Burke Bryant steps down as Rhode Island Kids Count director

PROVIDENCE — Elizabeth Burke Bryant is stepping down as executive director of Rhode Island Kids Count after 28 years.

Burke Bryant has headed the agency since its inception in 1994.

Under his leadership, Rhode Island Kids Count became the state’s premier children’s advocacy organization. He has a national reputation for his work to improve the health, education, early childhood development, economic well-being and safety of Rhode Island’s children.

After:Women-led families in RI hit hard by COVID crisis, data shows

After:Annual Rhode Island Kids Count report shows deteriorating mental health and learning conditions

After:Childcare bills would pay for universal pre-kindergarten and support childcare workers

The organization’s annual factbook has become a go-to source of data and policy information for multiple indicators of child well-being across the state.

Under Burke Bryant’s leadership, the organization has focused on disparities in child outcomes by race, ethnicity and income – and called for the dismantling of the structures that have led to these inequalities.

“A hero for children and for justice”

In a statement, Rhode Island Kids Count cited the following accomplishments the organization helped achieve: a nationally recognized pre-K program, full-day kindergarten, health insurance coverage for children, a significant reduction in lead poisoning among children, and the repeal of a law that allowed 17-year-olds to be tried as adults and sent to adult prison.

Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, former director of Planned Parenthood, said Burke Bryant was “a hero for children and for justice. The state is a better place because of his efforts. Thank you, my friend.”

Burke Bryant was a fixture at the State House, advocating for policies to improve the lives of children, youth and families across the state. According to the release, Burke Bryant has also assembled an experienced team of child advocates who work with other advocates, community organizations and partners inside and outside of government to bring the voices of those most affected. affected by these policies, including parents and young people. .

Linda Borg covers education for the Journal.

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