About Us

Our mission is to build community so young people grow up with dignity, hope, and joy.

Our Story

We work at the intersection of well-being and racial justice for children and youth. We work alongside and amplify the power of youth and families through advocacy, community organizing, direct service, and public policy.

For 50 years, our work has expanded beyond serving children to including young people as they mature into adulthood. We’re training the next generation of leaders who will guide us toward a brighter future where every young person has the opportunity to thrive.

Our history is rooted in the Civil Rights and Women’s movements, and we’re carrying the fight for equity forward. Our legacy connects our work to the past. We’re answering the call to respond to this moment, dismantle racist policies, and overcome systemic inequities for our nation’s children and youth.

Our Vision

Children’s Defense Fund envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being, and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive.

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Our Values

A group of school age Black boys standing in a circle. They are doing an activity together and holding their fists to their cheeks.

Organizational Strategy

Our organizational strategy is grounded in action, impact, and a relentless pursuit of justice. At the heart of our approach is a commitment to well-being and racial justice. We stand at the crossroads of advocacy, community engagement, and policy reform to amplify the power of youth and families.

Movement Building