Marian Wright Edelman is the founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund and one of the most respected voices for children in the nation. The youngest daughter of a Baptist minister, she developed a sense of mission while growing up in a small segregated South Carolina town. Edelman later entered Spelman College and became involved in the civil rights movement and realized that "helping others would be the very purpose of life." After being arrested for her activism, she decided to study law and enrolled at Yale Law School. Edelman became the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi bar. In 1968, she moved to Washington, D.C. and helped organize the Poor People's Campaign of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1973, Edelman founded the Childrens Defense Fund as a voice for poor, minority and disabled children. She single-handedly championed the cause of children and expanded Head Start and Medicaid coverage for children and helped to combat hunger among the very young. Edelman worked to persuade Congress to overhaul foster care, support adoption, improve childcare and protect children who are disabled, homeless, abused or neglected. She continues to advocate youth pregnancy prevention, child-care funding, prenatal care, greater parental responsibility in teaching values and curtailing children's exposure to the barrage of violent images transmitted by mass media. Edelman is the recipient of many high honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in tribute to her lifelong crusade to help America's disadvantaged children. Marian Wright Edelman participated in the 1993 Achievement Summit in Glacier National Park and addressed the student delegates on her career of service and her personal lessons of leadership.


  • Marian Wright Edelman (Audio)

    26/06/1993 Duración: 10min