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MLK Interfaith Program: Marian Wright Edelman
January 22, 2008, Volume 54, No. 18



The January 23 Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Program at Penn will feature Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). The Interfaith Program will be held in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall at 6:30 p.m. and will include remarks by President Amy Gutmann and the presentation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Awards.

Marian Wright Edelman 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 mission of the Children’s Defense Fund is to Leave No Child Behind and 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 l968, she moved to Washington, DC 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 l973 began CDF.

Almanac - January 22, 2008, Volume 54, No. 18