Child Poverty

Press Briefing for Children’s Defense Fund’s Groundbreaking Poverty Report

For Immediate Release
Monday, January 26, 2015

For More Information Contact:

Patti Hassler
Vice President of Communications and Outreach
202-662-3554 office

Washington, D.C. – This Wednesday, January 28, at 10:00 a.m. the Children’s Defense Fund will release a groundbreaking report that for the first time details how to end 60 percent of child poverty in America right now. By investing an additional 2 percent of the federal budget to expand existing programs and policies that increase employment, make work pay, and ensure children’s basic needs are met, 97 percent of poor children would benefit and 60 percent of them could escape poverty immediately. Seventy-two percent of poor Black children, who suffer the highest poverty rates in America, would no longer be poor.

The CDF report, Ending Child Poverty Now, lays out the real numbers: costs to implement the improvements to existing programs; tradeoffs that would pay for these improvements without raising the federal deficit; and the millions of children who would benefit.

Who: Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund
Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Tina L. Cheng, Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Research
What: Press Briefing
Where: Children’s Defense Fund
25 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
When: Wednesday, January 28
10:00 a.m. EST
Patti Hassler, Vice President of Communications and Outreach

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. The Children’s Defense Fund’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, she began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children’s Defense Fund. For two years she served as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in l973 began CDF. Mrs. Edelman served on the Board of Trustees of Spelman College which she chaired from 1976 to 1987 and was the first woman elected by alumni as a member of the Yale University Corporation on which she served from 1971 to 1977. She has received many awards including the Heinz Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings which include nine books. She is a board member of the Robin Hood Foundation, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jared Bernstein joined the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities in May 2011 as a Senior Fellow. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Bernstein was director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute and deputy chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books and has published extensively in various venues, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and Research in Economics and Statistics. He is an on-air commentator for CNBC and MSNBC, contributor to The New York Times Economix blog, and hosts Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Columbia University.

Dr. Tina Cheng is Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with joint appointment in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is Chair of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Vice Chair of Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatrics and Division Chief of General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Her clinical work, teaching and research focuses on child health disparities, violence prevention and interrupting the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage. Dr. Cheng is an active clinician and has developed award-winning models of primary care to address the needs of vulnerable children, adolescents and families. An author of over 100 publications, she is current Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Pediatric Research and liaison to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Federal Government Affairs. She has received the Job Louis Smith Award for community pediatrics from the AAP and the 2012 APA Public Policy and Advocacy Award. She graduated from Brown University School of Medicine.


The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.