and to protect the CSEC system of care funding for victims. 

Free online registration is required: http://tinyurl.com/SGLobbyDay.

HEALTHY MOTHERS, HEALTHY BABIES LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION  

Join us for an evening of discussion with legislators and policymakers regarding health issues facing Georgians in the 2010 Legislative Session. 

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

at

Central Presbyterian Church

201 Washington Street

Atlanta, GA 30303

 

-  Threats to health benefits - mammograms, pap smears, and childhood immunizations.

-  Legislation and policy changes impacting services for Medicaid and PeachCare clients. 

-  Funding for pediatric vaccines for under-insured children.

-  Statewide trauma care system.

-  Legislation to increase the state's tobacco tax.

 

Click here to Register Online or Download the Registration Form here

 JUSTGEORGIA COALITION REGIONAL MEETING   

 

As a member of the JUSTGeorgia Coalition, ICM encourages you to attend the JUSTGeorgia Coalition regional meeting, Friday, February 5, 2010, from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Word of Faith Family Worship Center, located at 212 Riverside Parkway, Austell, GA 30168.  

This JUSTGeorgia regional meeting is being hosted by JUSTGeorgia, Georgia CASA, the Truancy Intervention Project (TIP) and State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan.  Lunch will be provided.  If you should have questions about travel directions, please call 770-874-8400.

 

Highlights of what you'll learn at a JUSTGeorgia Regional Meeting:

  • What is in the Child Protection and Public Safety Act (SB 292) 
  • An update on SB 292 and related advocacy and messaging training 
  • How to be an effective advocate by building relationships with your legislators

 Please RSVP by February 3 at www.JustGeorgia.org.

NSORO MARDI GRAS STARFISH BALL-- 

BENEFIT FOR CHILDREN AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE

 

The Interfaith Children's Movement is a 2010 Community Partner of the Celebration of Excellence, an annual celebration of Georgia's foster care children who are graduating from high school, college or receiving a GED.  The Nsoro Foundation's Starfish Ball supports the Celebration of Excellence by providing scholarship funds for foster care children who attend college or technical school.  Please indicate that you are a supporter of Georgia's Celebration of Excellence when you make your registration to attend this important event.

 

Nsoro Foundation Starfish Ball:

All proceeds support the Nsoro Foundation academic scholarship fund for students who have emancipated from foster care. Students may apply awarded scholarships to a college, university or trade school anywhere in the U.S. In the U.S., only 2% of students in foster care attend college.  Make the evening special, support the Nsoro Foundation scholarship fund and foster high academic achievement for students in critical need.

 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

 at the

 

St. Regis Hotel Atlanta

 Eighty-Eight West Paces Ferry Road

Atlanta, Georgia 30305

 

 

Nsoro's Humanitarian of the Year, Victoria Rowell, mother, star of The Young and the Restless, formerly in foster care, now an advocate and a New York Timesbest-selling author of The Women Who Raised Me.

 

 

 

 

 

Event Chair, Su So-Longman

Host Committee Chair, Stephanie M. Russell

 

For more information, contact Cynthia Moreland, Executive Director, 404.574.6763.  Ticket price:  $300.  Click here for more details.

 

 

SPIRITUAL WITNESS FOR CHILDREN

One of the most important things faith communities can do for children is to pray for them.

 

Every child is a child of God and deserves justice and compassion. Every child deserves our prayers. 

 

ICM encourages every faith community to become a spiritual witness for children. Hold a worship service in your church, synagogue, mosque or temple and invite others to join in praying for the well-being of all children.

ICM Mission and Goals

 

The Interfaith Children's Movement was formed in 2001 as an intentional association of individuals and communities of faith from all religious traditions. 

 

The Interfaith Children's Movement strives to be a voice for all Georgia children, but especially the poor and marginalized whose voices are often unheard.  

 

ICM works closely with Georgia's policy-oriented child advocacy organizations, such as: 

  • Voices for Georgia's Children, 

  • The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University, 

  • Georgia Appleseed, 

  • JUSTGeorgia, 

  • Prevent Child Abuse Georgia and 

  • A Future.Not a Past. (child prostitution prevention).  

These organizations set the agenda for our advocacy work for children.  

ICM's faith community members provide a megaphone to the legislature about what needs to be done for children.

 

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Doing what we are called to do. 

 Doing what we are able to do.  

 Doing what must be done! 

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