Category: Family

August 6, 2019 Sharisse Tracey

“When They See Us” Through the Eyes of a 13-year-old Girl

“I don’t want to watch this, Mommy, it is making me mad and I already know how it will end,” said my recently turned 13 year-old daughter with folded arms. […]

My Family’s Curse

Jamal Meneide

When thinking about the American dream, we often believes that merit in equals results out—if you work hard enough, you deserve what you get. But is that always the case? […]

Real Families Need Real Food Assistance

Center for Community Change

The Trump administration is proposing a new cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, that would leave more than 3 million people without enough food to eat.  These […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

#safetyis reproductive freedom! When my friend told me she was having an abortion It wasn’t for me to give approval To grant permission To give my blessing or the opposite […]

Growing Up Poor in America Was My Political Education

Michael Jackson

I remember, as a ten-year-old, tearfully watching former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and presidential candidate Jesse Jackson give impassioned speeches at the 1984 Democratic National Convention on my family’s […]

Hunger in America Deprives Everyone in America

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

There is a tradition in fairytales and various old fashioned yarns which I’ve seen over the years that a hungry person will dream of lavish meals, roast beef and mutton, […]

Less stigma, more empathy for WIC families

Sharisse Tracey

In my struggles as a single mom on a limited income, the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) helped my family get by. The shame I felt […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

Why Does America Celebrate Mother’s Day Given Its Treatment of Poor Mothers? Another Mother’s Day has come and gone! School-age children with sharp grins delivered to their mothers their hand-made […]

Mothers just set the table for our powerful movement towards justice

Catherine Bugayong

Growing up, I was often asked to set the table for dinner. In our busy household, dinner was just about the only time we could have both parents and all […]

On Motherhood and Movement Work: Women leaders approach both with ferocity and love

Nicole Melaku

As I sat on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for a retreat with fellow immigrant rights leaders from the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), I couldn’t help but be […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

The lives of children should not be stymied by social indifference and condemned to the carnivorous margins of society because their parents simply cannot afford quality childcare. For too many […]

Want to win in 2020? Focus on child care!

Carmella Salinas and Tameka Ramsey

The evidence is clear: the lack of affordable and accessible child care is drowning America’s working families. A 2018 poll by the Center for American Progress and Community Change found […]

Immigrants make their voices heard in Florida’s capitol

Thomas Kennedy

Last week, over three hundred immigrants and other community members mobilized to Florida’s capitol in Tallahassee to defend and protect our communities from Republican lawmakers who are once again attempting to pass […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2019 slate of finalists. This “short list” of nominees honors the year’s outstanding restaurants, chefs, and food-centric journalism, books, and broadcast media. Community […]

Proposed Work Requirements Rule for SNAP Could Harm Those Already Facing Hunger

Bobbi Dempsey

Implementing strict work requirements for safety net programs—particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—has been a recurring goal for many GOP leaders and the Trump administration. Concerned observers breathed a […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

What Kansas City Is Doing About The Readiness Gap “Approximately 65 percent of our children are not receiving the proper education that would close the readiness gap and eliminate any […]

Here’s why America is talking about Universal Child Care

Marisol Bello

This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan for Universal Child Care, signaling its place atop the national political agenda. In it, she details the difficulties of finding affordable and […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Jody Ellis

Where to go When There’s Nowhere to Go: How Covenant House is Fighting to Solve the Youth Homeless Crisis, One Kid at a time Dash was a first year college […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bonnie Page

My Story I grew up in the southeast area of Washington, DC and I attended Eastern Senior High School. The year was 1971, I was 15 years old and in […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Jody Ellis

My longtime boyfriend, always the carnivore, asked me the other day why I hardly ever make meatloaf. I shrugged and said “You know I don’t really eat meat.” “But your […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

And the Young Shall Save Us So many economic protections are at stake with this new Congress. The most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime awaited our robust participation last […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Roquesha Oneal is an everyday leader, a woman of fortitude and generosity. She resides in Detroit with her 15-year-old child with a disability and enjoys visits with her two adult […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

Cutting “Food Stamps” is Child Abuse Every Sunday Jose “Frankie” Benjamin-Nay, an 18-year old Puerto Rican-American, darkens the doors of Mount Zion Baptist Church to provide technical support for the […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

SNAP Benefits Guarantees Family’s Food Thirty-seven-year-old LeAnn is married with five children and five stepchildren (who live with their grandmother). She has a Master’s degree in business administration but can […]

Underserved communities find no relief as water rates increase

Jiquanda Johnson

Tia Simpson stood in front of nearly 40 journalists pleading her case for clean and affordable water. The 34-year-old Flint resident endured the aftermath of being exposed to the city’s […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bobbi Dempsey

PA Group Strives to Bust Myths About SNAP—and People Who Use It Lisa Raditz cringes when she overhears some of the comments people make about SNAP recipients based on common […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

I, like so many Americans of my era, believed… After 12 and a half years in an often stress-filled role as an associate director in public relations at a local […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Why we vote I’ve been asked a lot lately “why I knock on doors” to encourage people to vote. Mainly because of my background in social justice work. I’ve used […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

The work of community organizers is daunting. Late nights. Endless knocking on doors. Rallies and protests to protect our healthcare, ensure we all have enough food to eat and keep […]

What the War on Citizenship Means to Your Vote

Elizabeth Fernandez

After 35 years in the United States, my father Joaquin Fernandez finally decided to become a citizen for one reason: He wanted to vote for the first woman president. From […]

From zero tolerance to zero harm: steps for mending shattered migrant families

Esther Calzada

By Catherine LaBrenz, John Sullivan and Esther Calzada We’ve all seen the excitement in a child’s eyes when they play with their parents in the park, or the calm that […]

Returning to Life Outside Prison—Without Food on the Table

Willie Francois

This piece was co-published with Civil Eats Calvin* anticipates walking out of a New Jersey prison next month, hopefully for the last time, eager to live out his responsibilities as […]

Florida voters share concerns on the future of the Supreme Court

Laura Munoz

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy recently announced that he will be retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest tribunal in the nation that rules on equal justice under law and […]

Supreme Court nominee will impact my life

Elizabeth Fernandez

I really thought we’d have more time to plan our wedding. When my fiancée and I picked January 2019, it seemed far enough away to get everything done. Now, we’re […]

This is what #AbolishICE really means

Thomas Kennedy

Growing up, most of my friends and neighbors did not know what the acronym ICE stood for. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency which oversaw the detention and deportation of […]

What’s Next for the March for Our Lives Movement?

Karl Catarata

Exactly one month ago, the world watched as Americans took to the streets to march for their lives and demand that legislators enact common sense gun reform. Sparked by youth […]

Ideas of MLK, RFK still needed today

Dorian Warren

This piece originally published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. When President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1964, his audacious goal was to end poverty in the […]

Trump’s budget will take food away from the struggling families, children and the elderly who need it most

Holly Straut-Eppsteiner

Since the release of the 2019 Trump budget, a great deal of attention has focused on its proposal to eliminate half of families’ food assistance benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition […]

Xenophobia is not foreign to America

Mikka Macdonald

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, advertisements for “Jap Hunting Licenses” hung in store windows. Life Magazine ran the article, “How to tell your friends from the Japs.” […]

How One Late Paycheck Messed Up My Life

Sharisse Tracey

I know at a deep level that my family lived paycheck to paycheck. A check comes in. We pay our bills. We have no savings to speak of. But it […]

“SMILF,” Showtime’s New Series, Doesn’t Sugarcoat Single Motherhood

Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land reviews SMILF from the perspective of a single mom who’s been there

Putting Families First: The Movement for Child Care and Early Learning

Cristina Rayas

Let’s put families first – with the voices of parents, child care givers, and organizers, we will strengthen the power of our communities, and give the most vulnerable members of our society a chance to thrive.

Black and Brown Families United in the Era of Political Dysfunction

Paige DeLoach

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post. By Paige DeLoach When I visited home for the first time after the 2016 election, my mother spoke to me in a […]

I Went from Being Homeless to a Full-Time Writer. Trump Wants to End the Programs That Got Me Here.

Stephanie Land

Six years ago, I lived with my then 3-year-old daughter, Mia, in a studio apartment. During the day I worked full-time as a maid, cleaning the houses of wealthy people. […]

Little Girls Are Busting Gender Norms in a Year That Hasn’t Been Super Kind to Women

Fred McKissack Jr.

Photo credit: Aberdeen Proving Ground via Flickr Creative Commons Originally published on The Huffington Post.   In our Fort Wayne neighborhood, Halloween is a serious candy free-for-all. We bought 12 […]

Home Alone: A Single Mother Tries to Navigate Missoula’s Child Care Crisis

Stephanie Land

Photo Credits to Brian Hart. Originally published by the Missoula Independent. My life as a single mother has often meant looking up, helpless, waving goodbye like Wile E. Coyote, after […]

My Multiracial Son Embraces His Black Identity

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published by the Indianapolis Star.  The wispy-haired 4-month-old Mark is held timeless in a frame in front of me. The 12-year-old, shaggy-haired Mark is fast asleep in the room […]

Announcing, my forthcoming memoir: MAID: A Single Mother’s Journey from Cleaning House to Finding Home

Stephanie Land

On June 16th, I celebrated my youngest daughter Coraline’s second birthday. While she opened presents, I relished the memory of her entering my life. She was born a month after […]

Free-Range Parenting Is A Privilege For The White And Affluent

Stephanie Land

Photo credits to Ryan Dickey.  Originally published in The Establishment.  At first glance, my 9-year-old daughter doesn’t look “poor.” She meticulously chooses her outfits for school, often sleeping in them—even […]

Yes, Food Can Be Entertainment for Low-Income People

Stephanie Land

Photo source: FreeImages.com Originally published on Talk Poverty.  I woke up yesterday hungry. Since my last shopping trip four days before, I’d not eaten much, saving most of the food […]

What Happens When You Can’t Afford Self-care

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Talk Poverty. For the last year, I have been keenly aware of my dire need for two things: therapy and exercise. But for those who struggle to […]

The Answer is Muhammad Ali: Who else?

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Originally published in the Huffington Post. For most of my life, I haven’t idolized sports heroes. I may be the exception to the great American male rule-of-thumb. There have been […]

With $55,000 Debt, You Learn to Appreciate the Little Things

Stephanie Land

Originally posted on The Guardian as a kick-off to their series on debt. I expected college to feel like a major accomplishment. I walked across the stage, eight months pregnant with […]

Sheryl Sandberg Thinks She Finally Gets Single Moms, But She Doesn’t Get Me

Stephanie Land

Originally posted in SheKnows. I read Sheryl Sandberg’s recent Facebook post from the trenches of a horrible Mother’s Day weekend. The youngest had thrown up on Friday night, and we […]

Saying Your House is Messy Because You Play With Your Kids is a Privilege

Stephanie Land

Originally published in the Washington Post. I grew up in what some would call an immaculately clean home. I hated my mom a little for it. I wasn’t allowed to […]

Domestic Violence is Trapping Women in More Than Just Bad Relationships

Stephanie Land

Originally published on SheKnows. There are moments in my life that I can return to easily. I don’t have to close my eyes or envision the surroundings or what it […]

Out of Homelessness, A Mom Turns Advocate

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published on Rooflines, a Shelterforce blog. Jenean F. and her husband worked hard to achieve the increasingly elusive American Dream. She was a stay at home mom and he […]

Here’s How Many People it Takes to Replace a Single Mom

Stephanie Land

Originally published on SheKnows.  In the weeks building up to a business trip, I created a schedule for the five people who’d replace me, a single mom with two kids, […]

It Is Easier to Have a ‘Spirited’ Child When You Are a White Parent

Stephanie Land

Originally published on The Guardian.  I have what’s known as a “spirited” child. Mia has run me ragged since she knew how to walk. She’d run across soccer fields as […]

The Art of Balancing the Ledger While in Poverty

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Talk Poverty and CommonDreams.  When you live at or under the federal poverty level, you’d better be good at crunching numbers. Every cent coming in or going […]

I Lived On $6 A Day With A 6-year-old And A Baby On The Way. It Was Extreme Poverty.

Stephanie Land

Originally published on The Guardian.  It didn’t take me long to go from financial stability to fearing homelessness. In January 2014 I was 35-years-old, raising a six-year-old nearly full-time and […]

The Fight for Quality, Accessible Child Care is a Fight for Women’s Equality

Wendi C. Thomas

This piece was originally posted in the Montgomery Advertiser. Women’s History Month is about more than celebrating phenomenal women in history; it’s also about honoring the women who have dedicated […]

Retail work and the instability of the New Year

Mark Ortiz

The New Year tends to be a time for new beginnings, but for Americans who work in seasonal jobs in the retail industry, the New Year can be a very […]

President Obama, Think Big in 2015

Robin Curran

It’s a new year, which means new resolutions, new inaugurations and the beginning of holding politicians accountable for their campaign promises. Last week I attended the Washington Interfaith Network’s (WIN) […]

Working Families’ Lives Matter

Tamika Middleton

For the past several weeks, cities across the country have seen a multitude of protests and acts of civil disobedience following announcements that police officers would not be indicted in […]

The Luxury of Being Grateful

Amanda Sands

I spent the better part of one morning last week telling dozens of low-income people of color that they had to CHOOSE ONE: cranberry sauce, stuffing in a box, or […]

Another House Political Smoke and Mirrors Trick—The KIDS Act

Erin Brock

As the House Judiciary Committee begins its review of the KIDS act, proposed by Representative Eric Cantor, its inadequacy is already becoming clear. The act is part of the House […]

House Republicans: Our Deadline is August 2nd

Jingru Huang

As House Republicans debate whether or not they will act on immigration reform, they should remember the deadline of Aug. 2nd that the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) has set […]

Voice of a (New) American

Jingru Huang

One of America’s treasures is the freedom we enjoy, the absence of restraints on our ability to think and to act. We the people, who live in this country, live […]

The Fight Continues

Jingru Huang

Last Thursday, the Senate voted to pass the bill 68-32, and focus shifted to the House of Representatives as they work on their version of the bill. It has been […]

Congress must move quickly on immigration

Kica Matos

What does it take to get Congress to listen? On April 10, more than 100,000 people from 31 states descended on the nation’s Capitol to send a strong message that […]

Building the Economic Strength of Women

Alesia Lucas

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and although it’s 2013, American women still lag behind men in paycheck fairness. Women still make a mere 64 cents for every dollar their […]

A Bus Tour, Full of Stories and Strength

Emily Gelbaum

Last week, the National Keeping Families Together Bus Tour launched from Chicago, IL carrying families and individuals directly impacted by the current immigration system. The bus riders are calling on […]

The Immigrant Community Comes Together

Jingru Huang

Leaders of the Asian Pacific American community are supporting the Keeping Families Together mission. Comprehensive immigration reform is essential because families should never be separated. When mentioning the “undocumented immigrants”, […]

Immigrants to Yale, “We aren’t Guinea pigs!”

Alesia Lucas

Yale recently suspended plans to create a center in conjunction with the Department of Defense that would train U.S. soldiers in the art of interrogation by using immigrants as their […]

Alone on Valentine’s Day Because Of Deportation

Alesia Lucas

In December the Fair Immigration Reform Movement launched the Keeping Families Together campaign, the campaign collects the countless stories of families split because of our broken immigration system. Yesterday was […]

Making Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Alesia Lucas

Overall, 77% of those who watched The State of the Union Address were pleased with what the President had to say.  It was a passionate plea and directive to the […]

Immigration and LGBT Advocates

Alesia Lucas

When two Portland women renewed their vows in Oregon, living as a mixed-status couple, the moment was impactful for more than one reason.  The couple renewed their vows to illustrate […]

Dishonesty is Not the Best Policy

Jingru Huang

When police ask for your help, most people are inclined to help them. Amber’s husband falls into that category. But Amber and her family were shocked at what happened after […]

The OFA Takes a Page from Keeping Families Together

Alesia Lucas

With President Obama’s second term in full swing his former campaign organization has decided to take on immigration reform.  Taking a page from the Keeping Families Together Campaign, The Obama […]

The Poverty Predicament

Alesia Lucas

The word ‘poor’ is treated like a four-letter word by politicians. But with the downturn of our economy and slow job market, the issue of poverty has become more serious […]

Sharing the Stories of Immigrant Families

Alesia Lucas

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement recently launched the Keeping Families Together Campaign. The campaign was created to advocate for immigration reform that keeps families together and to collect the stories […]

Immigration Is Still On the List

Alesia Lucas

President Obama’s second term has no shortage of key issues. While some feared that the important issue of gun control and the debt ceiling would overshadow the need for comprehensive […]

A Holiday Without Your Parents

Alesia Lucas

Many US children will spend this holiday season without a parent. Why? Because they have a parent who isn’t a US citizen and has been deported. From 2010-2012 about 23% […]

Keeping Families Together in our Fight for Immigration Reform

Alesia Lucas

This year has been a huge one for DREAMers who earlier this year were granted deferred action status. But the fight for DREAMers is not over. Although they now have […]

Everywhere I Look, There Are Caregivers

Donna DeLaCruz

This week a new campaign was launched called “Give A Care”.  The idea is simple: thank the people in your life who are caregivers by sending them a personalized video.  […]

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