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Marian Wright Edelman
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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

Progress for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 6:04 PM

On December 10th President Obama hosted a White House Summit on Early Education, bringing together a broad coalition of philanthropic, business, education, child advocacy and elected leaders and other key stakeholders. It was a welcome chance to celebrate progress in expanding access to quality early childhood development and learning...

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Needed: A True Diversity Map for America

(1) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 7:16 PM

Sometimes childhood experiences motivate a lifetime of extraordinary work. That is certainly true for Georgetown University Law School professor and bioethicist Patricia King, a brilliant scholar and one of the most effective leaders you may not know. She’s spent forty years at Georgetown Law School and has long been...

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A Time for Prayer, Thanksgiving, Discernment and Strategic Nonviolent Action

(17) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 4:43 PM

In the wake of Ferguson and a series of young Black male deaths at the hands of official law enforcement personnel (and one self-appointed neighborhood watchman who cost Trayvon Martin his life), I hope we will use this November time of Thanksgiving and celebration of Native American Heritage month by...

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Learning to Love What You Have

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 5:49 PM

In a season focused on gratitude, 17-year-old Monica Chica has an attitude about choosing to be grateful that’s wise far beyond her years: “The most important lesson I learned is that being happy is not about having with you what you loved in the past, but learning to love...

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Embracing Who You Are

(2) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 6:27 PM

For many years I've been blessed by my friendship with Pamela Ferrell, one of the country's leading experts on natural Black hair. Pamela and her husband Taalib-Din Uqdah co-founded the Washington, D.C. hair salon Cornrows & Co. in 1980, pioneering the natural hair care movement with African-inspired braids...

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Shining Like a Diamond

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 5:21 PM

"I decided that my education was the most important thing that I could ever have, because without your education, you can't do much in this world. Some people find out the hard way. I did not want to be one of those people."

Seventeen-year-old high school senior Diamond May is...

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The Real Monsters

(42) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 6:00 PM

Each year at Halloween, our neighborhoods are bustling as children go door to door dressed as zombies, vampires, skeletons or something else fantastic and scary. For many children Halloween is the rare occasion to indulge in a fun time of ghost stories and goblins and trick or treats. But at...

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Closer to the Finish Line

(3) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 5:51 PM

With opportunity gaps widening for poor children and children of color, new guidance from the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education offers new hope and protection from discrimination. For the first time in 13 years, the Department now makes clear that states, school districts,...

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Good News for Children When Congress Works Together

(1) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 5:39 PM

While we rarely hear good news these days about Congress, I have some to share. Continuing a long tradition of bipartisan leadership on behalf of abused and neglected children, last month both the House and the Senate passed and the president signed into law the Preventing Sex Trafficking...

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What About the Girls?

(12) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 5:47 PM

During the most critical period of Jessica's childhood, adults who could have intervened to protect her from abuse let her down over and over. As a child she was sexually abused in her home and ended up living with her grandmother for a time. At age 11 she became a...

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Don't Mess with CHIP: 17 Years of Success

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 6:51 PM

"If I could sit down for freedom, you can stand up for children." -- Mrs. Rosa Parks, honorary co-chair, 1996 Stand for Children rally

On June 1, 1996 the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) convened with over 3,000 co-sponsoring organizations, including the NAACP and many others in the civil rights community,...

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Decriminalizing School Discipline

(94) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 7:25 PM

I believe the purpose of public schools is to educate not exclude children and to help identify and meet child needs, not make children serve adult convenience, self interest, and systems. So huge reforms are required in school discipline policies and practices across our nation as school pushout has worsened...

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The High Moral and Economic Cost of Child Poverty in America

(34) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 6:34 PM

Just released U.S. Census Bureau data reveal 45.3 million people were poor in America in 2013. One in three of those who are poor is a child. Children remain our poorest age group and children of color and those under five are the poorest. More than one in five...

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Helping Children in Hidden Rural Poverty

(13) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 6:31 PM

When many people hear child poverty in America, the first stereotype is an inner-city child and discussions about solutions to poverty often focus on concentrated poverty in urban areas. But in a nation where over 16 million children, more than one in five, are poor, the plain truth is that...

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The Invisible Achievement Gap: Students in Foster Care

(5) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 6:50 PM

Across the country it’s back to school time. I hope it is a year full of promise and not disappointment and added stress for all children -- especially those most vulnerable. I also hope this school year begins with a renewed commitment by all teachers and school administrators...

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The Emotional Toll of Growing Up Black in America

(52) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, a brilliant, Black Ohio State University professor, recently opened the Educational Testing Service and Children’s Defense Fund co-sponsored symposium on Advancing Success for Black Men in College by sharing a question his 14-year-old son asked him: Why did he get in trouble for speaking out of...

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'Who's Looking for Me?': God's and America's Invisible Children

(6) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 8:04 PM

Not long ago Reverend Romal Tune was the child in “Who’s Looking for Me,” his spoken word piece shared below -- the hungry boy begging strangers for money and watching them cross the street to avoid him; the teenager planning his funeral with his then 15-year-old cousin because...

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Strong Programs, Strong Mentors, and Strong Mindsets

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 6:32 PM

We know the commonly repeated claim that there are more Black men in prison than in college isn’t true—but in 2011 Black men accounted for fewer than 6 percent of undergraduate students and 4 percent of graduate students, though they made up 8.7 percent of 18-29...

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Children in the Desert

(11) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 4:12 PM

Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church, is acting with urgency. Along with more than 100 other religious leaders and activists, she was arrested for civil disobedience at the White House for protesting the deportation of the unaccompanied children crossing our border after...

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Kiwis in the Bronx

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 5:12 PM

For years the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx in New York, home to St. Ann's Episcopal Church, was the poorest section of the poorest Congressional district in the United States. I recently had another wonderful visit at the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools summer program hosted at St. Ann's,...

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