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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

Hope Is Waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court

(21) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 3:55 PM

“Baldo came to the United States from Michoacán, Mexico, in 1988, when he was 17 years old. He lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife and their two U.S. citizen daughters, ages nine and 13. While in the United States, he trained as an electrician and, for nearly...

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Recognizing All of America's S/Heroes

(38) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 6:44 PM

Every day I wear a pair of medallions around my neck with portraits of two of my role models: Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. As a child I read books about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. She and indomitable and eloquent slave woman Sojourner Truth represent countless...

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End Summer Child Hunger Now!

(62) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 6:45 PM

Spring is almost in full swing and summer is just around the corner. Millions of children in America can’t wait for summer vacation, but for millions of poor children who rely on school meals it’s a mixed blessing.

I qualify for free and reduced lunch. I can get a free...

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Income Inequality: The Housing Struggle

(58) Comments | Posted April 8, 2016 | 5:56 PM

“I was in Newark and Harlem just this week. And I walked into the homes of welfare mothers. I saw them in conditions—no, not with wall-to-wall carpet, but wall-to-wall rats and roaches. . . . [One mother] pointed out the walls with all the ceiling falling through. She...

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The Time Is Always Right to Do Right

(23) Comments | Posted April 1, 2016 | 1:17 PM

March 31 is the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last Sunday sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. in 1968 before his assassination four days later: “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”. Dr. King said he believed a triple revolution was taking place in the...

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The Moment We Have Waited for

(4) Comments | Posted March 25, 2016 | 5:35 PM

Rev. C.T. Vivian, legendary civil rights leader, believes young people today are inheriting the world at a unique crossroads in history and that “this is the moment we have waited for. When I say ‘we’ve’ waited for, I’m talking about humankind has waited for. I’m talking about all...

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Tick, Tock, Tick Tock: Flint's Disposable Poor Children

(58) Comments | Posted March 18, 2016 | 5:31 PM

America’s political blame game continues while children continue to suffer life impairing harm. The nation was riveted this week as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chief Gina McCarthy were grilled over the shameful inaction on the Flint, Michigan water crisis by members of the...

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America, I Am You

(30) Comments | Posted March 11, 2016 | 3:12 PM

“I am an insider serving a life and 20 year sentence at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. Twenty-six years ago I was rendered infamous by the State of Tennessee through a judicial process of ‘thingafication,’ replacing my identity with a capitalistic signature, 133881. Since then, at 19 years old, my journey...

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America's Back Door

(10) Comments | Posted March 4, 2016 | 4:47 PM

The Harvard Gazette has released a series of articles on inequality in America. They describe Harvard University scholars’ efforts across a range of disciplines to identify and understand this nation-defining and dividing concern and possible solutions. The first piece in the series opens:

“It’s a seemingly nondescript chart, buried...
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The Third Reconstruction Era

(9) Comments | Posted February 26, 2016 | 5:10 PM

Many of us have been thrilled by the video of 106-year-old mentor and school volunteer Mrs. Virginia McLaurin visiting the White House during a Black History Month celebration to meet — and dance with — President and Mrs. Obama. Her joy in being there and fulfilling...

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The Other Washington

(12) Comments | Posted February 19, 2016 | 4:14 PM

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture is in the final stages of construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., next to the Washington Monument and near the National Museum of American History. It will be a transformative and long-overdue landmark in the center...

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Winifred Green: An Unsung Warrior for Racial and Economic Justice

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 4:49 PM

Transforming movements towards social justice depend on the work of a core group of committed and persistent and not always frontline soldiers — women and men who seize the moment and choose to stand up for what is right. My beloved friend and longtime Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)...

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Leading the March Towards Criminal Justice

(14) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 7:19 PM

Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice... I’ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment...

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Hungry Children in Rich America

(65) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 4:00 PM

Sarah is three years old. She and her six-year-old brother, Bryce, are inseparable except when it’s time for him to visit the summer food program that provides meals at a school near his Ohio home for children who otherwise would go hungry. Sarah’s too young to make the...

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A Single Spark

(4) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 3:58 PM

"As we marched down the street, I felt inspired that our scholars pulled together with pride and courage fighting for what they know to be true. I saw big smiles filled with pride. I also felt angry because of the disregard for scholars but motivated by their willingness...

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Keeping Children Healthy, In School and Learning

(5) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 11:22 AM

Brandon, a six-year-old in the Houston Independent School District, had two working parents until his father was laid off. Brandon lost his health insurance when his father lost his job. Brandon’s mother quickly scrambled to try to enroll her son who has asthma in new coverage, but met some obstacles...

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Guns Make Anger and Despair Lethal

(214) Comments | Posted January 8, 2016 | 5:05 PM

"Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns--30,000. Suicides. Domestic violence. Gang shootouts. Accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children. Many have had to learn to live with a disability, or learned to...

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Whither America

(55) Comments | Posted January 1, 2016 | 11:25 AM

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word[.]"

--Dr. Martin Luther King,...

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A Christmas Prayer

(28) Comments | Posted December 23, 2015 | 11:52 AM

This holy season as Christians honor and celebrate the birth of the world’s most famous poor baby born in a manger, I hope we all will pause to remember the 15.5 million invisible poor babies and children in our rich country who need our help to survive and thrive and...

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Why Are Children Less Valuable Than Guns in America? It's Time to Protect Children Not Guns

(332) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 8:24 PM

Three years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut where a lone 20-year-old gunman wielding an assault weapon snuffed out 26 child and teacher lives, our nation has done shamefully little to protect children instead of guns. This week more than ten thousand people attended over 100...

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