Marian Wright Edelman

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Marian Wright Edelman


Marian Wright Edelman is founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund. She is married to Peter Edelman.

Education/activism

A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, she began her career[1]in the mid-'60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Miss.

In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People's Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began organizing before his death.

She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children's Defense Fund. For two years she served as the director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in 1973 began CDF.

Achievements/awards

Edelman was the chairman of the board of trustees of Spelman College[2]from 1976 to 1987 and was the first woman elected by alumni as a member of the Yale University Corporation, on which she served from 1971 to 1977. She has received many honorary degrees and awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award and a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings, which include eight books: "Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change"; "The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours"; "Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children"; "Stand for Children; Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors"; "Hold My Hand: Prayers for Building a Movement to Leave No Child Behind"; "I'm Your Child, God: Prayers for Our Children"; and "I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children."

IVI-IPO

In 1981 Marian Wright Edelman was a Vice President of Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization[3].

The American Prospect

In 2009 Marian Wright Edelman was listed as a Founding Sponsor of The American Prospect.[4]

Social Policy

For over 30 years, Social Policy has served as "key site for intellectual exchange among progressive academics and activists from across the United States and beyond", including: Frances Fox Piven, Jonathan Kozol, Noam Chomsky, Marian Wright Edelman, Ivan Illich, Stanley Aronowitz, Michael Lerner, Gloria Steinem, and others[5].

References