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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

Overmedicating Children in Foster Care

(15) 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...

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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...

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Criminalizing Poverty

(26) 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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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

(25) 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...

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Let's Give Child Hunger a Summer Vacation

(6) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 5:12 PM

Many children and families eagerly look forward to the end of the school year and the carefree days of summer, playing outside in the warm sun, splashing and swimming in pools and at beaches, and gathering with family and friends for backyard barbeques. But for more than 17 million children...

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Time for Justice for Children in New York

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 4:05 PM

Co-authored by Melanie Hartzog, Executive Director, CDF-New York

Under New York’s juvenile justice system a child as young as 7 can be arrested for a crime, and a 16-year-old is automatically charged as an adult.

These laws are shockingly behind the times — bad for children and bad for...

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Don't Leave Children Short

(23) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 10:43 AM

Congress is about to strike a deal that takes care of seniors and doctors but leaves low-income and “at-risk” children short. Congress’ annual struggle to avoid cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians will continue to give seniors the care they need is widely considered must-pass bipartisan legislation. Known as...

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Staying on the March -- Right Now

(19) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 6:43 PM

Fifty years ago I traveled from Mississippi to Selma, Alabama on March 21st, 1965 to join Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and thousands of fellow citizens marching the 54 miles to the steps of the state’s capitol in Montgomery. Millions of Americans now know about this march thanks to the...

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Who Are We? What Do We Americans Truly Value?

(23) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 8:39 PM

Too much and for too long, we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now is over $800 billion dollars a year... if we judge the United States of America by that... Gross National Product counts air pollution...
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'Make Me a Woman'

(2) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 4:27 PM

One of my sheroes is Sojourner Truth. A brilliant but illiterate woman, she was a great orator and powerful presence who possessed great courage and determination. I often wear a pendant with her image and words: “If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just take...

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No ESEA Bill Is Better Than One That Fails to Protect the Poorest Children

(18) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 8:16 PM

For fifty years Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) has been the primary source of federal funding targeted to schools to serve poor children. Its purpose has been to raise achievement for poor children through extra support to their schools to...

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Girls in Justice

(14) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 4:51 PM

I’m grateful for a powerful new book, Girls in Justice by artist Richard Ross, a follow-up to his moving earlier Juvenile in Justice, which combines Ross’ photographs of girls in the juvenile justice system with interviews he gathered from over 250 detention facilities across the United States. If a...

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Push for Progress: Children Cannot Wait

(5) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 7:34 PM

“We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and...

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A Call to End Child Poverty Now

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 5:59 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

(112) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 6:25 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?

(34) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 6:02 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 | 5:55 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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