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Children

Venezuelan Children Continue To Die Under US Sanctions

Venezuelan human rights organization Fundalatin recently announced the death of Gabriel Cisneros, a Venezuelan child who could not receive a liver transplant because Washington’s murderous sanctions continue to paralyze the state-funded program that covered these procedures. Gabriel is sadly one more in a long list of victims of the US economic war. The Simón Bolívar Foundation is the social program of US-based Venezuelan oil subsidiary CITGO. It was created in 2006 by former President Hugo Chávez to help patients with rare cancers, especially children with leukemia, receive transplants and other life-saving treatments in hospitals abroad when these were not available in the country. However, financial sanctions imposed in 2017 against Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, CITGO’s parent company, blocked the Venezuelan government from using the international financial system, thus impeding payments for kids' treatments.

Cherokee Nation, Others Set To Defend Indian Child Welfare Act

Tahlequah – Constitutionality of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act is the focus of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court review in which the Cherokee Nation and other tribes will play supporting roles. The federal ICWA legislation, promoted for decades as a means of preserving Native families and culture, gives Native American families priority in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native children. Chad and Jennifer Brackeen, of Texas, initiated a lawsuit in 2017 alleging that the ICWA is unconstitutional. Since then, the case has worked its way through the lower courts. In late February, the Supreme Court agreed to review the case based upon petitions from both sides. Arguments are scheduled to take place Nov. 9.

Palestinian Erasure Starts In Preschool With Sesame Street

Many children in the United States will never meet a Palestinian in person, and if they do, they may need to overcome the negative images and stereotypes that pervade popular culture: terrorist, religious extremist, misogynist, etc. For this reason, books are a critical if underused opportunity for kids to learn about the people of Palestine. Palestinians are important because they are human beings, and also because they play a  central role in US foreign policy in the Middle East, and are a major focus of US financial and military resources. If US kids are to grow up to be responsible global citizens, they must understand Palestinian experiences and perspectives, among others. Are US kids getting good insight about Palestinians from books? My ongoing research project examining kids’ books involving Palestine has already yielded some interesting findings: Even the youngest children are subjected to narratives that erase Palestinians.

Orange Shirt Day Boston

Boston, MA - According to Jean-Luc Pierite, President of the Board of the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), “We want to show our solidarity today with all those internationally observing Orange Shirt Day. We must honor the thousands of children who were forced into residential schools where they suffered and too often died. The governments of Canada and the United States continue to take a disproportionate number of Indigenous children into foster care. These governments further fail to address access to clean water on tribal lands. Canada and the US continue to boost pipelines and other extractive projects. Meanwhile the crisis of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women goes underreported and under-investigated.”

Tales From The Parents Of Tortured Palestinian Children

Beit Hanina, Occupied Jerusalem – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people. Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.

Foundational Fairytales And The Lies They Tell On Books, Children And Truth

There used to be a time in occupied America when only whites were allowed to write, read, and publish books. In fact, when Europeans started occupying the continent in 1492, one of the first things they did was burn the thousands of existing books Indigenous people had written in an attempt to destroy peoples' existing relationship with books and their contained knowledges. According to those initial colonizers, destroying the written ensured we lost access to writing, to our ways of thinking, and to centuries-old acquired knowledges on mathematics, medicine, astronomy, maps, history, plant science, poetry, literatures, and even tax-records. Only four books survived the first 100 years of the occupation, in the entire continent.

Will Our Children Look Forward To The Future With Dignity?:

The world is adrift in the tides of hunger and desolation. It is difficult to think about education, or anything else, when your children are not able to eat. And yet, the sharp attack on education during this past decade forces us to consider the kind of future that young people will inherit. In 2018, before the pandemic, the United Nations calculated that 258 million, or one in six, school age children were out of school. By March 2020, the start of the pandemic, UNESCO estimated that 1.5 billion children and youth were affected by school closures; a staggering 91% of students worldwide had their education disrupted by the lockdowns. A new UN study released in June 2022 has found that the number of children experiencing distress in their education has nearly tripled since 2016, rising from 75 million to 222 million today.

Abolishing The Family Policing System

My passion for the fight to abolish oppressive policing systems – especially the family policing system (also known as the “child welfare system”) – is fueled by my personal experience of having my two children ripped from me in 1999. The two and a half year fight to regain custody, the many additional investigations after my children were returned to me and my learning through research what communities were being impacted by the family police and outcome of the children they claim to protect. The family policing system can completely destroy people’s lives. After I reunited with my children, I knew other parents and families were experiencing the same harm I had experienced, and I knew I had to do something to change that.

Ahmad Manasra And The Crime Of Existing While Palestinian

Conversations with Palestinians both young and old almost always end with them saying to me, “you [a Jewish Israeli] can say these things, but if we were to say them we would be excluded from all spaces and we would be called anti-semitic.” A young Palestinian interning in Washington, D.C. told me she felt that she needed an Israeli beside her to give her legitimacy. Not in her own eyes, but in the eyes of the D.C. establishment. Sadly, she is probably correct; in the anti-Arab, and particularly anti-Palestinian atmosphere in Washington, this is very likely true.

There Are Hungry People There Are Hungry People

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reports that, every minute, a child is pushed into hunger in fifteen countries most ravaged by the global food crisis. Twelve of these fifteen countries are in Africa (from Burkina Faso to Sudan), one is in the Caribbean (Haiti), and two are in Asia (Afghanistan and Yemen). Wars without end have degraded the ability of the state institutions in these countries to manage cascading crises of debt and unemployment, inflation and poverty. Joining the two Asian countries are the states that make up the Sahel region of Africa (especially Mali and Niger), where the levels of hunger are now almost out of control. As if the situation were not sufficiently dire, an earthquake struck Afghanistan last week, killing over a thousand people – yet another devastating blow to a society where 93% of the population has slipped into hunger.

US Boarding School Investigative Report Released

The U.S. Department of Interior released its investigative report Wednesday on the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. It’s being called the first volume of the report and comes nearly a year after the department announced a “comprehensive” review. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Bryan Newland, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, Deborah Parker who is the chief executive officer of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and James LaBelle Sr., a boarding school survivor and the first vice president of the coalition's board, spoke at a news conference in Washington announcing the report’s findings. “The consequences of federal Indian boarding school policies—including the intergenerational trauma caused by the family separation and cultural eradication inflicted upon generations of children as young as 4 years old — are heartbreaking and undeniable,” Haaland said in a statement.

We’re Failing To Prepare Our Children For The Climate Fight

Climate change is hurtling forward at frightening speed. And the American K-12 system still isn’t remotely prepared to teach children about what they’ll soon face. Today, the majority of students in U.S. schools get between zero and two hours of instruction per year about climate change—hardly enough time to discuss the political, cultural, and environmental ramifications of greenhouse gas emissions, let alone make space for the emotions elicited by such an existential threat. In some districts, climate education is actually disinformation, as teachers rely on materials created by the fossil fuel industry to mislead children on the origin of the problem and our possible futures.

Cash Assistance Boosted Infants’ Brain Development, Study Shows

When mothers with low incomes received just over $300 in monthly cash assistance during the first year of their children’s lives, their infants’ brains displayed more high-frequency brain waves when they reached 12 months old, a major new study by a team of investigators from six U.S. universities and released this week by the National Academy of Sciences shows. These types of brain waves are associated with higher language and cognitive scores and better social and emotional skills in children as they grow older. The expanded Child Tax Credit, which Congress enacted in 2021 and which expired last month, provided support very much like the cash assistance described in the new paper. The paper is a pathbreaking combination of social science and neuroscience, is methodologically rigorous, and adds heft to the substantial evidence about the difference that extending the Child Tax Credit expansion would make in children’s lives.

Shining Light On The Dark Age Of The Tulalip Boarding School

From 1857 to 1932, hundreds of Native youth from across the state and as far as Alaska were taken to the Tulalip Boarding School. There, they were beaten for speaking their Native languages. They began industrial jobs as elementary age students. They didn’t get to see their parents for ten months of the year, and many of them never came home. The school closed in 1932, and for many families, the wounds are fresh.

Ruth Etzel Speaks Out Ahead Of EPA Whistleblower Hearing

The US Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect children by ignoring poisons in the environment and focusing on corporate interests, according to a top children’s health official who will testify this week that the agency tried to silence her because of her insistence on stronger preventions against lead poisoning. “The people of the United States expect the EPA to protect the health of their children, but the EPA is more concerned with protecting the interests of polluting industries,” said Ruth Etzel, former director of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP). The harm being done to children is “irreparable”, she said. A hearing will be held on 13 September in which several internal EPA communications will be presented as evidence, including an email in which EPA personnel discuss using press inquiries about Etzel as “an opportunity to strike” out against her. Among many witnesses to be called to testify are several former high-level EPA officials.
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