The Peacemaker taught us about the Seven Generations. He said, when you sit in council for the welfare of the people, you must not think of yourself or of your family, not even of your generation. He said, make your decisions on behalf of the seven generations coming, so that they may enjoy what you have today.
–Oren Lyons, Seneca Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation
On October 16-18, 2020 thousands of congregations across our nation will celebrate the Children’s Defense Fund’s annual multifaith National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths. This year’s theme is Reimagining Our Future: Justice and Joy for All Children. Although we all must maintain physical distance and our celebrations are taking new forms this year we must strive for social and spiritual connection and work for justice for all children with urgency amidst the extraordinary crises of the COVID pandemic, our entrenched poverty and racism pandemics, the lack of affordable housing, unequal education, too few employment opportunities, and a Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline® that must be replaced with a pipeline to college and gainful employment.
Our collective national trauma around these profound and challenging concerns demands we reimagine a future where justice and protection for all children are at the center of national concern. We must find new ways to work together to eliminate child poverty and decrease the violence so many children face across our nation who have been left behind. And we must replace callous political leadership that puts the desires of the rich and the powerful ahead of the needs of children and people to ensure equal justice and care for all.
CDF’s annual Children’s Sabbath seeks to inspire action and equip people of faith to take immediate and sustained actions for children left behind. In this critical election year the Children’s Sabbath actions focus on voter education and turnout. Although children can’t vote, adults can and must vote with children’s needs as a top priority. These final weeks of this election have already shown that our nation is more desperate than ever for leaders whose judgment and behavior are worthy of our children.
CDF recently released a series of guides at our Voting Resource Center to help voters make a plan for voting effectively for children. This presidential election year presents clear choices voters must make up and down the ballot that will make a profound difference in children’s lives. Please vote for candidates at federal, state, and local levels who will:
- Take care of children and families in crisis amid COVID-19
- End racial and economic inequities and promote racial justice in all our policies
- End child poverty now and ensure all families the resources required to provide for their children
- Ensure all children and families access to affordable housing
- Ensure all children access to comprehensive, affordable health and mental health coverage and care
- Ensure families access to affordable quality early childhood services and education
- Promote equitable education policies to close the achievement gap between rich and poor
- Enable children and families to remain safely at home and out of the child welfare and juvenile justice system
- End the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline®
- Protect children from gun violence
- End family separation and the detention of immigrant children.
CDF’s Voting Resource Center includes links to help voters ensure they are registered and know how and where to vote in their states to combat disinformation and discouragement and resist widespread voter suppression tactics.
Visit CDF’s Voting Resource Center to access and share these links with family and friends. Use the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths to learn more about how your family and place of worship can faithfully respond to children’s needs throughout the year. Ask the young people in your lives what problems they hope elected leaders will act on. We are making decisions right now for generations to come. Please don’t let our children down.