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  • Message for Mother’s Day: Parenting Matters

    The approach of Mother’s Day brings to mind the great parenting debate du jour and the very vocal public reaction to the tenets of the Tiger Mom—a style of mothering that pushes and presses children to achieve and won’t settle for second best. On the other side of the straight-laced … More

    Youth Violence: Its Source and Solution

    Virtually in the shadows of the seat of our nation’s government and the crowds gathered for the National Cherry Blossom festival, the residents of the Benning Terrace public housing development are mourning a triple tragedy. Two of their young people have been murdered, 13 youths have been indicted—virtually sealing their … More

    A Prayer of a Chance for Those Most in Need

    World magazine recently highlighted the impressive impact of the community outreach of one urban congregation in Manhattan. This inspiring story is just one example of the uniquely powerful effectiveness of indigenous faith-based service in neighborhoods burdened by enormous financial and societal problems. At a time of cutbacks in government services, … More

    National Marriage Week: The Long Shadow of Marital Dissolution

    The data is in, and it is now widely recognized that an intact family structure is closely linked to household’s economic well-being and its ability to rise from dependency. Decades of research also provides evidence that children of married couples tend to fare better across a spectrum of measures, including … More

    Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. King through Community Empowerment

    Shortly after the establishment of a federal holiday honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1986, Kimi Gray was among the first to urge that he be honored by celebrating a “day on” rather than a day off. She felt that a day aptly commemorating Dr. King’s legacy … More

    So Long 2010! A Happier Year for Families and Marriage in 2011?

    Throughout 2010, a series of studies and surveys did not bode well for the prospects of marriage and the family in America. First came a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that unwed childbearing has reached an all-time high. Currently, four out of 10 babies are … More

    Anti-Poverty Approach Needs Reform: Who Said That?

    “What’s needed most right now is creating the conditions where assistance is no longer needed.” “Let’s move beyond the old, narrow debate over how much money we’re spending [on anti-poverty programs] and let’s instead focus on results—whether we’re actually making improvements in people’s lives.” Those quotes would certainly resonate with … More

    Drugs, Gangs, and Public Schools in America: A Call to Action

    Would the discovery that, every day, nearly 6 million youths in America are immersed in abusive environments create a shock wave and a call to action? That is, in essence, the finding of a report recently released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University: … More

    Increasing Numbers of the Poor: Why Government Anti-Poverty Programs Have Failed

    The recent release of the Census report on an upsurge of the number of Americans in poverty will almost surely be used to justify a spike in funding for federal anti-poverty programs. Yet after decades of increased spending on failed government anti-poverty programs, why should we expect a different result … More

    Marriage, Happiness, and a Prayer of a Chance at Escaping Poverty

    With the recently released numbers regarding poverty levels in America, public concern is heightened, in particular, regarding the plight of America’s impoverished children. This concern should generate a focus on what might empower them to rise up from poverty—and, in turn, what factors promote stable marriages. Research clearly indicates that … More