Children's advocate Edelman to give keynote at 2004 Gala Dinner

Issue December 2003

Marian Wright Edelman
Don't miss the social event of the MBA year!

Enjoy a fabulous meal and elegant evening featuring keynote speaker Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), on Friday, Jan. 23, 2004, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel as part of the MBA's Annual Conference 2004 Gala Dinner. And join us in celebrating the presentation of the MBA's Legislator of the Year award to State Rep. Eugene L. O'Flaherty.

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). She has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her 30 years of 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 BehindÆ 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.

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, Miss. In l968, 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 Edelman served as the director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in l973 began CDF.

Edelman served on the Board of Trustees of Spelman College, which she chaired from 1976 to 1987 and was the first woman elected by alumni as a member of the Yale University Corporation on which she served from 1971 to 1977. She has received many honorary degrees and awards including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award and a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings, which include seven books: "Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change," "The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours," "Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children," "Stand for Children," "Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors," "Hold My Hand: Prayers for Building a Movement to Leave No Child Behind," and "I'm Your Child, God: Prayers for Our Children."

Edelman is a board member of the Robin Hood Foundation, the Association to Benefit Children, City Lights School and Outward Bound, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Edelman is married to Peter Edelman, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. They have three sons, Joshua, Jonah and Ezra, and two granddaughters, Ellika and Zoe.

Gala Dinner tickets must be purchased separately. Advanced reservations are recommended. Tickets are $125 per person. Individuals and firms may reserve tables of 10 at the special rate of $1,000 per table.

Other Articles in this Issue: