Child advocacy group with goal of giving children a promising future visits Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s been said the well-being of children is one of many indicators of a community’s health. Saturday, the City of Rochester was visited by the Children’s Defense Fund, whose goal is to give young children not only a voice, but a more promising future.

The Children’s Defense Fund is a 50-year-old civil rights and child advocacy organization that pushes for the vision of the nation where marginalized children can flourish.

“We’ve been doing that for two generations of America’s children through public policy advocacy in Washington DC, and State Houses across the country. Organizing, and leadership development in young people, faith leaders, with women, and also of course through a very critical program delivery,” said Children’s Defense Fund President, and CEO Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson.

He met with City and faith leaders, and members of the community at Spiritus Christi Church, to talk about the state of young children here in Rochester. Wilson tells News10NBC why it’s so crucial for Rochester to have strong children which he says is the responsibility of the community to create conditions to help them thrive in the future.

“So, if the children are not thriving it’s an indication that the community is not collaboratively working together to resolve its challenges, and it’s issues. It’s an indication that those who are most marginalized because they don’t have a vote, don’t have a voice, don’t have a lobbyist, are not being taken seriously in public policy conversations,” said Wilson.

Spiritus Christi Church Lead Pastor Myra Brown tells us what’s lacking in the lives of a good portion of Rochester’s young children.

“They’re not getting quality education. They’re not getting safety in their communities. They’re not getting an economic floor for their families. They’re not getting the opportunity to be centered around what their needs are,” said Rev. Brown.

The visit also includes raising funds for the Minister Franklin Florence Civil Rights Park. Florence, a civil rights pioneer here in Rochester, died earlier this month. He’s best remembered for changing the face of Rochester, and much of corporate America.

“That’s going to inspire generations of children to rise up, and to know that they can be part of the story of right sizing our world,” said Brown.

Besides the park, proceeds will also go towards the Black Community Focus Fund, and the Spiritus Anti-Racism Coalition.