Women in Leadership: Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman, in conversation with Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown, will keynote the 2017 Barbara K. Fergus Women in Leadship Lecture Series. The lecture is cosponsored by the College of Education and Human Ecology and the Glenn College of Public Affairs.
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. The Children's Defense Fund’s 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.
Mrs. Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People's Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children's Defense Fund. For two years, she served as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in 1973 began CDF.