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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

A Call to End Child Poverty Now

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 6:59 PM

America is going to hell if we don’t use her vast resources to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life.
—Martin Luther King Jr.

They have become great and rich
they have grown fat and sleek....

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How to End Child Poverty for 60 Percent of Poor Children and 72 Percent of All Poor Black Children Today

(109) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 7:25 PM

Poverty hurts children and our nation’s future. This stark statement is backed by years of scientific research and the more we learn about the brain and its development the more devastatingly true we know this to be. Childhood poverty can and does scar children for life. Yet in the largest...

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Is America a Sheep or a Goat?

(31) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 7:02 PM

When the Son of Man comes in his glory…all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father,...

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Celebrating Dr. King Through Serving

(3) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 6:55 PM

"If you want to be important--wonderful. If you want to be recognized--wonderful. If you want to be great--wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that...
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Every Child Deserves a Fair Chance

(15) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 6:40 PM

“A population that does not take care of the elderly and of children and the young has no future, because it abuses both its memory and its promise.” 
-- Pope Francis            

For many, the start of a new year is a chance...

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Prayers for Our Children for the New Year

(1) Comments | Posted January 2, 2015 | 1:52 PM

In a world rife with war, religious, racial, gender, sectarian, and political strife, when so many children lack safety, enough food, shelter, health care, and education and suffer unthinkable losses of parents to disease, violence, and war, I hope this New Year will bring adults closer to our common sense...

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Pondering the Deeper Meanings of This Holy Season

(11) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 1:44 PM

After all the shopping and preparation for celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, I hope we will stop and sit and think more deeply about their meaning in our over commercialized, trivialized, mass selling mania for and to children and deeply stressful time for so many. The poor baby in a...

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Thanks to Four Bright Rainbows in Our National Clouds

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 5:38 PM

As 2014 draws to a close, I wanted to celebrate four great rainbows for justice who passed away this year but left us a much better people and nation. My brother-friend Dr. Vincent Harding, much loved historian, theologian, social justice activist, and visionary, never lost sight of the “beloved...

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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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