The Children’s Defense Fund recently released a new report on the current makeup of the child population in the U.S. which I found to be quite interesting. The full report can be found here.
Some of the interesting statistics include:
• Children constitute 25 percent of our nation’s population—almost 74 million children, a number that has increased steadily for the past four decades. There are almost twice as many children as seniors. By 2050, the number of seniors will more than double while the number of children will grow more slowly; 23 percent of the population will be children, 20 percent will be seniors. Almost 44 percent of our nation’s children are racial or ethnic minorities, who typically lag behind others on many indicators of well-being. In 15 years it is projected that minorities will constitute more than half our nation’s child population.
• Of the almost 74 million children in America: 42 million (56.2%) are White, non-Hispanic; 16 million (21.8%) are Hispanic; 11 million (15.2%) are Black; 3 million (4.4%) are Asian/Pacific Islander; and 936,000 (1.3%) are American Indian/Alaska Native.
• Already the majority of children in the District of Columbia and seven states – Hawaii, New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Florida – are children of color.
• More than half of our children live in nine states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
• More than one in four children are under five and more than one in five are teenagers 14–17.
• Vermont has the lowest proportion of children (20.8%); Utah has the highest (31.0%).
I am a lifelong Chicagoan, a pastor at River City Community Church, and an author who writes a lot about resisting and confronting white supremacy from a faith lens.
Our church was founded in January of 2003 in the west Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, and is centered on the core values of worship, reconciliation, and neighborhood development. We long to see increased spiritual renewal as well as social and economic justice in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and entire city, demonstrating compassion and alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God. It is also through the gift of this faith community that I have learned to see the profound historical and spiritual impact of the stronghold of white supremacy, and where I have been challenged to broaden and deepen my understanding of discipleship in the hopes of becoming a serious enough Christ follower who is able to meaningfully participate with those who have risen up in defiance of this evil principality.
The lessons learned in this journey have been captured in a pair of books on race. The first, White Awake, explores the barriers that white people tend to face – white Christians specifically – when we attempt to awaken to and understand white supremacy through a faith lens. I spend a lot of time here addressing the internal defenses that are bound to go off when this journey is taken seriously, and I chart out a path for developing a resilient spirit that steadfastly moves towards truth, justice, and equity. The second, White Lies, further builds out the path for the white Christian who longs to actively participate in the resistance and confrontation of white supremacy. I spend a lot of time here exploring why it is so hard to tell the truth about race, as well as expose the lies that sustain it, within white, Christian, Bible-believing environments. I then propose nine practices that position us for engaging in this task.
On the personal front, my career started in the marketplace, as I was part of three dot.com startups in the 90’s. My vocational path shifted when I joined the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in 1998, and I spent five years working there. I started River City Community Church in January 2003 and have been happily serving here ever since. On the education front, my undergrad was in Business (Purdue University), my graduate degree in theology (Moody Bible Institute), and my doctoral degree in community development (Northern Seminary). On the family front, my wife is a Professor of Psychology, and we have two amazing children (Xander and Gabriella).
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