n Fair Start Planning Is Essential to the Anti-Oppression Toolkit | Having Kids

With nearly 40% of all kids in the U.S. living in or near poverty, human rights and democracy under attack, and systemic racism keeping intergenerational inequities alive and well, better policy is long overdue.

Sadly, it has taken the murders of black citizens in recent years to bring to the forefront the conversation surrounding inequities and oppression. But a deeper look at the intersectional issues is finally making it to the mainstream. Now is the time to develop anti-oppression and anti-racist informed policies to change course effectively. 

Fortunately, one path forward is clear. Decades of research have shown that family planning is the most effective way to break the cycle of generational poverty and inequality. Early interventions are up to 13 times more effective than reactive approaches. Furthermore, parents who choose to have smaller families of only one or two kids can invest more time and resources in each child, setting up these children for great success throughout their lifetimes.

Yet oppression continues because of a lack of equitable resources from birth. The facts are simple:

  • Inequality is inherited. 1
  • Inequality is a welfare issue. Studies have documented examples of rising inequality decreasing child welfare. 2
  • Inequality affects kids for life. Unequal opportunities translate into unequal lifelong outcomes by the time children reach age 5. 3
  • Inequality’s impacts are more damaging the longer it is experienced. The longer a child is poor, the greater his risk of poverty in adulthood and of experiencing lifelong health problems and involvement in the criminal justice system. 4
  • Inequality disproportionately affects children of color in the U.S. 5
  • Affluence plays a role, too. The growing divide between low-income children and their peers reduces opportunities for low-income children throughout their lives. 6

And that is why anti-oppression policy without Fair Start investments is a nonstarter. If we are truly determined to dismantle systemic racism, we must come together as communities to ensure a fair start for all children. 

We are already pursuing Fair Start campaigns to improve equity for kids:

As we plan for 2021, we are working to invite more partners to join our coalition on these intersectional issues. If you would like to join us or share your perspective, please email ashley@havingkids.org.

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