Speaking Out! A great time to support two key issues for children and youth
Voices and our allies at SparkAction are rallying child advocates at a key time for two of our highest priorities for kids: breastfeeding and DREAM Act-like protections for undocumented youth.
August is National Breastfeeding Month! Child advocates are taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of nursing during the first year of a child’s life.
Breastfeeding is very important to ensuring that children get the best, healthiest start to life. Health experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life and continued breastfeeding for the child’s first year. Yet fewer than one in six American mothers are exclusively breastfeeding their children at the end of six months, and African American mothers, in particular, show a marked drop off in breastfeeding rates.
Since the Surgeon General issued a call to action on breastfeeding in 2011, advocates have been working harder to educate parents on the importance of nursing. Read Voices’ own call to action on breastfeeding here and check out SparkAction’s center on National Breastfeeding Month to see how you can join in!
DREAM Act-like protections for undocumented youth
SparkAction is saying that this month “we’re a little closer to the DREAM.” They mean the DREAM Act, which would halt deportation of certain undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. While the legislation has stalled, many of these deserving youths are still getting a chance to stay here.
President Obama announced in June that he would stop deportations of these youths using his own authority. SparkAction and Voices have fought alongside other child advocates for years against the deportation of promising students who have kept clean records and were brought into the United States when they were very young.
This month we’re delighted that many of these students who most embody the idea of the American Dream will get to stay here and pursue it. The Obama administration has started accepting applications for DREAM Act-like protections for undocumented youth, offering stability for their lives as they work and study here.
Read SparkAction’s “The Road to Deferred Action: Tracing the Story of the DREAM Act” and check out our summary of the immigration policy here.