The Declaration Initiative
The Declaration Initiative marshals evidence from the health and social sciences to document current and historical inequalities in precursors to successful and full participation in contemporary American society, basing its framework on the rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The following factors disproportionately impact those in this lowest 10 percentile, keep them in poverty and severely undermine their access to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness:
- Maternal illness and death
- Infant mortality
- Deficient language proficiency by age 3 & reading by age 9
- Failure to graduate from high school
- Early, repeated, and prolonged incarceration
Progress to Date
In its initial phase, our TDI team focused on two sets of disparities that define the early life course: childhood health and school readiness, each of which is linked to ongoing health, economic, and social wellbeing throughout childhood and adulthood. There is a growing consensus across the social sciences, and within public health, that these are the most effective and efficient strategies to enhance educational quality, improve health, and ensure that children have advantageous early life trajectories.