Marian Edelman Wright, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund and lifelong advocate for children’s rights, once said: “If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.” We celebrate her leadership to ensure that all children live safe and healthy lives this Black History Month, and every month of the year.
As advocates on behalf of children and families, we regularly see how experiences of abuse and maltreatment affect children, families, and whole communities. In fact, Child Advocacy Centers in Minnesota provided services to over 2,600 children in 2016 and the number of child maltreatment reports in the state is increasing every year.
Under these circumstances, we sometimes forget to recognize the pivotal role leaders can play in our lives. They have the power the inspire us, prompt us to action, and bring us together. Those social connections, especially in the midst of fear and uncertainty, are protective factors – they help us through traumatic experiences, something that is critical in beginning to heal from abuse and maltreatment.