Nearly three years ago, Lindsay Hill, a program officer here at the Raikes Foundation came to work and was despondent. The day before, a white supremacist massacred nine parishioners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, an historic African-American institution in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. No one in the office was talking about it. And Lindsay, the sole Black member of our staff, felt alone. But she saw it as an opportunity.Read More
In its most recent session the Washington state legislature continued to build on its goal to end youth homelessness with new laws and funding. The legislative action was bold and strategic and sets the stage for substantial improvements to the lives of young people and their families.
First off, the state took a number of steps to prevent young people from exiting public systems, like child welfare or juvenile justice, to the streets. The legislature ordered that the juvenile justice, behavioral health and child welfare systems must ensure that all youth exiting those systems have stable housing by 2021, and allocated housing funds for youth exiting juvenile prisons. The legislature also strengthened extended foster care, allowing young people to opt in and out depending on their situation, and put an end to the state’s practice of excluding certain high needs youth.Read More
We’ve all been reading the heart-wrenching stories of families being torn apart by the aggressive deportation policies of the Trump Administration and the ongoing saga of what will happen to the “Dreamers”—the undocumented young people brought to the United States as children. Protected for now under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Dreamers’ futures remain uncertain under a president who treats the program like a political football. Meanwhile Congress has failed to step in with legislation to permanently protect the Dreamers.
Dreamers are cherished members of our communities, and there are more reasons than I can count for why they deserve to remain in the U.S.—the only home they’ve ever known. But as an educator, I often think about the ripple effects this toxic debate will have on our students and our teachers.Read More