iOS app Android app

Marian Wright Edelman
GET UPDATES FROM Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund and its Action Council whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

Entries by Marian Wright Edelman

Wise Lessons in Servant-Leadership from Howard University's President

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 3:26 PM

When I was growing up my parents constantly tried to be and to expose us to good role models. Daddy would pile us children into our old Dodge and drive us to hear and meet great Black achievers whenever they came near our small hometown of Bennettsville, South...

Read Post

It's Hard to Be What You Can't See

(57) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 5:06 PM

“When we think about what it is to be ‘connected,’ we think about memory. We think about history. We think about storytelling. All of these words that we hear—‘literacy,’ ‘inclusion,’ ‘diversity’—those are all words for connection . . . When I say to people ‘why do we need...

Read Post

The Unthinkable Lives of So Many Black Boys: Where Are the Caring Adults?!

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 5:55 PM

What’s on the minds of many high school students these days—the start of a new school year, getting a driver’s license, worrying whether they’ll make the team, perhaps daydreaming about college and sweating over SAT exams? But that’s not what three Black male high school students told a...

Read Post

Helping Black Boys Survive: What a Difference a Smile Makes

(23) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 1:56 PM

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. Frederick Douglass

“If I tell you a smile could save a life, would you believe me? A smile can save a life. There was a gentleman, a young gentleman … named Kevin. Kevin...

Read Post

Hanging On to Hope to Keep Black Men and Boys Alive

(15) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 7:58 PM

Our history is for decades we humiliated people of color. For decades we excluded people of color. For decades we shamed and burdened and beat people of color. -- Bryan Stevenson, founder and president of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of Just Mercy

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one...

Read Post

10 Rules to Help Black Boys Survive

(225) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 6:39 PM

Democracy cannot breathe, and will die, if those enjoined to protect and uphold the law snuff it out unjustly and without consequence. Justice cannot breathe when Black men and boys and women and girls are routinely profiled, abused, arrested, and killed with impunity by police officers. We must...

Read Post

How to Keep Our Black Boys Alive: Channeling the Rage

(144) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 7:35 PM

The recent spotlight on systematic racial profiling and police brutality against Black boys and men has exposed a painful truth long known in the Black community: just about every Black youth and man seems to have a story about being stopped by the police, and all live daily with the...

Read Post

Redlined for Failure and the Prison Pipeline

(7) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 7:44 PM

Ndume Olatushani is an artist, organizer, and a passionate advocate for justice who works with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Nashville organizing team. He helps us fight to keep children and people of color, especially Black boys, out of the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and mass incarceration system which will...

Read Post

America, What Do We Do After Charleston?

(62) Comments | Posted July 3, 2015 | 12:03 AM

For in a warm climate, no man will labor for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we...
Read Post

Growing Seeds for a Multicultural, Multiracial Teaching Force for Our Rainbow Children

(7) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 6:43 PM

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.
–Henry David Thoreau

A little boy planted a carrot seed. His mother...

Read Post

End All Youth Detention and Torture at Rikers Island Now

(45) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 8:31 PM

Solitary confinement is pretty horrible for anybody, but it's especially horrible for a child. It is psychological torture.

-- Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, author of Just Mercy

When you go over the three years that he spent [in jail] and all the horrific...
Read Post

Charity Is Not a Substitute for Justice

(37) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 5:36 PM

"I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means—except by getting off his back."

--Leo Tolstoy, from What Then Must We Do?


Read Post

Protecting 50 Years of Child Health Progress

(14) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 5:41 PM

It was a generation ago that Harry Truman said, and I quote him:

'Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the...

Read Post

Overmedicating Children in Foster Care

(16) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 5:38 PM

On any given day nearly one in four children in foster care is taking at least one psychotropic medication—more than four times the rate for all children. Nearly half of children living in residential treatment centers or group homes take psychotropic medications. Children in foster care are more likely to...

Read Post

Healing a Child's Broken Heart

(5) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 6:54 PM

It’s always very challenging for a parent when their child has a serious health condition. It’s even more challenging when their child has a serious condition but has no health insurance to cover the needed care and emergencies. Both were true for one Texas mother whose 12-year-old daughter Evelyn was...

Read Post

Criminalizing Poverty

(27) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 6:23 PM

“Held captive.” It was how one 13-year-old described the feeling of growing up poor in our wealthy nation, and for more and more Americans living in poverty, this feeling isn’t just a metaphor. The recent Department of Justice report on police and court practices in Ferguson, Missouri put a...

Read Post

All in the Family

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 5:46 PM

My mother was doing drugs, specifically cocaine, crack cocaine... I almost died. They said that I was either going to be deaf or retarded or I wasn’t going to survive past childhood or infancy because there were so many chemicals in my system.

The odds were stacked against Britiny...

Read Post

Stuck Outside the Poor Door

(21) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 5:20 PM

More than 88,000 people have applied to enter the “poor door” at a new luxury condominium tower on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Only one in 1,600 will win the lottery to live there. Some months ago a New York developer made headlines with the plans for this building,...

Read Post

Thank God for Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

(21) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 5:57 PM

Kaylyn Sigman is a high school senior with big plans. A star soccer player from a poor rural Appalachian Ohio community who loves calculus and creative writing, she's college-bound this fall and dreams of becoming a middle school special education teacher. Kaylyn's overcome a lot...

Read Post

Big Winners and Big Losers in the House and Senate Republican Budgets

(22) Comments | Posted April 11, 2015 | 11:15 AM

"A budget is a moral document; it talks about where your values are." – Representative Rob Woodall (R-GA) discussing the House Budget Committee’s FY2016 Proposal

"There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children." — President...

Read Post