There is a really interesting report done by the Children’s Defense Fund on the “State of American Children” that can be found here.
There are lots of interesting statistics, but check out these two – first, how American ranks among industrialized countries in investing and protecting our children (it is nearly appalling to see the contrast between what we are first in and what we lag so far behind in). Second, check out everyday moments for all children in America:
How America Ranks Among Industrialized Countries in Investing in and Protecting Children
- 1st in gross domestic product
- 1st in number of billionaires
- 1st in number of persons incarcerated
- 1st in health expenditures
- 1st in military technology
- 1st in defense expenditures
- 1st in military weapons exports
- 21st in 15-year-olds’ science scores
- 21st in low birthweight rates
- 25th in 15-year-olds’ math scores
- 28th in infant mortality rates
- Last in relative child poverty
- Last in the gap between the rich and the poor
- Last in adolescent birth rates (ages 15 to 19)
- Last in protecting our children against gun violence
Moments in America for All Children
- Every second a public school student is suspended.*
- Every 11 seconds a high school student drops out.*
- Every 19 seconds a child is arrested.
- Every 19 seconds a baby is born to an unmarried mother.
- Every 20 seconds a public school student is corporally punished.*
- Every 32 seconds a baby is born into poverty.
- Every 41 seconds a child is confirmed as abused or neglected.
- Every 42 seconds a baby is born without health insurance.
- Every minute a baby is born to a teen mother.
- Every minute a baby is born at low birthweight.
- Every 4 minutes a child is arrested for a drug offense.
- Every 7 minutes a child is arrested for a violent crime.
- Every 18 minutes a baby dies before his or her first birthday.
- Every 45 minutes a child or teen dies from an accident.
- Every 3 hours a child or teen is killed by a firearm.
- Every 5 hours a child or teen commits suicide.
- Every 6 hours a child is killed by abuse or neglect.
- Every 15 hours a mother dies from complications of childbirth or pregnancy.
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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