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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

Leading the March Towards Criminal Justice

(14) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 8:19 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

(61) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 5:00 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 | 4:58 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 | 12:22 PM

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 | 6:05 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 | 12:25 PM

"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 | 12:52 PM

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 | 9:24 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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The Education Inequality Struggle

(18) Comments | Posted December 11, 2015 | 9:24 PM

This has been a hard year for poor children and children of color in a gridlocked and cantankerous Congress. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replacing the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted after gutting a strong federal role in education policy designed to protect these children and jeopardizing...

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Who Put the NRA in Charge of Our National Security?

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 9:19 PM

“I have supported legislation in the past which would place reasonable and careful restrictions on the use of firearms, and I am co-sponsoring S.1… I believe this bill would impose necessary controls without unduly curtailing the use of firearms for legitimate sport shooting or hunting, and without curtailing the lawful...

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A Prayer of Thanksgiving to the God of All Children in America and the World

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 9:29 AM

O God of the children of Syria, Nigeria and Liberia, of Sudan, South Africa and South Carolina,
Of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Myanmar, of Israel, Iran and Iraq
Of the Congo, Central America, Charleston, and Cleveland, of Darfur and Detroit, of Libya, Yemen and Ukraine, Nepal and New Orleans,

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It's Way Past Time for America to Face These Ugly Truths

(63) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 6:03 PM

On November 14, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia announced the university will rename two buildings on campus named for two 19th century Georgetown University presidents: Thomas F. Mulledy, who in 1838 arranged the sale of 272 slaves from Jesuit owned Maryland plantations and used the profit to...

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Revising the Undemocratic 'Map of Shame'

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 5:47 PM

“What we know about all of these voter suppression laws is that they have certain populations in their crosshairs, populations who they are trying to prohibit participation in the franchise because they fear that they will vote in a way that’s not favorable to the legislators who are...

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Helping Children Cope With Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 6:04 PM

“If you were to look down upon the world today, you would see a world divided by wars and natural disaster…you would think there is little hope…Even though there is a lot of bad in the world, we have to believe there is more good. We have to...

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Adults Are the Problem

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 10:18 PM

It is time for adults of every race and income group to break our silence about the pervasive breakdown of moral, family, and community values, to place our children first in our lives, and to struggle to model the behavior we want our children to learn. School children...

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Recalling a Time When Congressional Bipartisanship Worked for Young Children

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2015 | 9:15 PM

Amidst the shameful dysfunctional legislative gridlock of the U.S. House of Representatives, it was a great joy this week to celebrate a time and a leader – former Minnesota Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale – when bipartisanship, common sense and a national moral commitment to children and...

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Teaching the Truth About America's History: Only the Truth Can Make Us Free

(168) Comments | Posted October 16, 2015 | 8:25 PM

The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.

--Theodore Roosevelt

History is important. If you don’t know...

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Learning Through Loss to Beat the Odds

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 6:15 PM

“Suffering is inevitable, but how you deal with it is not fixed in stone. That can change. You can develop a way to face it.”

You might expect wise words like these to come after a lifetime’s worth of experiences, but Elijah Iqbal-Scott has seen a...

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Progress for Children's Health

(4) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey show the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working and helping get people health coverage. This is a welcome stark contrast to new census data showing children remain our poorest age group and the younger they are the...

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The Piercing Cry of Child Poverty in Economically Rich but Spiritually Poor America

(112) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 6:50 PM

Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry....

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